Ecological architecture in Germany

05 juin 2006
02m 21s
Ref. 00352


Summary :

Report in a Berlin architecture firm specialised in ecological constructions. Architect Matthias Sauerbruch presents the model of a building whose facade will be entirely covered with solar panels, which will allow the building to produce, on its own, all of the energy that its inhabitants will need.

Media type :
Broadcast date :
05 juin 2006
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The global energy crisis and the growth of urban populations forces thoughts about the environment and redefines the doctrines of traditional urbanism. Ecological architecture questions individual housing, advocates the mixing of schedules and the densification of habitats with an ever watchful eye on saving space and travel. It has become necessary to control the life stages of a building, to reduce its energy consumption and to change life habits of contemporary society. It's about mastering the impact of construction on society: respect of context, concern for clean work sites, managing refuse, air and water, using local materials, all while developing a durable interior environment. From easy maintenance to thermal, acoustic and olfactory quality comfort.

Often incarnated by the house that was self-built from recycled materials, greenhouses, roof vegetation, windmills and solar panels. Several aesthetic tendencies work together, from profitable technological building to vernacular construction that respects nature. Flagship operations are emerging in Europe today like the Bedzed in London, the Viikki quarter in Helsinki, the GWL quarter in Amsterdam, the rural commune Mader in Austria. However, Germany remains the pioneer in materials and its eco-quarter Vauban in Fribourg-en-Brigau is a model of positive energy housing and citizen participation.

Marion Michaut


From creative energy to renewable energy, Germany is now trendy with a genuine lead over us. These windmills are growing in the countrysides, that's where most of the European ones are. And in the cities, solar panels are already powering traffic lights and parking meters. In all new constructions, this ecological dimension is very much taken into account, all the architects have gone green, that's why they're in such high demand throughout the world. In this Berlin office, they've become masters of the art, and they're winning all of the prizes. He's the boss, model in hand, he's going to show us his very latest creation.
Matthias Sauerbruch
It's for a contest we participated in, in Oslo, in Norway, for the most ecological building in the world. The entire facade is covered in solar panels, and if you look carefully there, there are turbines that are integrated into the roof. (English) All of the generated energy allows the building to be heated and cooled.
Matthias Sauerbruch
As a result, we don't have a building that consumes energy, but creates it; in other words, instead of having a power plant that supplies an entire city with electricity, there will be hundreds of buildings that, as a network, each produce a bit of energy for the whole city.
The first city of the future to be self-sufficient, it will probably be German. Creative energy, it's now everywhere in Germany, and it isn't just a coincidence.
Matthias Sauerbruch
When you've grown up, like me, in the 50s and 60s, you don't really have any symbols of pride as a German, of course that's because of the weight of the past and the former generations. (English) As a result, we tried to find an ideal, some ideas, a vision that leads us toward the future, ecology is part of this approach.
Germany, which has so often been associated within the collective mind as a boring and lifeless nation, is in the middle of a transformation. Today, it's growing its wings.