The Bundestag, a sustainable building in the heart of Europe
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The Bundestag, a sustainable building in the heart of Europe

The Reichstag, known also as the Busdestag (German Parliament, it is considered a meeting place with a very long history in which it has not always had crowd approval. Its construction finished in 1984, following a neorenaissance style. However, the building burnt down in 1933 due to an intentional fire which still remains anonymous nowadays. Also, during the Second World War it suffered really severe damages during the Battle of Berlin.

Bundestag improvements

The Parliament was rebuilt between 1961 and 1971, adopting a simplified style under Paul Baumgarten. The building was not completely refurbished. In fact, during that time, the dome had not been even repaired from the consequences of the war in 1945.

In 1991, a second round of works took place, lead by the British architecture Sir Norman Foster who managed to rebuild it and even make it bigger. The construction became modern, functional and environmentally friendly.

All the works carried out in the building´s reconstruction include the latest technological equipment with energy saving and environmental protection.

What make the Bundestag so special?

The glass dome, which became very controversial in the past, is today one of its biggest attractions. An authentic symbol of Berlin, visited by thousands of tourists every year, embodies the originality and beauty of such construction supported by the wonderful view from the inside of such magnificent a construction.

It is the architectonic element which symbolises the green soul of the building. The glass dome is currently a piece of equipment with an elongated shape commonly known as “the trunk” which is covered by 360 mirrors which project natural light towards the plenary room. The funnel not only provides natural sunlight to the building but also a heat recovery system which takes advantage of the evacuated air from the plenary room in order to heat up the rest of the building.

On the south side of the building, the construction holds a 300 m2 photovoltaic system which provides clean electricity generated from the sun light. The whole climate control system works with heat pumps fed by the warmth of the subsoil.

However, the Bundestag still has more to offer: thermoelectric central blocks installed in the underground of the complex whose engine work with biodiesel, obtained from colza oil. Thanks to this technology, electrical power plants can cover over 50 per cent of the total electric energy and a hundred per cent of heating and cooling systems.

The remaining heat can be used for refrigeration purposes through a cooling absorption machine or stored as hot water in the summer in a tank situated 300 meters underground, which can be re-used in winter again.

What do you think about the Reichstag transformation works? Did you know about the features of this environmentally friendly building? Please, leave a comment and stay tuned!

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