Kurztitel: Klimaneutraler Campus Leuphana
Ausführende Stelle: Leuphana Universität Lüneburg - Fakultät III Umwelt und Technik - Institut für Ökologie und Umweltchemie
Laufzeit: 10/2010 bis 12/2017
Bewilligte Summe: 3.446.750 €
Förderkennzeichen: 03ET1009A
Topics: District concepts, Energy planning for cities, Decentralised energy generation, Energy storage, Renewable energy, Construction of new housing estates, Refurbishment of housing estates
Innovation: Energy concept for the campus and adjacent urban district, seasonal heat storage in the aquifer; use of vacuum panels, PCM materials, switchable glazing, presence- and daylight-controlled LED lighting


  • Sustainable energy concept developed for the university and neighbouring urban district
  • Complete electricity and heat supply with renewable energies
  • Heat is stored seasonally in a groundwater reservoir, aquifer
  • March 2017: new central building for the university inaugurated on the campus
  • The new building forms an important part of the future climate-neutral and networked campus

The “Climate-neutral campus Leuphana University Lüneburg” project is developing a sustainable energy concept for the university itself and the adjacent urban district of Bockelsberg. The aim is to supply all the electricity and heat using renewable energies, whereby the interlinking of different technologies to form a functioning overall system is being tested. On 25 November 2016, the project was awarded third place in the German Sustainability Awards competition.

Project context

As part of the refurbishment of the barrack buildings, which date back to the 1930s and are used by the university, the heating system will be converted to renewable energy sources and optimised in exergetic terms, whereby the planned energy-efficient new building for the university central building will be incorporated in the energy system. The corresponding concept plans to use cascaded heat and to incorporate a seasonal heat storage tank.

The plan is to further develop Lüneburg’s university campus in the Scharnhorststrasse and Bockelsberg area in terms of both the urban development and energy use. Measures to the existing buildings, the integration of a new building as a central facility for the university and the conversion of the energy supply are being jointly examined. It is planned to convert the energy supply to renewable energy sources and, in so doing, incorporate the low-exergy heating system in the new building as well as seasonal heat storage. The plan is to further develop Lüneburg’s university campus in the Scharnhorststrasse and Bockelsberg area in terms of both the urban development and energy use.

Initial situation

Since the 1990s, the site has been supplied with a local heating system comprising CHP waste heat. This solution was chosen during the redevelopment of the site, which was previously used as army barracks. As part of the refurbishment of the barrack buildings, which date back to the 1930s and are used by the university, the heating system will be converted to renewable energy sources and optimised in exergetic terms, whereby the planned energy-efficient new building for the university central building will be incorporated in the energy system. The corresponding concept plans to use cascaded heat and to incorporate a seasonal heat storage tank.

Das Quartier Scharnhorststraße/Bockelsberg mit Quartierstypenzuordnung nach Blesl

The Scharnhorststrasse/Bockelsberg district with the district type classification in accordance with Blesl

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, IER-Universität Stuttgart; Luftbild: Google
Das Gebäude 10 Ost von außen

Building 10 East: The existing buildings on the campus shall be refurbished and its building services optimised. The roof space has already been converted.

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Flachbau des Hörsaals 3 von außen

Low-rise building used for Lecture Theatre 3: The existing building stock also includes buildings constructed during the 1990s that have a large amount of transparent surfaces. Here the possibilities for refurbishment/optimisation will be examined on an individual basis.

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

The status quo of the district’s development

The entire district is currently supplied with energy via a local heating system, which is supplied with an additional boiler system from a central CHP plant (natural gas-CHP, approx 2 MW of electricity, 3.5 MW of heat). The local heating system for the Bockelsberg area is owned by the Eon-Avacon electricity supplier; a connection is mandatory. The local heating system for the university campus belongs to the Leuphana University of Lüneburg Foundation. The site is supplied with heat by Eon-Avacon, which is the legal successor to HASTRA and is the operator and owner of the heating centre and the Bockelsberg local heating system.

