from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SuperC during the day
SuperC at night
View from the SuperC towards Aachen's old town with the Aachen Cathedral and the Aachen City Hall .

The SuperC is the service center of RWTH Aachen University , which is located directly next to the main building and combines a range of services for students under one roof, such as the student secretariat , the international and examination office and the so-called Career Center , which is open before the Building were widely distributed. In addition, there are exhibition areas, conference and seminar rooms in the building, which are to become a meeting point in the core area of ​​the university .


The groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 29, 2006, and the outgoing Rector of RWTH Prof. Burkhard Rauhut officially opened it on July 29, 2008 in the presence of NRW Innovation Minister Andreas Pinkwart , Aachen's Mayor Jürgen Linden and around 200 invited guests. However, it took until the end of September to actually go into operation.

The building got its name from its appearance, a capital C: According to the original design, the building was to be 20 meters high on an area of ​​750 m² and the upper of the eight floors should protrude about 17 meters and the gross construction costs of DM 24,708,000 (cost groups 300 - 500 according to DIN 276 , incl. 16% VAT) is estimated in the cost estimate. A glazed facade should signal openness to the city. In the course of implementation, however, the number of floors was reduced to seven in order to avoid the problematic classification of the project as a high-rise building . Contrary to the original plans, the Central Student Advisory Service could not find a place in the building. The construction costs ultimately amounted to 24 million euros, which were covered by grants from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia , sponsors and the construction and real estate company NRW . The latter also acted as client and project manager .

The lowest floor of the building (and thus the lower line of the Cs) is underground, which is why the SuperC is more reminiscent of a Greek Γ (gamma) when viewed from the main building on the left . Based on a comment by a mathematics professor from Aachen, it is therefore also referred to by some students as "Super".

On May 5, 2009 it became known that an increased level of evaporation of chemical substances from building materials was found in the interior of the building; several of the employees there complained of eye and respiratory irritation. Increased ventilation could only partially reduce the load; According to the university, another increase in October made it probable that the carpeting was exposed to the solvent acetonitrile .

RWTH-1 geothermal well for the SuperC building

Geothermal drilling for the geothermal probe of the SuperC building

Another distinguishing feature of the new building should be the geothermal heating , which should be made usable as part of a research project of the Faculty of Georesources and Material Technology in cooperation with the project partner Aix-o-therm Geoenergies . Geothermal energy should also be useful in summer : it can then ensure pleasant temperatures by connecting an adsorption chiller . With this, the Technical University wanted to set an example for the ecological and economic orientation of research.

In order to install a deep geothermal probe , it was necessary to drill a borehole at least 2500 meters deep in the building underground . The geothermal probe should work in a closed circuit system, without an exchange of water in the area of ​​the drilling column. The drilling work required for this was carried out from July 19, 2004 to November 22, 2004 by the drilling company Anger's Sons from Hessisch Lichtenau as part of an EU demonstration project. The borehole reached a final depth of 2544 m. After completion of the drilling work, geophysical measurements were carried out, the casing was installed to the final depth and then cemented . The inner pipe for the deep geothermal probe was installed in autumn 2009. Due to the breakdown of a similar fiberglass pipe during a geothermal well in Arnsberg in 2008, the installation was delayed because a suitable material for such conditions first had to be developed and tested.

The drilling work was accompanied by a geoscientific research program financed by the German Research Foundation. The aim of the geoscientific investigations was an interdisciplinary exploration of the Aachen subsurface, with a focus on the sedimentological and tectonic development history of the rocks, the formation of earthquakes in the Aachen region and new findings on the formation of the Aachen thermal springs. The geoscientists obtained information about the subsurface from broken rock material (cuttings), which was brought to the surface with the drilling fluid . In addition, drill cores have repeatedly been taken at various depths for scientific purposes. The investigations were supplemented by several measurement campaigns of geophysical borehole measurements . Clastic rocks of the Carboniferous and Devonian were drilled .

The deep borehole in a city center placed high demands on occupational safety and pollution control due to the limited local conditions and the immediate vicinity of frequented infrastructure and buildings (e.g. main building of the RWTH) . In addition, all technical precautions had to be taken to ensure that the deep borehole did not affect the Aachen thermal springs used by Aachener Kaiserbrunnen AG and the Carolus Thermen . For this reason, a special drilling fluid was used for the first time in Germany. The deep hole became telescopic, i.e. H. with after tapering down bore diameters (23 inches, 17.5 inches and 8.5 inches) drilled .

