Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

uni'alumni 2016

THE NEW UNIVERSITY LIBRARY IN NUMBERS 30,600 square meters of usable area 1700 workspaces in the reading rooms and the Parlatorium 4,500,000 volumes 160 employees 53,000,000 euros in modernization costs » The concept for the new library has proved successful, says Director Antje Kellersohn. Photo: Baschi Bender building too much, as there is no direct sunlight on the north side. In the course of the tour, it becomes apparent that the air is fresh and the temperature pleasantly warm all over the building. This is the work of the climate control system: More than 7000 sensors throughout the building collect data on air temperature, various air quality variables like humidity and carbon dioxide content, and even operational safety. The central energy-optimized system regulates the building’s climate by changing the temperature or allowing fresh air to enter depending on the data received from the sensors. The climate in the UB remained pleasant all summer – thanks to the solar-control windows, which allow only 16 percent of the energy to pass through them, thus reducing the heat intake, as well as a cooling system utilizing well water that flows at just the right temperature through the ceilings of all of the upper floors in a total of 100 kilometers of pipes. Additional cooling on hot days can be provided by floating metal ceiling panels above the workspaces in areas near the facade. These surfaces can also provide any necessary heating in the winter, but the building is well insulated and usually warms up enough anyway – due to the many people and the operation of lighting and technical devices. “We predict that the new UB will consume up to 65 percent less energy than the previous building,” says Bühler, and part of the electricity is provided by Freiburg’s largest urban photovoltaic system, which is installed on the roof. Glass Boundary As one moves toward the middle of the building on the first through fifth floors, one suddenly finds oneself standing before a glass wall with a line of writing in a made-up script running at chest height. Behind the wall are the reading rooms. There is no way around it, because otherwise noise from the Parlatorium would penetrate through to the other side. “Our main principle is to separate rooms for communication from rooms for concentration,” explains Kellersohn. So we return to the ground floor, walk through the foyer at the south side of the building and go back up again. Here it is silent. Nobody is talking, and dark carpeting muffles our steps. There are a lot less glass surfaces on the steeply sloping west facade, which looks out toward the Vosges Mountains. The lighting turns on automatically when the natural light coming through the windows is too weak. Students sit across from one another at rows of tables equipped with swan-neck lamps and a divider in the middle. They pore over books, journals, or newspapers and take down notes with pencil and paper or on their laptops. The rooms are arranged according to fields of study, and the books cannot be checked out. As in the previous building, lecturers make available important literature for their courses on the course reserve shelves. Particularly valuable In the Parlatorium, patrons enjoy a great view of the Platz der Alten Synagoge. Enjoy the silence: The reading rooms are places for concentration. 7 7 Cover Story uni'alumni 2016