As architects and engineers, we feel a deep connection to the rooms in which we live and work and to the rooms we build for our clients. Whether its industrial buildings or the environment surrounding us, sustainable architecture means taking responsibility to lower energy costs and integrate sustainability into our projects.
Is it possible to build a one family house, which produces all the energy it needs for itself by itself?This question Uwe Krabbe asked himself when he planned and built his own energy-plus-house togehter with the bavarian architect Willibald Rapp. The answer: Yes, it's not only possible to produce enough energy for the own consumption, furthermore it produces a surplus. The house, which consists almost entirely out of wood, hemp and clay is constructed in a manner so it collects and stores any kind of solar energy. The solar power system generates 15.000 kilowatt hours per year and the winter garden, which also functions as a heater, gets even on sunny winter days upto approx. 25 degrees Celsius. The heat generated in this way, circulates through the entire house on a natural way and supplies it with heat during the transition period. All the remaining energy is used by the electric car, stored in a hot-water tank or fed into the public energy grid. Consequently it is possible to build houses, which generate the used energy by itself and, moreover, are compostable because of its building materials. Thus from the beginning the house is already carbon-neutral built and never pollutes the environment with carbon.
The creative basis of our work and our company’s idyllic location in a garden paradise remind us on a daily basis of the importance of an untroubled relationship to the force of nature and helps us to focus on sustainability. Many innovative ideas have been inspired by a glimpse to our natural surroundings.
Environmental awareness always begins at home. That is why, in order to consume sustainable energy, we have installed a photovoltaic system at one of our office buildings. Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of sun energy into electricity with no by-products. The energy needed to install them can be recouped with just a few years and their operational lives are long. Our facility with a power rating of 35 kWp is the result of constantly searching for new opportunities for optimisation. We use solar power for our daily work and for charging our electric company cars, allowing them to be driven emission free by the power of the sun.
Around 30 years ago, we had just a single run-down hay barn on our 10,700 m² property. The founder and namesake of the company, Werner Krabbe, who was trained as a carpenter, carefully restored the historical building. Over the years, more and more half-timbered houses from the surrounding Artland were added and became offices for our architects and engineers.
Our corporate garden competed against 40 other gardens to win the award for the most beautiful corporate garden in 2014 in Lower Saxony and Bremen. Our headquarters are a green oasis in perfect harmony with the surroundings of Osnabrück-Atter. The local residents see this very special place as an asset to the region. Many show the grounds to their guests. Others use the garden for wedding photographs.
By allocating our employees to buildings according to their fields of expertise, the connecting paths, adjacent niches and sitting areas then become places where people can come together and share ideas. In addition to computer networks, these footpaths through the gardens constitute the internal linking system of the company.
»Our headquarters in Osnabrück surprise everyone with its idyllic park lands and carefully restored half-timbered houses that are equipped with the latest technology and supported by highly sophisticated software. This is the ideal environment for creative development, careful attention to detail and complex problem solving for seemingly insurmountable challenges.«
In our own organic cottage garden we seasonal harvest fruits and vegetables, which we regularly offer to all of our employees.
With our solar power systems we use the solar power for the daily power consumption during work, but also to fuel our electric cars. Thus we generate a part of our energy consumption by ourselves and simultaneously reduce our emissions. The electric car VW e-up! can be directly plugged into our energy station, which is supplied with energy by our solar power system. Entirely fueled we reach a range of up to 150 km - certainly enough for smaller trips in Osnabrück and surroundings.
We - the team of igk - decided in 2009 for a sponsorship of a needy child in Myanmar. Regularly we are in correspondence with our godchild, send presents for birthday and support its health and academic development.
Furthermore we annually spend a part of our profits to different social facilities , therewith the people who are not in good conditions can benefit from our profits.
Further information - World Vision
From April 1st, 2021 to March 31st, 2022 we supported the WASH project of World Vision.
The aim of the project was to secure the drinking water supply in the Magunga region in Kenya. By extending the pipelines and building a 50m³ water reservoir, the community now has access to cheap drinking water (price per 20L water canister before the project = KES 15.00 / after the project = KES 1.00). This saves families money that they can use for other needs. The distance to the water source has also been reduced from an average of 4km to 1km. Parents can use the time gained to better finance their children and the students have been able to improve their school performance because there is more time to study. Two schools and an orphanage with 862 children now have access to clean drinking water.
Water is the basement of life!
We use it daily to satisfy our thirst, refresh and wash ourselves ...
Also for the igk it's not possible to live without water in everyday work. Out of a sustainable view the transport of bottled water with trucks over hundreds of kilometers is not acceptable. Likewise the drag of boxes don't cause cries of joy. Therefore we decided to equip our offices with a water vitalization system. The obtained water with spring water quality we provide to our employees and customers in the form of pure water, coffee or tea. Our consumption of bottled water we could clearly reduce in this way. The water tastes (in whatever style) clearly better than the bottled siblings and is, because of its lower emissions during transport, another small step to a sustainable and holistic way of life.
... we support social projects in the coffee regions of our world.
Even by purchasing our coffee we care for a sustainable and socially acceptable origin.
"Fair Trade Coffee" can be bought everywhere, which is basically a good first step, however it is often misused as a marketing instrument. Coffee Circle goes a step further - Direct Trade. Because the known certification systems were not enough for the founders of Coffee Circle, they decided to trade directly with the local coffee peasants to directly can affect the payment and the working conditions of them. More fair, sustainable and socially acceptable a coffee can hardly be. Therefore we decided for this valuable coffee and spend one Euro per kilo of coffee to social projects in the coffee regions.
Further information - Coffee Circle