Part of the appeal of green building for major developers is the innovation and added value that these buildings offer. There is a perception, often backed by performance statistics, that green buildings offer substantially greater value and are more technical and far more sophisticated than traditional practices and projects.
The flip side of this is that endeavoring to develop in a green way on a more grassroots level can be an incredibly intimidating feat.
Bringing the sector a little closer to home, however, is an Austrian supermarket that is not only completely self-sufficient in terms of its energy use, it actually produces more energy that it needs to run.
Designed by architectural firm Love Architecture, the Climate Protection Supermarket is located in Graz and offers to exemplify the lifestyle trends of its locals by embodying modern notions of sustainability.
Due to its green features, the building has received a Gold certification from the Austrian Green Building Council (ÖGNI) for its holistically green design and delivery principles.
The high-quality interior environment is a result of a clever mix of design and technological input.
The interior is cleverly ventilated with heat recovery used as a part of the interior climate control. This is further complemented by the implementation of a sectional foundation slab used for heating and cooling.
While natural daylight is optimized through design, creating what industry critics note continuously as an ‘open, bright and friendly market place,’ it is made even more efficient by daylight control systems featuring LED lighting.
Further features ensuring the building’s zero carbon output include heavy insulation as a result of the building envelope and the use of low-VOC, solvent-free and non-toxic materials that can be recycled ad reused.
The final piece of the building’s puzzle is its energy generation. This aspect allows the building to remain completely off-grid, relying only on the renewable sources generated on site, which are kept in a manageable state by the low energy design and technological features.
A photovoltaic power plant is located in the supermarket car park and a hydropower turbine across the road in Mühlgang stream the further supports the building’s enegy needs. Excess energy produced is fed back to the grid.
While the building itself may not be groundbreaking, the mix of technology and design allows it to achieve carbon neutrality and gain international acclaim.