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Energie AG

Making the world's first passive energy office building possible.

The challenge

Leading international multi-utility group Energie AG is the principal electricity, heating and water supplier for the Upper Austrian district with fast growing operations in many Central and Eastern European countries. Its progressive 19-storey corporate headquarters in Linz, known as the Power Tower, was designed and constructed with future generations in mind. To underline Energie AG’s core competencies of energy efficiency and sustainability, the Power Tower is the first office building in the world to feature a passive energy concept. As such, it does not require any connection to the district heating system and is able to satisfy its climate control needs without fossil fuels.

Energy is obtained from a combination of 700 square metres of solar panels, 46 boreholes and 90 foundation holes, then converted via heat pumps into hot or cold water, depending on the desired indoor climate. Nearly all of the required energy is drawn from renewable resources, reducing CO2 emissions by 300 tons a year and halving energy consumption when compared with a similar sized building using conventional technologies.

The solution

Because of its reliance on renewable energy, the Power Tower needed a precise hydronic system to achieve the ideal indoor climate. IMI Hydronic Engineering was asked to deliver a balancing solution that would fulfil the unusual and demanding requirements.

The IMI Hydronic Engineering sales team and experts from the Engineering Support Centre in Budapest worked closely with the building’s owners, consultants and installers to design and implement the perfect hydronic system. Using a variable flow four pipe system and two differential pressure controllers (pictured below) in every room, the system was so effective it actually reduced the number of circulation pumps required, further improving energy efficiency. Together with Energie AG, IMI Hydronic Engineering is setting new standards in energy efficient and sustainable building practices.