The importance of an optimized building shell

When Andreas Prehal and his partner, Helmut Poppe, started their office in the year 2000, they wanted to combine great architecture with sustainable buildings. And Poppe*Prehal has built many successful sustainable buildings, from family houses to distribution centers, and most recently, Metro Cash & Carry in St.Pölten, Austria.

The Metro store in St. Pölten is a zero emissions building. Poppe*Prehal started with a wooden building shell. That shell is then optimized by thinking about every detail: from using the finest wooden materials in the structure to selecting windows and entrances that contribute to the building’s efficiency. Insulated Isodock dock levelers from ASSA ABLOY were the last part to complete the insulated building shell. Without insulated loading bays a great deal of heat and energy would have been lost every day during the loading and unloading of goods – so they were a critical addition.

The building shell is of such a high quality that it reduces the need for any specific heating or cooling system in the store. A ribbon of windows near the roof of the storeis all that is required for ventilation and cooling – they open when the temperature is too high, and close when it is too cold. Heating is sourced directly from the excess heat from the food chillers. And on top of these reduced technical systems, the entire roof of the Metro is covered in solar panels which create enough energy for Metro to sell the power they don’t use back to the power grid – making it a plus energy market.

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