Curved ACB® beams span the roof of Bremerhaven's Klimahaus 8º Ost

The 1200 tonne steel construction that supports the building's facade includes long, curved ACB® cellular beams by ArcelorMittal and its design seizes elements from ship building. Climate protection was systematically implemented into the structure through the latest energy consumption technology.

Detailed information

Architecture & construction

The Klimahaus® Bremerhaven 8º Ost, developed as a part of the master plan to revive Bremerhaven harbour, was opened in June 2009 and is one of  the new urban building landmarks of the harbour mile along with the Mediterraneo Shopping Centre and the Atlantic Hotel Sail City Tower. This edu-tainment centre distinguishes itself with its unusual shape. No geometry underlies the curved structural shell.

The building, 125 m long and 82 m wide, is composed of two separate bodies. The outer cladding made from glass is supported and surrounded by a construction made of steel beams (including ACB® cellular beams by ArcelorMittal), independent from the internal concrete construction. The heavy steel construction weighing 1200 tonnes utilises elements from ship building. ArcelorMittal supplied the ACB® cellular beams that span the building's roof - they were fabricated at the company's finishing centre Eurostructures in Luxembourg.

The building envelope consists of silk-screened glass. None of the 4000 or so glass panels are the same - every one of them was individually calculated and produced.

The free shapes are also dominant inside the building: Terms like storey, roof, and wall lose their meaning to a large extent and are replaced with continued space consisting of offset levels, galleries, staircases, and ramps. The spaces correspond to this individuality which amongst other things was also required by the Klimahaus concept. Multi-storey exhibition rooms exist next to small themed chambers and recess areas; consequently, prefabricated components were hardly able to be resorted to. All elements had to be individually made.

Amongst other things, separation of the core building from the cover has advantages for the air-conditioning of the complex. The circulation of indoor air and solar radiation is used for ventilation.

Content-related concept: A climate journey around the world

In Klimahaus® Bremerhaven 8º Ost, a world of knowledge and experience that is unique worldwide has commenced its operation which presents scientifically funded and fascinatingly collated facts about climate, climate change, and climate protection. With an exhibition space of about 11 500 m2, the Klimahaus® is amongst the largest knowledge based recreation offers in Europe at present.

The edu-tainment centre consists of four exhibition areas and includes a 'journey' from Bremerhaven along the eighth degree of longitude to nine stations around the world through different climate zones around the world  that are visualised for all senses. Furthermore, visitors can carry out fire, earth, water, and air climate experiments themselves, discuss the climate of our past, present, and the effects on the future and learn how everyone can reduce CO2 emissions in one’s personal daily routine.

Sustainable climate concept: Comfort and a spectacular climate experience

Klimahaus® 8º Ost is not only an extraordinary exhibition building because of its architecture, but also particularly due to its special indoor climate conditions. Even in the planning stages, development of the climate and energy concept presented a challenge: on the one hand, a pleasant indoor climate with a good quality of fresh air had to be created for around 5000 daily visitors during their stay of several hours; on the other hand, the most varying of climate zones over the course of the 'journey' must be realistically portrayed in order to guarantee an authentic experience for visitors.

A vital requirement of the operator was to impose the highest standards concerning sustainability and CO2 emissions so that the building, in accordance with climate protection, has as little impact as possible on the environment.

In accordance with these requirements, the company Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH developed an integral energy concept for air conditioning of the building: A systematic reduction of internal charges and cooling requirement by around 50% made the development of a building and exhibition concept possible which comes from 3 of the 4 exhibition areas and the foyer without mechanical refrigeration and takes maximum advantage of the natural cooling potential of the Bremerhaven location by means of open ventilation, cooling towers, and the use of near-surface geothermics.

Through extensive analysis of the occupancy and exhibition events, the type, structure, and amount of energy requirement were evaluated. Due to its use all year round, the Klimahaus® has proven to be a cold-trap. Cooling energy clearly prevails over the requirement for thermal heat.

An overall concept of building and air-conditioning technology was developed which required an integral and trade-spanning planning process and co-ordination from all involved (from architects to building contractors, the eventual operators, domestic engineering, from facade planners to exposition, exhibition, and media planners).

In this way, for example, it was possible for the area specific services for media and artificial light to be reduced from 65 W/m2 to approx. 40 W/m2 : this represented a considerable step in enabling concrete core cooling as an essential concept element.

The basic principle of the concept is to directly implement the natural resources and environmental energies available at the location as much as possible.

Further measures of the concept include nocturnal recooling for concrete core cooling, chilled ceilings in areas where exposed concrete ceilings are usable, fresh air supply through mechanical ventilation systems, environmentally friendly active cooling and heating systems, and the use of power from renewable energy resources (e.g. monocrystalline photovoltaic cells in the glass roof of the plaza supply an output of 37 kW, the amount to serve one of the exhibition areas, whereas they simultaneously reduce solar radiation into the plaza by approx. 20%).

The CO2 balance of the Klimahaus is practically at zero or 400 g per visitor which approximately equates to 1% of daily CO2 emissions of an average citizen or a journey of 3 km in a car.

Project information

  • Bremerhaven
  • Germany
  • Architects:
    Klumpp Architekten, Bremen design
    Agn Niederberghaus & Partner GmbH, Ibbenbüren realization
    Assistance in realisation & idea creation: Petri & Tiemann GmbH, Freizeit und Edutainment, Bremen
  • 2003-2009
  • Client:
    Bremerhavener Entwicklungsgesellschaft Alter/Neuer Hafen BEAN mbH & Co. KG, Bremerhaven
    Klimahaus® Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (user)
  • Engineering firms:
    ARGE Prof. Bellmer Ingenieurgruppe GmbH, Bremen (structural engineering)
    Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Munich (climate Engineering)
  • Photographer:
    Jan Rathke ©Klimahaus® Bremerhaven 8º Ost and
    © BEAN GmbH & CO KG