D+H solves complex fire protection concept

© Roland Halbe

Alnatura Arbeitswelt

Awarded with a DGNB platinum certificate, the organic goods trading company Alnatura has a new headquarters in Darmstadt dubbed the "Alnatura Arbeitswelt" (Alnatura employment world) and is raising the bar in the field of sustainable construction. In addition to reusable and previously recycled building materials, environmental friendliness was the main factor in selecting building equipment. The result? Some of the technologies used to ventilate the building naturally year-round are from D+H. The building design does away with climate control and ventilation systems that require a great deal of resources and maintenance. The fire protection strategy for the building also included very stringent safety requirements. D+H served as the SHEV specialist company (smoke and heat exhaust ventilation) throughout the construction project. It provided planning support and an intelligent SHEV controller: the CPS-M digital smoke vent control panel. This panel makes it possible for all components to interact, ensuring preventive fire protection.

The Alnatura Arbeitswelt has a total area of 13,500 square metres, making it the largest European building to feature an outer façade made of clay. The Stuttgart-based architectural firm "haascookzemmrich Studio 2050" put a great deal of thought into the sustainability of the building. And it shows – in several aspects. For example, the project was the first in the world to feature geothermic wall heating. This heating system is located in what are called "rammed earth walls," which are composed of a mixture of gravel, crushed rock, foamed waste glass, clay and the crushed rubble from an old military barracks. The heating coils that these walls are equipped with allow them to serve as a method of heating and as excellent heat accumulators.

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