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New office building as a gift to employees

NEWS
New office building as a gift to employees
22.9.2022

Bauverlag celebrated the inauguration of its new building in Gütersloh's Kaiserquartier district with its business partners. Proven experts explained how climate-friendly construction can be in their presentations.

A new building as a gift to the employees": this is how Michael Voss, Managing Partner of Bauverlag, described the publishing house's new home in Gütersloh's Kaiserquartier. Due to Corona, the publishing house only celebrated the inauguration of the central location on Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse with its business partners one year after moving in.

"When I bought Bauverlag 3.5 years ago, I wanted to create an atmosphere in which employees felt comfortable," said Michael Voss, looking back. A conscious decision was made to say goodbye to the individual offices that existed at the Avenwedde site. The result is open space that allows for quiet work as well as teamwork and communication. Here, products and specialist information for the construction industry and architecture are created in a creative process. Guests then strolled through the offices themselves and were taken with height-adjustable desks, comfortable sofa areas and the conference rooms on each floor.

"If you look out at the big wide world these days, you could almost fall into depression in the face of the Ukraine war, energy crisis, Corona pandemic, inflation, climate change and shortage of skilled workers," said Michael Voss. But right now, he said, it is important to look at the future of construction and housing. Proven experts showed how climate-friendly construction can be in their presentations.

Resource-saving construction can be achieved with little bureaucracy and few technical frills, as Petra Wesseler, President of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, explained. The highest building authority of the Federal Republic of Germany is located in Bonn and, with more than 1,200 employees, oversees federal buildings in Germany and abroad. The architect, who comes from Paderborn, showed impressive projects.

Sustainable, innovative and efficient: That works even under extreme time pressure. The best example: the Luisenblock West, the new office building for the German Bundestag in Berlin. "400 offices had to be built. This is because the overhang mandates in the last Bundestag election meant that a large number of members of parliament were expected. This need for space had to be met at short notice," Petra Wesseler reported. The challenge was high: costs of around 70 million euros, the project duration was only 27 months and the construction period 15 months.

Due to the tight schedule, the seven-story building was constructed from prefabricated wooden modules. Module builders assembled 400 office containers in an old machine hall in Köpenick, which were then stacked on top of each other at the construction site. "The plug-in connections work in exactly the same way as with Playmobil and Lego," the speaker clarified. In addition, the so-called Woodcycle concept was implemented. This states that by planting new trees, the amount of wood used must grow back within 15 years - in the case of the Luisenblock West, this is around 2,500 cubic meters.

Another challenge: The colored facade of the new office building, made of wood, aluminum and glass, is visible from afar and sets accents. "However, the red, blue, yellow, black and green glass elements were not to be put together in such a way that any party color would come out of it," the president chatted out of the sewing box.

With a special form of cooperation, this federal building is also breaking new, shorter ground. For example, there is a general contractor, consisting of the companies Kaufmann Bausysteme and Primus developments, which centrally handles all design, manufacturing and construction services for the project. "The number of parties involved in construction must be reduced and more responsibility must lie with the project manager," Petra Wesseler emphasized.

Thinking in cycles was explained by Gerhard G. Feldmeyer, Senior Partner and Managing Director of HPP Architekten from Düsseldorf. In the fashion sector, he said, second-hand clothing is fashionable. In the construction industry, "Cradle to Cradle" applies. That's an approach to a continuous and consistent circular economy. "Every second, 1300 tons of carbon dioxide are emitted worldwide. The construction industry is a major polluter with 40 percent Co2 emissions," he elaborated. To turn things around, he said, several factors are important: material health, reducing the carbon footprint, ensuring supply chains, separability and dismantlability of building materials and components. Gerhard Feldmeyer made the case for residual material value calculations, saying, "Buildings need to be seen as raw material stores."

He presented "The Cradle," a wood hybrid office building designed by HPP Architects in Düsseldorf's Medienhafen district. Wood, a renewable material, replaces fossil raw materials such as concrete and plastic and reduces heating. The supporting structure is simply plugged together without fasteners and can be easily disassembled later. The differently dimensioned rhombuses form the facade and shading for the offices in one.

Breaking new ground also applies to living. "How do you actually live?" asked Boris Schade-Bünsow, editor-in-chief of "Bauwelt" magazine published by Bauverlag, provocatively. He played through how father, mother, children develop into a patchwork family. Classic living concepts with living room, kitchen, children's room and bathroom would hardly take these family developments into account. Education was especially important to him when it came to housing. "Our children have many subjects in school. But they don't learn anything about living. Rather, they adopt parental perceptions. And there is nothing but the single-family house or the row house," he summarized. "Dare to have different floor plans! Ditch the boring hallway!" he pleaded for bold concepts.

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