Energy concept & air conditioning
Kunsthaus Bregenz is distinguished by an innovative heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system based upon four principles:
Active mass coupling and building component heating / component cooling
A system of plastic pipes totaling 23.4 km in length was cast into the non-loadbearing concrete walls and ceilings of the building, in which water circulates, cooling or heating the building's mass as required. As a result of the absorption and storage capacity of the exposed structural mass, the building can be thermally controlled and the desired indoor climate generated.
By coupling the temperature regulation to the building mass, the air does not have to fulfill any warming or cooling functions during normal operations, it only serves ventilation purposes together with ones of humidifying and dehumidifying.
The location of the Kunsthaus is put to active use in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system: the structurally necessary four slurry walls around the building's basement reach to a depth of 26 m and are surrounded by groundwater flowing from the nearby Pfänder mountain into Lake Constance. A 24 km network of pipes has been laid in the slurry walls, which are each about 1 m thick. A heat pump is used to extract energy for heating and cooling from the slurry walls. In winter gas heating is used, providing support during peak levels.
Decoupling sources of disruption
The exhibition spaces and the spaces above the daylight ceilings function as two zones. The stronger sources of light and heat in the upper zone are separated from the lower, climatically sensitive zone by the glass panels.
Other central components of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system include the external thermal insulation and flexible sun protection in the form of blinds between the outer glass façade and the insulating glazing, which prevent any undesired heating of the façade. The Kunsthaus heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, which is neither visually nor acoustically apparent, and which has been continually updated technically from 2005, is distinguished by both its energy efficiency and economy.