Always one step ahead
The work of the innovation LABs will initially focus on the four key themes of energy, food, innovative urban development, as well as art & culture. These themes reflect the unique potential of the site, since an urban centre is being created at BE-U that will set new standards in terms of energy supply, dining culture, and recreational quality.
With the innovation LABS, exchange and development platforms are being created that will enable the exchange of knowledge and thus the further advancement of the location while allowing the community to participate in the district’s developments.
The special feature of the innovation LABs is the combination of the theoretical know-how and its actual implementation. The LABs’ members stem from different departments or specialist areas contributing a variety of skills and experiences. The overriding question is: What can workspaces and urban quarters with the main focus on people actually look like in real life?
new energy LAB
The district-wide integrated energy concept makes Behrens-Ufer a globally unique example of climate-neutral urban development – CO2-negative and energy-autonomous. The holistically planned concept consists of a multitude of intelligently combined and systemically complementary technical and structural solutions that offer more than mere energy self-sufficiency. A resource-saving construction method mainly relying on wood, an innovative building technology to reduce the basic energy requirements, the on-site use of renewable energy sources as well as the installation of smart energy cycles with a maximum reduction of transformation costs facilitate a base-load capable, sustainable energy production – reliably and independently of external energy sources. Despite the district’s size of 10 hectares and the intensive use of electricity by high-tech laboratories and light-industrial manufacturing companies, we still leave a negative carbon footprint.
The BE-U will demonstrate how future-proof sustainability works and what can be achieved through intelligent and all-encompassing planning. However, we do not simply want to meet our goals, we also wish to pass on the knowledge we have acquired along the way and thus set new standards. In addition, the new energy LAB will take an in-depth look at the possibilities of deep geothermal energy as a new energy resource. This new technology provides access to an almost inexhaustible energy source that could supply entire city districts.
The BE-U is designed to provide a unique balance between work and leisure. The BE-U is meant to inspire. We create spaces for recreation and relaxation, pamper with culinary delights and offer opportunities for exchange and further education. We are aware that the well-being of everyone involved has a positive effect on employees and the company. A positive environment equally increases one’s health.
The experts at development LAB are dedicated to creating a diverse and inspiring experience for people in the district, from retail and dining to health services and recreation.
The shared values of sustainability, innovation, and social responsibility give rise to a strong community at BE-U. The development LAB lays the foundation for this and acts permanently as an innovation platform for social and digital change, ensuring that the BE-U will still be an inspiring place 50 years from now.
It is our goal to establish the BE-U as a development centre for innovative companies from the food sector, which, in close cooperation with the relevant local research and development institutions, will set up urban food production while connecting it with the district’s consumers – restaurants, cafés and retailers – in a holistic circular economy.
The food LAB will not only explore the growing of food in urban buildings through technologies such as vertical farming, but also promote logistical optimisations to reduce CO2 emissions. We fully recognise the challenges of sustainable food supply. We are also aware of the demands posed by the transport of food in terms of avoiding packaging waste. Through the BE-U food LAB, stakeholders come together who share our vision of the future urban food supply joining us in our efforts to move in the right direction.
arts & culture LAB
A special feature of BE-U Behrens-Ufer is the concept of creating an area that is attractive to people at any time of the day or year. Not only places of work will be provided here, but also spaces for art, culture, and leisure. The BE-U arts & culture LAB have the task of turning the place into reality while enlivening the district bit by bit even during the construction phase.
Through the arts & culture LAB, we are establishing a network with cultural institutions, art initiatives, and a wide variety of cultural professionals such as authors, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, and actors. In doing so, we are also involving cultural entrepreneurs, event organisers, gallerists, teachers, and culturally enthusiastic citizens. The arts & culture LAB provides a platform for this collaboration. By addressing the major development of the creative trend in the district, the arts & culture LAB will help expand the city’s cultural spectrum and will turn the BE-U into a new hotspot for Berlin’s arts and culture scene. Art and culture are a driving force within society. At the BE-U, the appropriate spaces are being created for this.