Berlin, Germany

Europacity is a new 100 acre urban quarter for Berlin that will integrate residential, business, leisure and cultural facilities. Occupying a brownfield site near Berlin Central Station, the development aims to realise a district that is exemplary in its energy use.


Working alongside government experts, researchers and industry specialists, Buro Happold was invited to provide a future-orientated sustainable energy strategy for the project.

Occupying a brownfield site near Berlin Central Station, the development aims to realise a district that is exemplary in its energy use. Image: Buro Happold


As the site was not yet connected to the city’s main power supply, it offered us a clean slate to develop an innovative approach. By undertaking extensive analysis of the projected requirements of the new district and comparing them against local sources of renewable and non-renewable energy, we ascertained that most of the need could be met using renewable sources.

We then looked further afield to supplement this local supply using energy generated in large wind parks in the surrounding state of Brandenburg. This strategy offers a number of different options that can be adapted according to each building’s individual needs.

To create further efficiency in our design, we proposed that the new buildings are all linked to one another using an intelligent grid, so that the heat of one contributes to the energy supply of the other in an automated process. In addition, we introduced a bespoke ‘Europacity standard’, which places high demands on the facade and the system technology used. This standard ensures that the legal requirements for heating energy demand are not only met, but also clearly undercut.


Through our work on this ground breaking development, we are providing a blueprint for efficient and sustainable energy use for urban districts in Berlin, and beyond.

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