A key symbol of Germany’s efforts towards building smart-cities of the future is the EUREF Campus in Berlin’s Schoeneberg district. The EUREF (EURopean Energy Forum) Campus was originally conceived over a decade ago with the simplest of motivations – to create a climate-friendly and reliable energy supply. It has become much, much more, and now is one of the most forward-thinking research centers for energy, sustainable urban development and urban mobility.
Construction of the EUREF Campus itself was planned to be as carbon-neutral as possible. The energy supply comes from locally produced biogas, wind turbines, solar installations and geothermal sources. This is all connected through the use of a mirco smart grid and smart metering. EUREF has been appointed by the Federal Government as the research center for the “Mobility2Grid” project, with a focus on electro-mobility and transport infrastructures, and houses Germany’s largest electric filling station. In addition, the Campus houses the Technical University (Technische Universität) of Berlin’s Masters Studies in several energy and mobility related subjects. It is also the hub for the “Green Garage” Climate-related startup incubator.
Several large, internationally recognised companies have chosen to locate at the EUREF Campus, including Alphabet, Schneider Electric, General Electric, Cisco and Deutsche Bahn. Many are using the campus as an innovation center to test solutions for a more energy efficient, carbon-neutral world. The EUREF Campus has already achieved Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 emissions goals more than 30 years ahead of time. And the newly constructed buildings have all been either LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold or Platinum pre-certified by the US Green Building Council, which covers everything from the use of energy, water, construction materials, air quality, and more.
The Campus is built on 5.5 hectares centered around one of Berlin’s historically important town gas (coal distillation) storage sites, called the Schoeneberg Gasometer. Built in the early 1900s, it supplied both households and gas lanterns in the district for nearly 100 years and was instrumental as an energy source during the Cold War when West Berlin was cut off from a significant portion of its energy supplies. It is now a national monument.
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