As part of a housing development project constructed in wood in Brühl, Heidelberg, Partner und Partner architects were commissioned to plan a multi-family residence. The developer is Evangelische Stiftung Pflege Schönau, the largest corporate forest owner in Baden-Württemberg and owner of around 800 residential and commercial units. This project covers four residential buildings by four different architects and is the foundation’s way of strengthening its commitment to residential construction in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. There is a special emphasis on sustainability and a low use of energy and resources, above all in terms of the ‘grey energy’ from building material production as well as the operating and recycling phases. The aim is also to achieve a high level of living comfort and user friendliness in mixed apartment types. A long-term scientific observation of the various wood construction methods and energy concepts of the project has been planned.
The four-storey multi-family residence containing ten housing units will be built in a solid wood construction from non-bonded cross-laminated timber walls and stacked board ceilings. Wood from the foundation’s own regional forestry management will be used for much of the construction. The glass facade serves as both a weatherproofing layer and an active energy storage system. The heated air functions as transparent thermal insulation in winter, while the circulating air cools down the wall surface in summer. The wood surface of the non-bonded exterior walls, mounted with wooden screws, remains visible behind the profiled glass facade. There are three different types of apartments per floor, each with a spacious loggia. These three apartment types can also be recognised from the outside as interlocking structures. The volume of the building maximises the surfaces receiving sunlight, which reinforces the facade’s energy concept. The core of the building is located on the north side, so that the apartments are only slightly adjacent to the north side. All apartments are directed towards three cardinal points and the openings in the apartments are designed for optimal cross-ventilation. Geothermal energy is used for heating and cooling and the green roof areas are activated with PV systems to generate power.