Geothermal heats Osnabrück Cathedral

Diocese and German Federal Foundation for the Environment develop interdisciplinary energy concept

With a press of the "red button" today the secretary general of the German Federal Environmental Foundation, Fritz Brickwedde (l.), And Domdechant Heinrich Plock started the new geothermal heating for the Osnabrücker Dom and the adjacent buildings. © DBU
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In Osnabrück Cathedral, a new energy era has begun: St. Peter and the adjoining buildings are now heated not only with gas but also with geothermal energy. The environmentally friendly system consists of a total of 20 geothermal probes and is expected to deliver up to one fifth of the total heat requirement in the future.

"Because the former Domheizung was technically completely outdated and our construction project opened up new opportunities for us, we want to make a contribution to climate protection and thus to the preservation of creation with the new heating system, " explained client Domdechant Heinrich Plock.

Save energy and protect the climate

In addition to the cathedral, the project includes the "Forum am Dom", the Diocesan Museum, the pastoral office, the choir rooms and the media house of the diocese. From the different building uses and building-specific features, a coordinated, common system for cooling and heat supply was developed, which should save energy and avoid climate impacts.

According to Plock, the supply of heat and cooling is characterized by sophisticated management: Between 15 and 20 percent of the annual heat requirement is to be obtained from the 20 geothermal probes drilled 50 meters deep into the soil. The remaining demand is covered by gas. While the water, which is up to twelve degrees warm in the ground, is used for heating in winter, it is used for cooling in summer: the heat extracted from the building goes back into the earth via the ground probes and is "stored" there.

Powerful duo: gas and geothermal energy

The energy concept combines so-called gas absorption heat pumps and geothermal energy into an ecologically sustainable and long-term economic investment, according to the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), which has supported the project with 75, 000 euros. The energy concept at the Domforum was optimized taking into account the different usage requirements of the different buildings: at the weekend, the cathedral is mainly heated, and on weekdays it is the administrative offices of the Seelsorgensamt. display

The overarching energy concept is exemplary for Germany, according to DBU Secretary General Fritz Brickwedde. At other locations, however, such strategies are lacking. Church properties, often of particularly high cultural value, consist of several individual buildings or parts of buildings with often different uses. Due to their grown structures, however, an energetic overall concept generally does not exist.

(idw - German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), 11.03.2008 - DLO)