Most of the buildings on the university campus were built for the former barracks and have not undergone any energy-related refurbishment. The barracks on the southern part of the site were replaced with new buildings (apartment buildings) and commercial areas (in accordance with the 3rd German Thermal Insulation Ordinance (WSchV)). During the course of the campus development, the only structural and energy improvement measures to have been conducted since the redevelopment of the site are the conversions of the top floors of the buildings used by the university in accordance with the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) 2007/2009. Two top floor conversions are still in the planning.

Project objectives

Leuphana University is very much committed to the guiding principle for sustainability: in 2002, it decided to achieve climate neutrality, firstly by buying certificates but in the long-term through its own efforts. The plans for constructing the new central building provided an opportunity to fundamentally reconsider the energy supplies for the campus. In addition to the energy-efficient design of the new-build scheme for the central building and its incorporation into the existing energy system on the campus, it was also decided to optimise this system exergetically and to convert it to using renewable energy sources. In addition, it is also planned to successively refurbish the existing buildings.

The concept intends to use the existing local heating network. However, the energy supplies will be put out to tender again at the beginning of 2014 when the current supply contract runs out and the new central building is completed. Because the Bockelsberg area is physically connected to the existing CHP and heating network, it is intended to integrate this area into the planning. The plan foresees the utilisation of exergetically optimised, cascaded heat by means of the various supply temperatures required in the network. Seasonal heat storage shall also make a contribution, for example in the aquifer. The exergy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction criteria will be assessed in the tendering process using a point system. It is intended to optimise the energy system in conjunction with an external service provider.

The planning for the central building is mostly completed and it has already received planning permission. The laying of the foundation stone will take place in May 2011 and the building will be built by the university on its own initiative.


Energy concept

The planned expansion of the campus buildings will increase the available usable space by around 25%. It is intended that the overall energy consumption of the Campus property will not increase but will instead be lowered through refurbishing the existing buildings. It is planned to reduce CO2 emissions and the primary energy requirements to zero net or less than zero by means of energy saving measures and by optimising the energy system. For example, refurbishment measures in the existing buildings include replacing windows, installing internal and external thermal insulation, installing insulation on the basement ceiling and upper storeys and in the roof space, as well as optimising the ventilation system (for example in the laboratory building) and the very inefficient cooling system, which is also in the laboratory building. Since it is intended to retain the existing facade with its characteristic brick elevation, this will require the deployment of innovative insulating materials.

By integrating a seasonal thermal storage system, it is intended to maximise the degree of utilisation of the renewable CHP heat or comparably generated heat (e.g. solar thermal). The exergetically sensible, cascaded utilisation of energy is designed to make optimum use of the existing temperature levels.

The planning and construction of the new central building enables a diverse range of innovative measures to be implemented for reducing the energy requirements. These include its flexible and exergetically optimised incorporation into the campus energy system. The following measures are planned:

The use of medium- and low-temperature heating systems with 55°C and 30°C supply temperatures, whereby the thermal load of the individual temperature levels shall be controlled in accordance with the network status.

  • Vacuum insulation (glazing and panels)
  • Use of phase change materials (PCM)
  • Optimised ventilation through using frequency-commutated motors, large cross-sections and the use of raised floors for distributing the air at the storey and room levels.

The use of LED lighting is also planned. Users shall be involved by means of an ambient intelligence system. Such systems are generally aimed at improving the day-to-day lives of users and residents by using networked communications technology such as sensors, wireless modules and computer processors. A typical application field is in “intelligent homes”.

Grafische Darstellung einer exergetisch sinnvoll kaskadierten Nutzung

Eine kaskadierte energetische Nutzung der benötigten Temperaturniveaus wird als Schlüssel zu einer exergetisch effizienten Wärmeversorgung des Gesamtareals angesehen.

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Diagramm der Bedeutung der Rückflusstemperatur für die Speichereffizienz.

