As part of the "Transatlantic Climate Bridge", the Ecologic Institute organized a visitors programme on Green Buildings and Architecture, addressing 20 expert journalists from the USA and Canada. The informational tour took place from 11 April to 17 April 2010 in Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Berlin.
The main goal of the Program was to provide the participants with insights into the green building and architecture culture in Germany. This being the case, the Program's schedule drew attention to the German regulatory framework for the construction and retrofitting of buildings, the policies pursued by the German government to promote energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable buildings, the efforts of German architects and engineers, the LEED and DGNB green building programs, and practical examples of energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable private, commercial, and public buildings.
Over the course of the week, the journalists met with architecture firms active in green design, toured green office buildings and houses, spoke with policymakers in the fields of buildings and city development, visited a tradeshow featuring the latest in green technology for the built environment, and visited a German university to learn about its participation in an international residential green design competition.
Two specific events on the Program's schedule were a visit to Märkisches Viertel, a neighborhood in Berlin, and the Reichstag, Germany's parliamentary building. Part of Märkisches Viertel, which is located in the North of Berlin, recently underwent a complete ecological renovation. At the Reichstag, the participants were given a guided tour of Sir Norman Foster's famous dome on the roof of the building, which highlighted its environmentally friendly aspects, as well as those of the building as a whole.
Other events on the program included:
- A visit to the Light+Building trade show in Frankfurt, where participants toured the ZVEH’s E-House and were introduced to the “Design Plus powered by Light+Buidling” competition.
- A guided tour of the renovation construction site for Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, known formerly as "Debit & Credit" and now as the "Green Towers"
- A visit to the Technical University Darmstadt, where participants visited the "Plus Energy House," a product of the university's architecture department and the winner of the 2007 Solar Decathlon
- A presentation and guided tour at the Berlin headquarters of SOLON SE, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of solar modules and solar systems technology
- A meeting with the architecture firm GMP von Gerkan, Marg und Partner and tour of their Berlin offices
- Meeting with representatives of government organizations such as the German Council for Sustainable Development (DGNB) and the Federal Ministry of transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS)
- Guided tours of green residential sites such as the KlimaSolarHaus, one of Berlin's first passive apartment buildings, and Märkisches Viertel, a neighborhood of Berlin cureently being ecologically retrofit
As part of the "Transatlantic Climate Bridge", the programme was sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office, in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Journalists Visit Germany for a Closer Look at Green Buildings and Architecture
- Journalists' Junket to Germany (Sonja Persram, GreenInsight, 19 July 2010)
- Passive House Apartment Building is First of its Kind in Berlin [pdf, 1.8 MB, English] (Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor, 3 May 2010)
- Deutsche Bank Converts Horrid '80s Towers Into Horrid '80s Eco-Towers (Suzanne LaBarre, Metropolis Magazine New York / Fast Company, 29 April 2010)
- Postcard from Frankfurt (Kevin Matthews, 28 April 2010, Architecture Week)
- Ten Lessons from Germany: Don't be "Energetic Stupid" (Greg Zimmerman, 22 April 2010, Myfacilities.net)
- Deutsche Bank: The Payoff in Building Green (Nick Aster, 20 April 2010, Triplepundit.com)
- From the Editor (Greg Zimmerman, 20 April 2010, Green Building Alert for Facility Executives)
- Transatlantic Climate Bridge