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Best Practice of Urban Renewal and Smart City: The EUREF Campus in Berlin, Germany
Source: | Author: Ralph Wahnschafft | Publish time: 2020-08-26 | 139 Views | Share:

Abstract: Near the city center of Berlin, the vision of an "intelligent city of tomorrow” is being developed at the EUREF-Campus. Ecologically and economically sustainable business concepts make the EUREF-Campus a unique office and science location and one of the first integrated urban districts of this kind in Europe. EUREF Campus combines renovated historic industrial buildings with sophisticated new office space, educational institutions, residential buildings, and a variety of services. On the EUREF Campus, compact and efficient urban land use is surrounded by attractive parks, greenery, and open space, providing a modern, imposing environment.

Keywords: intelligent city, innovation, people-oriented, electric mobility, micro smart grid, urban renewal


EUREF Campus      Photo credit by @ EUREF Campus

Overview of the urban renewal project

EUREF AG is an innovative German real estate (re)development corporation established in 2007. Its name is derived from the acronym of European Energy Forum (EUREF). The EUREF Campus concept seeks to advance compact urban (re)development, combining conservation of existing built industrial and cultural heritage with the construction of modern office and residential space, using the most advanced designs and technologies. EUREF AG is fully committed to apply the principles and concepts of sustainable urban (re)development, including sustainable use energy and other resources, and environmental protection.
   

 EUREF-Campus was awarded the Global Best Practice of Urban Renewal”, Berlin, Germany   
Photo credit by @ GFHS


Near the city center of Berlin, the vision of an "intelligent city of tomorrow” is being developed at the EUREF-Campus. Ecologically and economically sustainable business concepts make the EUREF-Campus a unique office and science location and one of the first integrated urban districts of this kind in Europe. Listed brick buildings, sophisticated new office and residential buildings and attractive parks, greenery and open space provide a modern environment. The most important features include the following:


 Central location in Berlin-Schöneberg, easily accessible by public transport

 Around 55,000 square metres of land

 Around 165,000 square metres of floor space

 Once all (re)construction is completed, EUREF Campus can host some 150 companies as tenants and offer workspaces for 3,500 or more employees in about 25 buildings

 Some 15 per cent of the total floor space is set aside for residential purposes

 All new buildings are LEED gold certified as green buildings

 The EUREF campus features a smart micro grid with intelligent load management to optimize the entire energy use

 EUREF Campus uses locally generated renewable energy

 Short paths and attractive parks, greenery, and open spaces ensure "campus character"

 Restaurants, car-sharing, meeting and event venues, and further facilities for shared use


General layout of the campus

Fostering innovations

Many of the companies hosted by the EUREF-Campus are innovative business start-ups. At the time of the preparation of this report, tenants included the following newly formed companies: Climate Innovation Centre (Climate KIC), Deutsche Bahn Co-lab, E-on Agile, Effimo, Garamantis Interactive Technologies GmbH, Green Garage, InfraLab Berlin, Leaftech, MINT Microalgae Integration, Monitorfish GBR, Rising Generation, SIRPLUS, and Tracks GmbH. EUREF Campus facilitates multi-disciplinary analysis of all aspects of mobility and the intelligent city at the interface of renewable energy transformation, mobility systems and urban development.

EUREF Campus provides “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) for its clients. It operates a pilot electric mobility platform fully equipped with a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), charging infrastructure, renewable energy systems, micro-smart grid and user labs. Car-sharing, ride-sharing, and autonomous vehicles are being tested.


  Leisure facilities


People-oriented and public engagement

The EUREF Campus is on the historic industrial site of the former gasworks of Berlin with a round and very tall former gas storage facility at its center. For several years, the base of the former gas storage facility was used as an event location, including as the stage of a popular international and German television show.

The EUREF Campus seeks to be people-oriented. Its various projects on sustainable energy and mobility are well documented and publicized. In addition to the students of the Technical University of Berlin who study on the campus, the companies attract many visitors coming to attend product presentations, conferences, or public debates. At the EUREF Campus, visitors can see and learn about pilot projects and new technologies, in particular concerning energy and traffic systems of tomorrow. EUREF Campus showrooms include many interactive panels with touch screens and user-friendly interfaces. At the EUREF Campus, public information and public education content is presented in an attractive and interesting manner. New and innovative technologies are demonstrated and tested.

Throughout Berlin, there are "open house days" periodically to encourage the general public to visit local cultural, scientific, or other public institutions. The "long night of the sciences" and the "day of the open monument" are such events which are also held at the EUREF-Campus. The campus area is also a favoured place for local conferences like the "Berliner Wirtschaftsgespräche" (Berlin Business Talks).

