KREIS – Innovative municipal wastewater system in ‘Jenfelder Au’

The innovative drainage and energy-generating concept HAMBURG WATER Cycle is being implemented in a new urban district of the city. ISOE is analysing the scheme in terms of user behaviour and sustainability.

Research approach

A new urban district, ‘Jenfelder Au’, comprising around 770 new residential units, is being developed in Hamburg on the site of former military barracks. The new wastewater concept foresees the separate draining of the toilet sewage (black water) as well as that of other domestic wastewater (grey water). Coupled to this is an innovative energy-generating concept.

The goal of the KREIS co-operative project is to provide preparatory surveys to support the planning and construction process along with the actual starting up of the technical systems by HAMBURG WASSER. Upon completion, the partners will continue to provide scientific operational back-up. The anticipated outcome is an assembly of valuable insights and experiences that can be utilised both on site and for similar implementations.

ISOE is responsible for the socio-technical analysis of user behaviour in this context and for conducting a socio-ecological sustainability analysis.


The intention is that the grey water be treated in a semi-centralised energy-saving process and then released into the receiving waters. The black water is captured in concentrated form by means of vacuum technology and treated in an anaerobic reactor together with organic waste (co-substrates). The sewage gas produced during this process is transformed into electricity and heat in a combined heat and power plant. High-grade soil-improvement and fertiliser products can be made from the waste from the anaerobic reactor (digestates). Geothermal heat pumps and solar thermal power systems supply the urban district with renewable energy from the use of sewage gas.

Project partners

  • Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe
  • Solar- und Wärmetechnik Stuttgart, ein Forschungszentrum der Steinbeis-Stiftung (STW)
  • Öko-Institut e.V.
  • Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg

Practice partners

  • Buhck Umweltservices GmbH & Co. KG
  • CONSULAQUA Hamburg GmbH
  • infranova Bauentwicklungs GmbH & Co. KG Flintenbreite Lübeck
  • OtterWasser GmbH
  • Vacusatec Vacuum Sanitärtechnik GmbH & Co. KG


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


Deffner, Jutta/Barbara Birzle-Harder/Engelbert Schramm (2017): Neuartige Sanitärsysteme - Alltagserfahrungen und Anforderungen von Nutzenden.In: Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik Difu (Ed.): Wasserinfrastrukturen für die zukunftsfähige Stadt. Beiträge aus der INIS-Forschung. Berlin, 282-285

Winker, Martina/Thomas Giese/Jens Libbe/Jörg Londong/Martin Oldenburg/Engelbert Schramm (2017): Probleme und Stolpersteine beim Umsetzen neuartiger Wasserinfrastrukturen:Diskrepanzen zwischen Theorie und Praxis. In: Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik Difu (Ed.): Wasserinfrastrukturen für die zukunftsfähige Stadt. Beiträge aus der INIS-Forschung. Berlin, 134-139

Schramm, Engelbert/Thomas Giese/Thomas Kluge/Wolfgang Kuck/Carolin Völker (2016): Verändertes Kooperationsmanagement für neuartige Sanitärsysteme in Umsetzung und Betrieb. Folgerungen aus dem Beispiel Jenfelder Au in Hamburg. gwf-Wasser/Abwasser 157 (2), 148-155

Giese, Thomas/Jörg Londong (Ed.) (2015): Kopplung von regenerativer Energiegewinnung mit innovativer Stadtentwässerung. Synthesebericht zum Forschungsprojekt KREIS. Schriftenreihe des Bauhaus-Instituts für zukunftsweisende Infrastruktursysteme, 30. Berlin: RHOMBOS-Verlag


2011/11 – 2015/02