RIZ Energie, short for Regionales Innovationszentrum für Energietechnik, is Hochschule Offenburg’s newest research building addition, with a large laboratory and agrid supportive high performance building. Starting in the summer of 2020, RIZ Energie will be bringing together the University’s wide range of research activities related to resource and energy efficiency.
RIZ Energie is part of the regional development concept of the “Sustainable Energy Valley” of the Southern Upper Rhine region, developed in the “RegioWIN” competition (“Regional Competitiveness through Innovation and Sustainability”) under the leadership of the Klimapartner Oberrhein association. RegioWIN itself is an essential component of the State of Baden-Württemberg’s ERDF Strategy (European Regional Development Fund) for the 2014-2020 funding period and was launched by the State’s Ministry of Science, Research and Arts and Ministry of Rural Areas and Consumer Protection in 2013.
RIZ Energie is a partner for trade and industry in all aspects of product and system development of resource-efficient products, industrial media supply and building technology. It aims to strengthen the University’s research and development capacity, and to increase competitiveness in the region by establishing networks with local companies. To achieve significant progress in R&D, it is not enough to examine or optimize individual components or individual steps of the value-added chain in isolation. Rather, manufacturers and operators will research new approaches in close interaction and implement solutions in a timely and sustainable manner.
RIZ Energie transparently combines research, teaching and application, and in itself demonstrates the practical implementation of the energy turnaround with its construction design and technical facility equipment.
Timetable, Costs and Financing
A first project idea for a "Sustainable Energy Valley" was developed in August 2012 in the framework of the Baden-Württemberg RegioWIN competition. A resulting Regional Strategy Concept was presented in August 2013 and in August 2014, after funding was awarded, the Regional Development Concept for Energy System Transformation for the Southern Upper Rhine Region.
In this regional development concept, the Regionale Innovationszentrum für Energietechnik – RIZ Energie was proposed as a lighthouse project for funding. Hochschule Offenburg registered the project in March 2015 at the State Office of Property and Construction (department of Freiburg) in agreement with the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts. The competition ran in spring 2015 and resulted in the assignment to Birk Heilmeyer und Frenzel Architekten in July 2015.
The project was launched with the first major planning meeting in September 2015. An important milestone was the submission of the building documents in January 2016 for the financial year 2017/2018. In October 2016, the donors’ foundation was established. The building permit was finally issued in October 2017.
Construction work began in May 2018 with the ground-breaking ceremony. Since spring 2020, the offices and pilot plant have been set up. Lab equipment has begun to be installed and gradually put into operation. A ceremonial handover took place on 25 August 2020.
The construction costs (cost classes 200-700) of the entire project amount to € 8.5 million, whereby the building site was provided by the City of Offenburg. Funds of € 1.5 million have been earmarked for the initial equipment. The financing of these 10 million euros is financed to 50% by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund), to 30% by the donors and Hochschule Offenburg, and to 20% by the State of Baden-Württemberg.