Efficient energy and resource management is part of the DNA of the German post-production house Bewegte Bilder. The Tübingen-based company, housed in a wood-frame building, is sustainably equipped from basement to roof with an external air-cooled server room, an electronic bus system for selective powering off, a photovoltaic system to generate electric energy, insulation made from renewable materials, and a rainwater harvesting system.
Whether it’s title design, retouching, color grading, ADR recording, sound design, or sound mixing in Dolby Atmos, the services offered by this innovative creative studio are always carbon-neutral. The company’s centerpiece is the central server room, which is cooled by outside air instead of air conditioning. “We work with a high temperature of 28 degrees, so air cooling is sufficient”, says Carsten Schuffert, CEO, Bewegte Bilder Medien. In this process, cool outside air streams in through floor nozzles located throughout the entire area, while warm air is suctioned off at the back end of the server racks.
“Thanks to the bundling of computing processes, the servers are operating close to full capacity”, explains Schuffert,“because cooling capabilities are always required even if the workload is only at 10 or 20 percent of capacity.” Computing processes like renderings, which require a great deal of energy, are run at night because of the degree of grid utilization. The company doesn’t use cloud hosting. “It’s also a security matter for our customers because we are working with sensitive data."
To avoid stand-by consumption, any devices that are not
in service at Bewegte Bilder are shut down. All devices plugged into workspaces that don’t require a sustained energy supply can be turned off by pressing a single button. “Climate protection also needs to be convenient”, stresses Schuffert. The central controls for different lines of circuitry are operated by an electronic bus system.
Thanks to the rainwater harvesting system, the non-potable water collected is stored for use in flush toilets, the pre-wash cycle of the washing machine, and irrigating the garden. To systematically analyze all aspects of energy and resource consumption in order to obtain greater benefits from the development of potential areas of improvement, Bewegte Bilder chose the environmental management system EMAS Easy, which provides an energy audit as well as a certificate. As a simple tool, ecomapping enables employees to map the energy consumption of devices as well as wasted energy consumption in order to identify weak spots.
“Green post-production for me means including the social component, which has an impact on the interpersonal climate, in a metaphorical sense”, emphasizes Schuffert, who wants to offer employees as well as customers a pleas- ant stay by providing a large garden, company bicycles, cargo bikes, as well as an apartment for overnight visits. “For customers, it’s most important that we do a good job, but they also appreciate our approach, which goes above and beyond reducing carbon emissions.”
PHotos: © Carsten Schuffer/Bewegte Bilder Medien GmbH