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New Esslingen university campus will source heat from the central IT servers

New Esslingen university campus will source heat from the central IT servers

The project envisions a multi-layered energy efficiency strategy, by harvesting a third of its heat from this unusual source

Yesterday, state officials from Baden-Württemberg laid the foundation stone of a new energy-efficient future-proof campus building in Esslingen, Germany. Construction on the new building is set to finish in 2025 and should become a beacon of sustainability for educational buildings. The new development will replace the campus of the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences.

The finished campus will be called Neue Weststadt and will harness the waste heat from the server room to power its own heating system. Coupled with the silver energy efficiency status on the building, a local supply of green hydrogen and a photovoltaic roof, the above should make it be one of the greenest university campuses in the country.

Energy-efficient concept

The project calls for a total of four new buildings with high-quality insulation, which should bring the campuses energy efficiency certificate to at least ‘Silver’ grade. Furthermore, using an innovative concept, the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences will source a third of its heat from IT servers.

The remaining two-thirds will come from the local heating company, Green Hydrogen Esslingen GmbH, producing green hydrogen. The waste product of hydrogen production is water. The ‘green’ adjective refers to the fact that that hydrogen is produced with green energy.

Specifically, the company uses waste heat from converting renewable energy into hydrogen, to apply heat to the whole district where the new campus will be built.

Furthermore, the roofs of the new campus, with 7,000 square meters of surface, will be fitted with solar panels. The photovoltaic system should be capable of generating 500 kilowatts at peak production, to feed the university’s energy demands.

With the project set to complete in 2025, the state-of-the-art university campus will be almost 100% climate-neutral, thanks to additional green spaces and a ban on cars on campus grounds. Baden-Württemberg has invested around 146 million euros into the project.

Ministerial Director in the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Dr Hans J. Reiter was quoted in a press release saying: “With the new building, the reform initiated by the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences to restructure the faculties and central scientific institutions is also taking shape externally. In the future, it will be the visible and distinctive entrance gate to the university town of Esslingen."

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