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Flexible and energy-saving lighting solution

Revitalization of the BGV headquarters to a green building

Free-Standing Luminaire ATARO
Free-Standing Luminaire ATARO
Free-Standing Luminaire ATARO

Villingen-Schwenningen, October 2012: Sophisticated architecture, bright colors and open spaces with natural light shape this new, comfortable work environment. It represents a very special kind of transformation accomplished by the insurance group BGV / Badische Versicherungen: through the implementation of a forward-looking energy concept, a 1970's building in need of refurbishment was turned into a markedly sustainable, modern office building. The highly efficient lighting solution from Waldmann also contributed to the success of the project.

A visible model

In its corporate charter, BGV is expressly committed to sustainability and environmental protection. This of course had to be reflected in the transformation of the main building of its Karlsruhe headquarters into one of the greenest office buildings in Germany. That’s why a holistic approach was chosen, taking energy efficiency, occupant comfort and life cycle costs into account. Notable is the fact that, with the realization of this innovative energy concept for heating and cooling, BGV has in the meantime gained a reputation as a pioneer in this area.

Open office environments

For the 250 employees who are housed in the main building, a very modern and attractive working environment has been created. Beside that, a more flexible and efficient use of space is now possible thanks to the available facilities and improved infrastructure. The small, one and two person offices have become spacious rooms. Many break and meeting rooms have been integrated into this open-space solution, too. These provide space for informal or confidential discussions among employees as well as additional structure. At the same time, the spacious offices radiate transparency and openness. All offices face the large courtyard in the center of the building, whose appearance is now strongly characterized by materials such as glass, wood and steel.

Optimal lighting solution

The main requirements on the workplace lamps were energy efficiency and design. A choice was made in favor of the free-standing luminaire ATARO with light management system PULSE from Waldmann. This lighting solution takes into account the high daytime light yield produced by the building’s new glass envelope. ATARO lights up not only in dependence on the intensity of the incoming daylight, but also on the presence of people – in other words, only when it is actually needed. Beside the significant energy savings, this offers the user special ergonomic advantages: he always has an appropriate level of light for work without having to adjust the light himself. To match the bright rooms and the white office furniture, Waldmann delivered a project-specific solution in signal white. The luminaire thus fits perfectly into the office concept. And to allow optimal placement on the desks, the stands and switches of the units were also modified.

Big changes

In the main building, which was first occupied in 1979, almost nothing remained the same after the two-year construction period – except the supporting structure. Already the first phase of the project, demolition and material removal, was carried out with sustainability in mind. This approach was even carried forward to the selection of materials, which was based on ecological requirements and the needs of a modern workplace.

Today, the implemented intelligent systems achieve energy savings of over 60% compared to the values of the old buildings. Optimal use of daylight, high-efficiency illuminants and intelligent luminaires reduce power consumption noticeably. Yet at the same time employee comfort and well-being have increased significantly. And the savings do not relate solely to energy consumption. Over one hundred tons of CO2 are also saved every year. Calculated over a period of 30 years, this all results in savings of over 13 million euros in operating and follow-up costs.

© Daniel Vieser, Karlsruhe