More and more of the aluminum products developed by Hydro serve to help Germany in its efforts to strengthen "green" energy production and reduce energy consumption.
With aluminum construction systems, the company has particularly focused on contributing technology and concepts for zero-energy buildings, so-called passive houses. Hydro has participated in relevant projects both in and near Germany and has received new orders that show that the zero energy focus is right. Recent projects include:
- Ericus lace, which is awarded Hamburg's most important environmental award
- West Arcade of KfW-Bank in Frankfurt: It is said to be one of the first high-rise buildings worldwide to manage less than 100 kilowatt hours of primary energy per square meter
- Monte Rosa mountain hut in the Swiss Alps, the first completely self-sufficient building
- DG-Verlag, the first German building to be awarded gold by the DGNB - German Sustainable Building Council.
In addition, Hydro was one of several partners who won an innovation award from Intersolar 2010 in Munich for an aluminum-based facade concept with integrated solar thermal collectors.
The facade test center in Bellenberg near Ulm, which opened in mid-2009, does part of the development work for zero-energy building systems, which mixes well-known energy-saving applications with innovative solutions. Earlier this year, Hydro started measuring the building's energy production and consumption with data updated around the clock.
At the moment, the self-sufficiency level of the test center is 4.48 - which documents that it produces more energy than it uses. A self-sufficiency value of 3.0 is sufficient to designate a building as a zero-energy house or a passive house.
“We do know that the value will change when the cold winter months come, but at the moment we have a plus energy building. Today we have the technology for it, ”says Arnd Brinkmann, managing director of the subsidiary Hydro Building Systems GmbH.
Leader in solar profiles
At ALUMINUM 2008 Hydro announced its investment in a new anodizing plant in Rackwitz near Leipzig. The plant, part of the existing extrusion plant on site, went into operation on January 4, 2010. It is now working at full capacity seven days a week.
The Rackwitz plant and its sister plant in Achim-Uphusen annually anodize more than 6 million square meters of extruded aluminum profiles, which makes these semi-finished products much longer-lasting and more resistant to weather influences ..
"Our volume growth is solar-driven. We supply practically all major manufacturers of solar modules in Germany with anodized profiles for frames. This success here in the 'Solar Valley' helps us to win orders from the solar industry in other parts of Europe too, ”says Clemens Metzler, Managing Director of Hydro Aluminum Extrusion Deutschland GmbH with the Uphusen and Rackwitz plants.