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The WÄLDERHAUS (The Forest House) is part of the IBA Hamburg – the International Building Exhibition – and is sited on the grounds of the International Garden Show. The various uses of the WÄLDERHAUS include an 82-room hotel, a restaurant, offices, and space for special exhibitions and conferences for the building’s principal operator, Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald, which is the regional Hamburg association of nature conservation.
An Unusual Timber Construction
Given the building’s various uses and requirements, there are multiple floor plans. The first two floors are built out of reinforced concrete while the upper three floors are built from solid wood using certified, European spruce. Untreated European larch was used in the façade, as well as in the roof and exteriors, providing resting, feeding, and nesting space to various small animals.
A Green House
Planted on the building’s roof are 9 000 bushes and 500 hornbeams.
The evaporation and transpiration of the green roof contributes to the improvement of the city’s microclimate. The evaporation of rainwater cools the air. The dense roof planting acts as additional insulation and protects the building from the summer’s heat and the winter’s cold. The plants bind dust and pollutants in the air and reduce CO2 contamination. The dense vegetation also provides sound insulation in the immediate vicinity of the building, and the cooling effect of the green roof enhances the perfor- mance of the roof-installed photovoltaic system.
Sustainable Energy Supply
The 20-centimeters-thick rock wool insulation used for the exterior walls, the thick insulation provided by the green roof surface, and the triple solar glazing on the windows all work toward reduced energy consumption and largely enable the WÄLDERHAUS to meet its energy needs with its own resources: a photovoltaic system on the roof and the exploitation of geothermal energy.
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01| Photograph by Kay Riechers
02| 04| Photographs by Marvin Säuberlich
03| Image by WES & Partner Landschaftsarchitekten
05| Photograph by Andreas Heller Architects & Designers

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