As Berlin's “Living Lab”, the EUREF-Campus is open for guests and groups like national and international experts, managers, senior officials, and politicians.


Living city with environment-friendly and resource-conservation

EUREF Campus follows the concept of the "living city", integrating the various urban functions. The Campus provides space and integrates the functions of work, education, research and living in a special way. Integrated urban (re)development can offer the advantage of potentially minimizing the need for intra-urban travel. People who work on EUREF Campus can easily use public transport and do not need private motor vehicles to reach their work place. A considerable number of staff members can also find residential space on or near the campus. The campus offers several on-site restaurants, coffee shops, snack bars, and sports facilities, as well as a bank. Integrated urban (re)development can greatly enhance sustainability.

Some 25 renovated old as well as new buildings cover the plot of 5.5 hectares. All of the new buildings are qualified to obtain LEED gold certification. The electricity consumed on the EUREF-Campus is partly generated locally by renewable energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, and a combined heat and power station. The micro smart gird (MSG) provides an efficient energy management system to meet local needs. A local battery storage facility re-using second-hand batteries has also recently been added to the system. 

The Carsharing-Station on the EUREF-Campus includes parking spaces and charging stations for electric carsharing-vehicles as well as an e-Bike-Rental-Station. New products like “mobility cards” with different mobility service packages are also being developed and tested at the EUREF Campus with the participation of the resident users. One example is the “BahnCard 25 mobil plus”, which is a kind of a membership card which offers subscribers discounts on railway tickets as well as discounted access to other public transport services, including bike- and car-sharing.


Selected innovations

   
1. Micro Smart Grid

The Micro Smart Grid (MSG) is a power grid that intelligently connects different energy sources, energy users and stationary and mobile power storage devices (such as car batteries). The MSG is a site-specific grid tailored only the local area; hence the term “micro” smart grid applies.

Charging device connected with intelligent micro-grid

Photography by Ralph Wahnschafft


2. Innovative architectural designs

One of the main projects of the EUREF Campus will be to construct a round office building within the inner space of the historic gasometer, identified by Number 11 on the above chart.  

3. Mobility concepts: Car- and bike-sharing

The Carsharing-Station on the EUREF-Campus includes parking spaces and charging stations for electric carsharing-vehicles as well as an e-Bike-Rental-Station. New products like “mobility cards” with different mobility service packages are also being developed and tested at the EUREF Campus with the participation of the resident users. One example is the “BahnCard 25 mobil plus”, which is a kind of a membership card which offers subscribers discounts on railway tickets as well as discounted access to other public transport services, including bike- and car-sharing.

Charging device connected with intelligent micro-grid  
Photography by Ralph Wahnschafft

4. Platform “Electro-mobility”


The electro-mobility platform serves as hub for knowledge transfer on sustainable mobility options. It features a number of permanent and temporary exhibits. The monitoring and control centre of the micro-smart grid enables visitors to better understand the benefits of integrated energy and mobility system.


5. Green-Garage

   
The Green-Garage is a “crowd-funding” project which successfully mobilized funding by private investors, companies residing on the EUREF-Campus, and members of the general public. The Green-Garage project built a small solar power station at the top of an old garage. The same building also houses the office of a crowdfunding company that promotes investment in renewable energies.


    LEED Gold certified office building       
Photography by Ralph Wahnschafft


Sustainable operation


The EUREF Campus is designed to achieve environmental sustainability, generate its own renewable energy, and optimize efficiency of local energy use. In terms of CO
2 emission, the EUREF Campus already meets the emission targets envisioned by the Federal German Government for the year 2050 since 2014.


Replication of the EUREF Campus Best Practice Model

Berlin’s EUREF Campus hosted the Annual Forum of GFHS in 2013 and received the "Best Practice of Global Urban Renewal", which was awarded by the Global Forum on Human Settlements in the same year.

Berlin’s EUREF Campus has proved to be a very commercially profitable business. The EUREF Campus concept is thus already being replicated in some other cities, including the cities of Düsseldorf and Essen, Germany. Members of the management of EUREF Campus are also providing technical and business advisory services to clients in other countries, including China.


Additional information

Additional information on EUREF Campus can be obtained from www.euref.de. The website also features informative video clips (in both German and English languages).

Contributed by Ralph Wahnschafft, Senior Advisor on Sustainable Development PoliciesGlobal Forum on Human Settlements (in 2020)

(Photos source: EUREF Campus)