Die Rückflusstemperatur in den thermischen Speicher bestimmt die Speichereffizienz. Die Flächenheizungssysteme des Zentralgebäudes sollen den Rückfluss auf ca. 25°C auskühlen.

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg


The monitoring is based on a data management concept developed by the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University. It is capable of combining modelling and monitoring with user involvement and user communication. The measurement data will be partly recorded using the building control technology, whereby the heat volume, electricity consumption, etc, will be determined in accordance with EnOB standards.

In addition, a measurement system from Karlsruhe University will be installed to record comfort data and to evaluate the performance of the vacuum insulation panels. Together with the information obtained from the ambient intelligence system (AmI), this data will be administered in a joint database, where it will be made available for evaluation purposes.

Im Sommer 2010 wurde bereits das der Universität gehörende Nahwärmenetz mit Mitteln des Konjunkturpakets II saniert.

In summer 2010, the local heating network belonging to the university was already refurbished using funds from the German government’s Economic Stimulus Package II.

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Baustelle des Zentralgebäude-Neubaus am 4. September 2013

Baustelle des Zentralgebäude-Neubaus am 4. September 2013

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Das neue Zentralgebäude der Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg.

Das neue Zentralgebäude der Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg ist architektonisches Highlight und energieeffizientes Forschungsobjekt zugleich. Die futuristisch anmutende Fassade zeichnet sich durch scharfe Kanten und spitzwinklige Fensterflächen aus.

© Leuphana

Balancing and optimisation

The aim of the energy concept is to achieve a zero primary energy or energy-plus campus. This will require a precise evaluation of the energy sources deployed, which may have to go beyond standard assumptions. When using biomethane, for example, the electricity generated in the CHP plant – even with 100% CHP utilisation – cannot be offset against other emissions such as those resulting from generating peak load heat, generating electricity from non-renewable energy sources or from mobility uses. This is because for the cogeneration production from biomass, a primary energy factor of zero is assumed in order to avoid negative primary energy factors. However, this does not adequately reflect the reality, which means that individual studies are required.

In addition to the primary energy factors, the CO2-equivalent emissions for achieving the climate neutral goals will also be analysed. This enables an assessment that is much closer to reality. An exergetic evaluation and an exergetically optimised design are ultimately essential for the overall project.


As a public construction project, the overall project is being predominantly paid for with federal state funding and EU funds as part of the major “Innovations-Incubator-Lüneburg” project. The town of Lüneburg, which will also be using the new central building as an event centre, is also contributing to the costs. Smaller financial contributions have been paid by the Protestant and Catholic Churches for constructing a “Room of Tranquillity”. In addition, innovative aspects relating to the integral planning and energy efficiency are also being subsidised as part of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s EnEff:Stadt and EnOB research initiatives. The refurbishment of the local heating system and part of the roof conversions were financed in 2010 through the German government’s Economic Stimulus Package II. As part of a project within the climate protection initiative, the existing buildings were surveyed and four refurbishment variations were roughly calculated. The refurbishment of the existing buildings will be put out to tender and implemented using energy savings contracting.

Project data

Energy data for the district

after before unit  
Total area with energy requirement (heated main usable area/NFA university) 52.724 37.757  
Final energy requirement (heat) 37,00 146,00 kWh/m²a  
Final energy requirement (electricity) 33,00 74,00 kWh/m²a  
Primary energy requirement (heat) 102,00   kWh/m²a  
Primary energy requirement (electricity) 222,00   kWh/m²a  
Further data        
CO2 emissions   1.700,00 t  
CO2 heating (2008)   413,00 g/kWh  
CO2 electricity (2008)   116,00 g/kWh  

Implementation costs for the district

Investments (cost group 300) 31 Mio. €
Investments (cost group 400) 11 Mio. €
Planning costs (total) 22 %

Last Update: 4. April 2017

Related Projects

This website uses cookies to improve our service. For usage analysis we use Matomo. By further using this site you agree to this use. If you don't want to give your consent or you want to learn more about cookies see our privacy policy .