Technical problems, withdrawal performance, failure

Standpipe of the geothermal well in the basement of the building

In fact, the SuperC in Aachen was never supplied with geothermal energy. For example, there were always problems with the material of the fiberglass pipe, which was to be inserted into the cased borehole as the inner pipe. An identical inner pipe collapsed in 2008 in the geothermal well in Arnsberg. A new plastic for the inner tube was then developed at RWTH Aachen University and a patent has been applied for. Due to the not insignificant, but technically related drilling hole deviation and the changed material properties of the plastic, the inner pipe could only be installed to a depth of 1965 m. According to the geothermal gradient, a maximum temperature of around 60 ° C can be expected at this depth . External reviewers should first check whether the system can be improved with a reasonable amount of effort. On July 18, 2011, the Rector of RWTH Aachen University, Ernst Schmachtenberg , declared that the concept of deep geothermal heating in this form cannot be operated economically. In a new statement from the university, figures were published according to which the extraction capacity of the system is significantly lower than in 2002 by those responsible together with the project partner Aix-o due to the lower installation depth, the lower geothermal gradient and the faster cooling of the rising warm water in the inner pipe -therm geoenergies planned. Instead of the projected 60 ° C, a maximum of 35 ° C was measured at the wellhead in spring 2011. The critics of the project at the time, namely experts from Bergakademie Freiberg , the Institute for Applied Geophysics of the RWTH and the Geological Service of North Rhine-Westphalia, see themselves confirmed in the results, according to which the geothermal depth in the Aachen region is lower than assumed by the project managers and, moreover, that The rock around the borehole cools down more quickly in order to ensure sustainable thermal replenishment in the borehole. Nonetheless, solutions were still being sought to supply at least part of the base load of the heat supply (30–40%) with geothermal energy.

The project was finally declared to have failed in September 2014, and the university is currently not making any further efforts to bring it into operation (as of October 2014). The project cost a total of around five million euros.


The design of the building emerged from a competition that the architects Susanne Fritzer and Eva-Maria Pape won in 2000. The architects were commissioned with the planning in 2004 by the construction and property company NRW. Construction began at the end of 2006 and was completed in autumn 2008.


  • Béatrice Oesterreich, Stefan Lundershausen: "SuperC" exploratory drilling of the North Rhine-Westphalia Geological Service in Aachen . Magazine f. Applied Geol., Issue 4/2002, Hannover 2002, pp. 40–41
  • Stefan Lundershausen, Christian Niemann-Delius, Christoph Herzog, Axel Preuße, Michael Schloenbach, Béatrice Oesterreich, Christoph von Hagke: Geothermal energy for the SuperC. The RWTH-1 geothermal well - first experiences . Glückauf, 140 (12), Essen 2004, pp. 583-591
  • Stefan Lundershausen, Béatrice Austria, Karl-Heinz. Ribbert & Volker Wrede: Geothermal Well "RWTH-1", Aachen - Technical aspects and first geological results . Abstr. Meuse-Rhine Euregio Geologists Meeting: Alden Biesen (Belgian Limbourg), 2005
  • Béatrice Austria, Ute Trautwein, Stefan Lundershausen: The geothermal well "RWTH-1" . VAG info sheet 01/2005, Aachen 2005
  • Christoph Herzog: The geothermal well "RWTH-1" - technical, geological and mining law aspects of a publicly funded geothermal project . Diss. RWTH Aachen, series of publications by the Institute for Mine Surveying, Mine Damage and Geophysics in Mining, Aachen 2005
  • Peter Kukla and Ute Trautwein-Bruns: A deep look into the Aachen underworld . DFG Research 4/2006, Frankfurt / M. 2006, pp. 22-25

Web links

Commons : SuperC  - collection of images, videos and audio files

SuperC as a 3D model in SketchUp's 3D warehouse

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Super C" architect saw her "baby" grow In: Aachener Zeitung, July 30, 2008
  2. ^ Architects' office Fritzer + Pape, RWTH Aachen: SuperC - the study-functional center of the RWTH Aachen. European Commission, May 2001, accessed December 18, 2018 .
  3. University construction site: SuperC, MOGAM, Semi90 In: Kármán Studentische Zeitung, issue 27, October 24, 2007
  4. Aachener Zeitung: Aachen: Examiners don't let the Super C look good. Accessed December 18, 2018 .
  5. ^ "Geier Nr. 183" , autonomous leaflet of the student body for mathematics, physics and computer science, p. 2, October 11, 2009
  6. Increased indoor pollution in the SuperC. Press release from the university. May 5, 2009, archived from the original on May 11, 2009 ; Retrieved February 7, 2013 .
  7. Anything but Super In: Kármán Studentische Zeitung, May 13, 2009
  8. Aachen: Again increased concentration of pollutants in the SuperC press release of the Euregio from November 18, 2009
  9. ^ Underground energy for Aachen University Center, Süddeutsche Zeitung of October 8, 2002
  10. Energy Agency NRW: Project SuperC , accessed on March 23, 2013
  11. Status of the development of materials research for the geothermal drilling of the SuperC SuperC: It should still gush out of the borehole ruins. Aachener Nachrichten, accessed on July 23, 2009 .
  12. ^ Herzog, Ch. (2005). The "SuperC" project of RWTH Aachen University - previous experiences ( memento of the original from October 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Lecture at the autumn meeting of the AKE Bad Honnef, October 28, 2005 (PDF file; 4.8 MB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from March 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Description of the Arnsberg geothermal project @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. Start of construction for geothermal pipes at the SuperC Aachener Nachrichten on September 10, 2009
  15. SuperC: An embarrassing situation, Aachener Nachrichten from January 13, 2011
  16. Super C: Deep heat not economical ( Aachener Zeitung , July 18, 2011)
  17. Geothermal energy for the SuperC: Lighthouse for research Aachener Nachrichten of August 24, 2011
  18. [1] ( Aachener Nachrichten , September 11, 2014)

Coordinates: 50 ° 46 ′ 41.6 ″  N , 6 ° 4 ′ 43.6 ″  E