Energy-efficient, ecological, aesthetic: With the new Office for Environment and Energy (AUE), a showcase project for sustainable construction has been created in the centre of Basel. In addition to the innovative wood/concrete hybrid construction and the holistic energy concept, the WICONA closed cavity system made of recycled end-of-life aluminium integrated into the façade also contributes to the high environmental quality and compliance with the Minergie-A-ECO standard.

Source: WICONA


Energy efficiency, building ecology and architecture combined

Since the existing AUE building no longer met current needs, the decision was taken to build a new building in the historic city centre of Basel. It was important that the new building for the authority enforcing energy-efficient construction projects in the canton of Basel-Stadt also served as a role model in terms of energy efficiency, building ecology and architecture. The architectural firm jessenvollenweider architektur ag (Basel) planned an administrative building that meets all the requirements of future-orientated construction, while fitting into the listed context. The eight-storey building was developed as a filigree skeleton construction with a timber frame. In combination with its concrete ceilings, this achieves a high heat storage capacity, which supports night cooling in summertime. This principle of consistent room ventilation is just as much a part of the comprehensive energy concept as the high level of heat recovery, use of district heating, use of rainwater, high level of energy recovery via the façade and highly thermally insulated building envelope with the closed cavity system and associated optimal use of daylight. But that’s not all. In order to meet the requirements of building ecology, non-toxic and natural building materials were used. During the process, the component design was also optimised in terms of grey energy.

Innovative façade solution with closed cavity system

As the central design element of the new building, which was planned entirely in the BIM process, the innovative façade solution is a real eye-catcher among the surrounding historical buildings. In order to completely cover the demand for operating energy from renewable sources, the architects planned photovoltaic modules for the opaque façade area on all sides of the building. These are equipped with highly efficient monocrystalline PERC cells and produce around 45,000 kWh of electricity per year. The innovative WICTEC Modul air closed cavity system from WICONA is integrated into the façade as a kind of box window. The special double-shell construction minimises heat loss in winter and, in combination with the sun protection integrated into the cavity and automated night cooling, offers very good thermal protection in summer. This ensures maximum user comfort with comparatively low maintenance costs for the investor.

Recycled end-of-life aluminium for sustainable CO2 savings

The high sustainability requirements placed on the new building are also reflected in the material used for the closed cavity façade. The WICTEC Modul air profiles were made from Hydro CIRCAL end-of-life aluminium. This material was previously used in an aluminium product and therefore requires just 5% of the energy of primary aluminium during production.

Project information

Project: New construction of Office for Environment and Energy (AUE) (Basel)

Owner: Immobilien Basel-Stadt (Basel)

Client: Basel-Stadt Structural Engineering Office (Basel)

Architektur +
General planning: jessenvollenweider architektur ag (Basel)

Façade planners: gkp fassadentechnik ag (Aadorf)

Metal construction: Meyer Josef Stahl & Metall AG (Emmen)

Façade system: WICONA / Hydro Building Systems Switzerland AG 

Completion: 2021


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