- Innovation campus with combined “smart living” work and living concept
- Planned sample copy for energy utilities and the housing industry
(powercloud, Offenburg, 2021/08/31) The energy transition is possible – this is what powercloud CEO Marco Beicht wants to demonstrate with his construction project in Achern, Baden. The IT entrepreneur’s project has a model character: with its innovation campus, powercloud sets an example for digitally supported sustainability and work-life balance in urban planning.
Above ground, the 20,000-square-meter site is designed to be entirely vehicle-free. The infrastructure runs underground, including parking garages with charging stations for e-cars, e-bikes and e-scooters. The company intends to keep the complex’s residential and work buildings completely CO2-neutral. They offer space for a total of around 350 IT and software experts and their families. In addition, there is a conference hotel, a fitness and health studio, and a star-rated restaurant.
“The project will attract more companies to the region, creating new jobs,” says Marco Beicht. It is intended to offer highly sought-after experts in IT, AI and machine learning the necessary incentive to settle in Baden-Württemberg. “We wanted to find a place with a high quality of life, a place where talented people would enjoy living and working,” emphasizes the powercloud CEO. The new company location would create ideal conditions for a new software and high-tech cluster. The IT campus is intended to serve as a role model for energy utilities and the housing industry alike. For powercloud, this is a milestone on the way to becoming one of the leading German players in the energy transition.
Marco Beicht focuses on radical sustainability
The flagship project is therefore all about implementing sustainable technology. The focus lies on unique benchmarks for CO2 neutrality and energy efficiency. This will involve electricity generation from photovoltaics and biomass, efficient use of intermediate battery storage, climate-friendly building insulation, thermal heat storage and passive building cooling. To ensure efficient use of resources, powercloud analyzes energy consumption and forecasts the consumption behavior of future employees and residents. Smart data use and incentives will be used to enable the targeted alignment of energy storage and consumption in the neighborhood. Beicht sees sustainable approaches for the energy transition in this approach – that is, in the intelligent symbiosis of collective and individual user behavior and the sustainable and data-supported use of resources.
The company’s digital aspirations are also expressed in the entire infrastructure, for example in the form of intelligent locking systems or a parcel station that can be used by all parcel services. The underground relocation of all utilities provides plenty of space for recreation above ground and is a prerequisite for the integration of the site into the surrounding natural environment. When planning the area, much emphasis was placed on preserving nature to the greatest possible extent.
The powercloud CEO describes his vision for the future of work and life as “smart living”. Employees are provided with a large residential area in a green space thanks to the flowing transition to the park area at the Mühlbach. The adjacent premises, measuring almost 30,000 square meters, are highly attractive in particular for families with children. It feels like a recreational area. The view stretches into the greenery. The 1164 meter high Black Forest mountain Hornisgrinde with its TV tower stands in the distance. The area will be connected with the city center by a bridge, which is still being built.
By bringing living and working closer together, powercloud aims to create a new standard of quality of life. Employees can avoid time-consuming commutes and benefit from the flexibility and family-friendliness that powercloud wants to offer with its new work models. This allows employees to get important things done between work hours and also to work from home. The exchange of international colleagues and joint activities between working hours and on weekends will also be promoted on the new campus. Specially created community zones between the housing complexes encourage people to do so.
Job engine, regional investment
Beicht, the powercloud CEO and native of Achern, is providing an important stimulus in the region with the investment of around 85 million euros. Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of State Development and Housing Nicole Razavi made the following comments at the groundbreaking ceremony in July: “This is quite an accurate image of modern living and of the future. This is the best thing that can happen to us in a city like this, and what is being built here is truly groundbreaking.” Construction is scheduled for completion in 2024. The company will then relocate its main site from Offenburg to Achern.
With the plans for the IT campus, powercloud is continuing its success story as the fastest-growing energy industry billing system – used by more than 200 customers in Germany.