Next to Kassel's main train station, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is building a new research and development environment for around 320 employees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy Systems Technology IEE. The investment volume of around 60 million euros is being financed in equal parts by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the State of Hesse.
The groundbreaking ceremony in September 2017 marked the official start of the new construction and the premises were initially examined for soil contamination such as remnants of war. The company commissioned with this unexpectedly went bankrupt in the summer of 2018. Due to the need to re-award the contract, there was a shutdown until September 2018. These delays and the Covid pandemic have delayed the completion of the building and the start of operations until early 2022.
In order to provide Fraunhofer with sufficient space for further expansion of the institute, the city of Kassel has developed the former customs site north of the main train station as a construction area.
The new building, designed by architect Günter Schleiff of HHS Planer und Architekten in Kassel, is oriented towards the future in terms of design, building physics and energy, and is intended to promote more direct communication and coordination and collaboration between the scientists.
In addition to offices and seminar rooms, the 4-story building with a usable floor space of around 7,600 square meters will house a large technical center and several specialized laboratories.
With a 220 kW heat pump as a heat generator and a 600 m³ ice storage, a sustainable energy concept is pursued in the new institute building. A gas-fired 600 kW cascade with condensing boilers serves as peak load boiler and redundancy system. Cooling in summer is provided by a centrally controlled concrete core temperature control system fed by ice storage. Decentralized ventilation units supply fresh air.