Sustainable laborarory opens in Berlin

Troldtekt acoustic solutions have been installed at the world’s first C2C LAB, which opened in Berlin in autumn 2019.

The renovated building serves as an educational centre, NGO office and a ‘living laboratory’ for Cradle to Cradle-certified building materials.

Sustainable laboratory

In a new knowledge centre in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg, architects can experience and experiment with Cradle to Cradle-certified building materials and circular material flows. C2C LAB houses an educational centre, offices for the Cradle to Cradle NGO and a ‘living laboratory’.

It has ‘green’ walls that clean the air. Carpets that bind particles. And office furniture which is not only healthy for people, but also for the environment. All the materials used in the 400-square-metre C2C LAB therefore meet the Cradle to Cradle criteria for healthy products that can be returned to nature or recycled in new products.

“We’re proud to have finished the world’s first complete renovation according to Cradle to Cradle principles with our new C2C LAB, and to be able to show how Cradle to Cradle works in practice. With C2C LAB, we’ve created a unique lighthouse project, which will hopefully serve as inspiration for many years to come,” says Tim Janßen, Executive Director and member of the Board of Cradle to Cradle NGO, which is behind the project.

Dating back to 1986, the building which houses C2C LAB was originally built as a ‘Plattenbau’ of large, prefabricated reinforced concrete elements. This type of multi-storey development was very characteristic of the GDR era.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings are the natural choice when wanting to ensure superior acoustics and a healthy indoor climate in, for example, office buildings
Troldtekt acoustic ceilings are the natural choice when wanting to ensure superior acoustics and a healthy indoor climate in, for example, office buildings

Extensive, green renovation

The renovation of the building involved completely rethinking the ground floor. The old walls were demolished, and C2C glass partitions were used to create eight rooms which are lighter and more open. The old and damaged floors were removed and replaced with Cradle to Cradle-certified carpets and hard flooring. Other more durable floors such as a terrazzo floor were kept. To ensure plenty of natural light, the windows were enlarged and replaced with Cradle to Cradle-certified window systems.

“The sustainability aspect is playing an increasingly important role in new-builds. When renovating existing buildings on the other hand, it is more of a niche area, and one which we are trying to raise people’s awareness of with the renovation of C2C LAB,” says Tim Janßen.

“C2C LAB is an educational centre and a living laboratory, where the best materials have been used in an exemplary and innovative way. The renovation shows how to recycle products so that they are returned to the cycle in a meaningful way, but there are still challenges that need addressing,” he adds.

The building methods used have also matched the Cradle to Cradle criteria for separation – so none of the materials have been glued together using adhesive or foam. Cradle to Cradle-certified acoustic ceilings, green walls and wall paints guarantee a healthy environment, but also add a natural feel.

Different variants of Troldtekt acoustic panels have been used on ceilings and walls in both meeting and conference rooms. Troldtekt acoustic panels are made of certified wood, which is a 100 per cent natural material, and cement, which is extracted from Danish mineral resources. The panels are Cradle to Cradle-certified in the Silver category, and the circular principles are a key part of Troldtekt’s strategy.

Sustainable laboratory

About C2C LAB:

  • The building which houses the 400-square-metre C2C LAB was originally built in 1986.
  • C2C LAB has been completely refurbished using healthy materials – in line with Cradle to Cradle principles.
  • Over 30 partners have been involved in establishing C2C LAB, including Troldtekt. Several different variants of the Cradle to Cradle-certified Troldtekt acoustic panels have been chosen for the interior.