Opens in a new window

On the former site of the Kindl brewery in Neukölln, converted old and new buildings are turned into a new quarter that combines living and working.

© Unsplash

A former Kindl brewery in the trendy Neukölln district of Berlin will be the site of an innovative neighbourhood sustainable energy concept to be implemented by the Berlin public utilities company, Berliner Stadtwerke. A mix of new technologies including solar systems, heat pumps and seasonal storage will be adopted in the new live/work quarter to ensure as little energy is taken from the grid as possible.

The ambitious project was initiated by the leaseholder of the site on Rollbergstrasse, TRNSFRM eG, a not-for-profit, socially-responsible, urban developer. They designed the modular energy concept to adopt renewable energies for electricity, heating and cooling with the Berlin planning office eZeit Ingenieure GmbH.

"For us, the new and complex approach of the Rollberg project is exciting and challenging because it combines many sustainable technologies in an innovative utilisation concept", says Stadtwerke’s managing director Dr. Kerstin Busch in a press release.

A combination of brine heat pumps, waste air heat pumps, combined heat and power (CHP) systems, condensing boilers and seasonal storage tanks will be operated in concert with solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems, all orchestrated by a sophisticated energy management system. The control hub monitors and optimises energy use across the local grid and ensures the plant technology is powered by electricity generated by the plant itself as far as possible, following a circular model.

For example, a seasonal storage tank stores heat in subterranean pipes in the summer to be used in colder times, and waste air from the building is used to generate heat. Hot water is primarily generated by solar thermal systems. The PV system and CHP unit mostly cover the electricity needs of the entire system, which means only a small amount of power will need to be purchased from the grid.