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New Blue House Makes Green Statement With Solar Panel Facade

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Constructed for a German university and utility, it's a stylish take on passive house design

With a green spin on form follows function, the recently completed Blauhaus (Blue House) in Mönchengladbach, Germany, embeds energy-generating solar panels within the facade. The sleek, reflective exterior of this mixed-use educational facility, a tesselating set of blue glass and solar panels, adds a functional flourish to the building’s progressive profile. Designed by Kadawittfeldarchitektur, the structure is a joint project between Niederrheim University and the local utility company NEW, and gives both institutions a cutting-edge space for collaboration and learning. A zero emissions space with 37,673 square feet of usable floor space, the building was constructed to rigorous passive house standards and maximizes energy resources (the panels on the facade can be rotated to maximize energy production, while venting air to cool the interior). It’s clearly a building with a message, with a energy innovation showroom on the ground floor, if the row of panels across the exterior doesn’t make enough of a statement.