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ufaFabrik

ufaFabrik is a one-of-a-kind project that combines living and working in an International Centre for Culture and Ecology, and is situated in Berlin, Germany. The Centre offers performance spaces for contemporary culture, hosting international artists, festivals, in-house productions, comedy, cabaret, dance, music, children’s programs and professional theatre presentations. Performing artists and others are invited to stay in the accompanying guest house. Also available are two theatre spaces, multiple practice studios and an outdoor covered stage.

ufaFabrik introduced one of the first combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Berlin, commissioned in the early 1980s. In 1994, the original system was replaced by a computer-controlled heat and power system. Its centrepiece is two six-cylinder engines and two generators, which together produce about 88 kW of electricity and 190 kW of heat. The CHP supplies approximately 300,000 kWh, which works out to be 75% of the total electricity needs for the building. The roof area holds a 53 kW peak solar PV array, and a wind turbine with a rotor span of 3 metres, which generates 700 watts of power. The electricity generated by the wind turbine is used to power outdoor lighting.  The remainder of the venue’s electricity supply has been provided by a 100% renewable energy supplier since 2003.

All electrical appliances and equipment, the heating, ventilation, cooling and bakery are constantly monitored and controlled by a central computer using an electronic management system. Specially developed software calculates the actual energy requirements and adapts the performance of the CHP to always work optimally. Hence, the energy consumption of the building is maintained at an optimal efficient rate. 

The cavity between the ceiling and the roof of one of the buildings is filled with environmentally friendly insulation consisting of cellulose fibre made from recycled paper and impregnated with fire retardant mineral salts, which simultaneously protect from pests. Other areas have sheep’s wool insulation added to the roof space – another environmentally friendly insulation material. Additionally, green roofs on some of the buildings help to improve the thermal efficiency of buildings in the winter and keep buildings cooler in the summer months. Exhaust air from a number of the buildings is used in a heat exchanger to heat the incoming air. Windows have special heat-insulating glazing fitted. 

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Highlights


Other Innovative Solutions

Since 1994, the ufaFabrik has a computer-controlled combined heat and power system on site. Its centrepiece are two six-cylinder engines and two generators, which together produce about 88 kW of electricity and 190 kW of heat. The CHP supplies approximately 300,000 kWh, which works out to be approximately 75% of the total electricity needs for the building.


Solar

On its roof, the ufaFabrik hosts a solar PV installation that can generate up to 53kW in full sunshine, generating an average of 37,000 kWh of electricity annually and saving approximately 33 t CO2. When it was installed in 1997, it was the largest solar PV installation in Berlin.


Wind

The ufaFabrik has an on-site wind turbine with a rotor span of 3 metres, generating up to 700 watts of power that are used towards powering the outdoor lighting. The ufaFabrik collaborated with the TU (Technische Universität) Berlin to develop a more efficient ‘slitted’ rotor, a 2.4 m diameter prototype version of which has also been installed at the venue (readings from the two turbines are now being compared to establish the higher efficiency in an operational setting).


Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/Insulation

The ufaFabrik makes extensive use of natural and environmentally undamaging materials to insulate its buildings – including cellulose fibre made from recycled paper and impregnated with mineral salts as fire-retardants and pest repellent, sheep’s wool, and green roofs.



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