More space for research

With an innovative new building and an earthquake test rig, the Fraunhofer WKI is expanding its research capacities.

Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®

On the campus of the TU Braunschweig, the “Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®” is taking shape. The new building, with a total usable area of around 1,700 m², will house the Fraunhofer WKI department bearing the same name. Jobs will furthermore be created for scientists from the TU Braunschweig.

The Fraunhofer WKI and the TU Braunschweig have already been working together for several years on the conceptual development of a modular, hybrid construction system for lightweight and environmentally-friendly buildings. The background reasons are global challenges such as climate change, population growth, rural exodus and large transnational migration flows, which create new requirements concerning the functionality and environmental balance of buildings.

Future-oriented new building

Correspondent to the research at the ZELUBA®, the focus during the planning phase was directed at a modular construction method and the utilization of renewable raw resources in combination with conventional materials. A total of 39 workplaces are distributed throughout the building.

© ARGE ZELUBA [Architekten DGI Bauwerk / schneider+schumacher]

Design concept for the new ZELUBA® building as a 3D-representation (from the front)

© ARGE ZELUBA [Architekten DGI Bauwerk / schneider+schumacher]

Design concept for the new ZELUBA® building as a 3D-representation (from above)

Test facility hall

The test facility hall is a timber structure which is supported and braced with the aid of steel elements and ropes at the front faces. Here, the researchers will investigate and test the physical and mechanical properties of the hybrid and lightweight constructions which they have developed. A particular highlight is an earthquake test rig on pilot-plant scale. Whilst large earthquake testing facilities are in existence worldwide, the tests are time-consuming and costly. On the ZELUBA® earthquake test rig, it will be possible for constructions to be tested quickly and efficiently using scale models.

 

Office and laboratory building

The story floors in the office and laboratory building were designed as wood-concrete composite floors. This hybrid construction method makes very efficient use of both the static and physical properties of the two materials.

 

Foyer

A filigree reinforced concrete structure connects the test facility hall with the office and laboratory building. The main entrance to the ZELUBA® and a seminar room are situated here.

Construction progress

2019

  • From August 2019: Interior construction
  • August 2019: Topping-out ceremony
  • From July 2019: Installation of the technical building equipment
  • June 2019: Construction of the foundation for the earthquake test rig
  • From May 2019: Timber construction of the office and laboratory building
  • From March 2019: Timber construction of the hall
  • January 2019: Steel construction of the hall

 

2018

  • November 2018: Concreting of the staircase towers for the office and laboratory building
  • June 2018: Completion of the foundations for the hall, foyer and the office and laboratory building
  • June 2018: Laying of underground pipework
  • April 2018: Soil excavation and explosive ordnance exploration

 

2017

  • November 2017: Groundbreaking ceremony
  • The construction activities are, of course, always dependent on the weather conditions.