Katharina Bunk

Foundation stone laid for the Joint Biodiversity Science Building of IGB and FU

From the idea to the plan, into the construction pit with its first stone: the foundation stone was laid for the Joint Biodiversity Science Building on the Berlin-Dahlem research campus. The cooperation between Freie Universität Berlin and the Leibniz research institution IGB shall link and strengthen research and teaching on the future topic biodiversity.

The new Joint Biodiversity Science Building will be one of the first research buildings in Germany to be awarded the Gold quality rating according to the “Assessment System for Sustainable Building of Federal Buildings”. The architectural competition for the building was won by Glass Kramer Löbbert bda – Gesellschaft von Architekten. | Image: id.

Construction pit of the Joint Biodiversity Science Building (c) Michael Monaghan/IGB The construction pit has been dug, the foundation stone laid. | Photo: Michael Monaghan/IGB

The idea for the joint building was born about 10 years ago. Then, as now, it was mainly the Joint Professorships of IGB and Freie Universität Berlin that had the on-site opportunity for a spontaneous exchange of expertise. In order to give this benefit for biodiversity research literally a space, the plan for the joint science building was put into practice.

Many discussions, application pages and building committees later, the dream of collaborative research and teaching is getting closer. The construction pit has been dug, the foundation stone laid. The new science building will bring more than 100 biodiversity researchers and students closer together and will promote scientific exchange between the FU scientists and the freshwater experts from IGB.

Sustainable gold standard research building

The five-cornered building is under construction on the Dahlem research campus of the Freie Universität Berlin at Königin-Luise-Straße 28-30. You cannot tell from the foundation stone, but when finished, the building will not only serve environmental research, but will also follow strict environmental standards. In order to achieve the highest quality rating of Gold according to the German Assessment System for Sustainable Building of Federal Buildings, the building must fulfil the principles of energy-optimised and sustainable construction. Among other things, the building will have sun protection with light control in front of the windows and a photovoltaic system on the roof, and will be constructed using durable but recyclable building materials. It will embody sustainability, not only scientifically, but also architecturally – and will thus be one of the first gold standard research buildings in Germany.

Besides the offices and laboratories, the two institutions also share the construction costs of around 20 million euros. IGB's share is being paid for by funding from the Leibniz Association as part of a major construction measure financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Berlin Senate Chancellery Higher Education and Research. Principal of the project is the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB), Berlin’s largest non-university research institution, in which IGB is one of eight institutes. After completion, the building will be operated by the Freie Universität Berlin.

Handover of the keys is planned for spring 2023. Meanwhile, biodiversity research will go on at the current sites of IGB and Freie Universität Berlin, and is looking forward to a joint and interdisciplinary future.

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