The municipality of Fels am Wagram in Lower Austria has extended the buildings of its primary school and ‘Neue Mittelschule’ secondary school by adding a new sports hall. Besides providing the schools with a new gymnasium, the building also adds new spaces for afternoon supervision in the form of a foyer, a library, and a kitchen with serving area, and can also be made available to outside organizations for sports and other events. The sports hall was designed by Christian Galli architects from Krems, tender and building inspection was managed in cooperation by Atelier Langenlois Kerzan u. Vollkrann. The result oft concept have made the complex with the two schools into a very attractive central meeting place with clear functionality. The new space concept has a total usable floor area of 1,143.34 m² and incorporates an old vaulted basement, which was retained from the existing building. The flat roof of the 430 m² gymnasium is formed by cambered Kielsteg elements, 56 cm high, which cover the 15 m width of the building in one span. The choice of Kielsteg resulted in a significant reduction of total material use thanks to its unusually low height – achieving the required interior height with a lower total height of the building. Another advantage of Kielsteg is that by combining the load-bearing function with the roof skin in a single uniform layer, it allows attachment of sports equipment and ventilation systems at any point in the roof. The hall went into operation on time at the beginning of the 2019/20 school year.
Stylish and functional is a good description of the KIELSTEG roof of the EDEKA supermarket in Beckingen, in the Saarland region of Germany. In the building with a 1,500 m² floor plan, the Kielsteg elements span 26 metres and form a projecting roof over the entrance area another 6.5 metres deep. In this way the sales floor has a large area, uninterrupted by pillars, where the furniture can be arranged and rearranged flexibly. The prefabricated Kielsteg elements, which have an environmental product declaration (EPD) and therefore a transparent CO2 footprint, create a congenial ambience in the space with their natural, striped wooden surface. The effect is completed by the design of the lighting and utilities suspended from the ceiling. The supermarket opened in April.
With an eye to sustainability, the roof of the new EUROSPAR supermarket in Hartberg, Austria, was built using around 2,300 m2 of Kielsteg wooden construction elements. Other factors in the choice of Kielsteg were its elegant appearance, rapid construction and structural performance. The large clear spans result in a shop floor area of circa 1,700 m2, with the stylish natural wooden surface contributing to a smart but relaxing ambience. The flat roof, which is only half a metre high, is constructed so that half of its area can be green. For the building, which is 31.1 m wide with a 5.4 m projecting roof, only one central support axis is needed, with two pillars. The Kielsteg elements that form the front section with the projecting roof are 21.1 m long, and the elements that cover the rear section are 15.4 m long.
Kielsteg elements have proven themselves in a large number of projects across the EU and beyond especially as a way of creating large clear spans and achieving high flexibility of use of interior spaces in buildings. This was possible thanks to good cooperation with a sales network of competent local designers and builders, now with partners in six countries. To further strengthen Kielsteg in regional and international markets, it became important to obtain a European Technical Approval for the technology. Following almost three years of work with MPA Stuttgart as the testing centre managaing the process, the ETA has now been issued by DIBt Berlin. For us and our partners in Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Norway this is a step up to the next level. In the member states of the EU, the manufacturing and use of Kielsteg is now regulated by the European Technical Assessment which is the basis of the CE label.
Building with wood reduces CO2 emissions in two ways. Wood is a natural building material. To make it, trees need earth, water, air and sunlight, and as they grow they store CO2, which directly affects climate change. In the processing phase, wood needs much less energy input than bricks, concrete or steel. Building with wood is the most efficient method of avoiding CO2 emissions. Lightweight construction systems such as Kielsteg use up to 50% less material compared to solid materials. So Kielsteg should be understood as a contribution to the discussion about the future of sustainable use of wood. But if we make claims about sustainability, we should be able to back them up. So to support we have decided to voluntarily make the CO2 footprint of Kielsteg transparent for our customers over the whole life cycle of the elements. The accounting of the CO2 indicators was carried out by the IBO Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building and verified by Bau EPD. At the beginning of April, Kielsteg became the first holder of an EPD for wooden construction materials issued as part of the Austrian EPD programme listed and verified by Bau EPD. EPDs environmental product declarations), are internationally recognized and standardized instruments for certification of buildings. Environmental product declarations for building materials are not mandatory at the moment, but can make an important contribution to climate protection by promoting low-CO2 building. Our Kielsteg EPD is certified according to international and European standards ISO 14025 and EN 15805, and is therefore used by our sales partners in Europe and in other parts of the world as part of their approach to creating buildings with low CO2 footprints.
Our Scandinavian partner Control AS has completed a project using Kielsteg for the roof of a CO2-certified supermarket. The Kiwi supermarket chain, which has 650 stores in Norway, has opened a new shop in Skollenborg, a town about 90 km south-west of Oslo. The company has set itself the goal of operating as sustainably as possible: for this reason 70% of the products sold are from Norway and the building materials are CO2 certified. The Kiwi store won the architecture prize. The jury commended the clear architecture, the accessibility features for vision-impaired people and the easy-to-navigate organization of the shop, and highlighted the significantly reduced CO2 footprint of the whole project. The building is constructed to passive standard. The Kielsteg roof covers an area of 1300 m² and has clear spans of 23 m while remaining strong enough to withstand Scandinavian snow loads. The CO2 reductions were partly achieved by insisting on materials that were produced with lower-than-normal CO2 emissions – including the concrete, insulation material, steel and asphalt. Kiwi’s head of store development, Jan Eilif Johansen, says the prize shows that their design is well accepted by the market. The way this store was built applied new knowledge to achieve even better functional and environmental benefits. As the chain with the most stores in Norway, the company sees its role as setting an example of how to deal with people and the environment responsibly.
In Pirching near Gleisdorf a new complex of a building center in a very modern design is realized for Landring. For the shop building with 3,530 m² of floor area, the company has chosen a wooden roof structure for its sustainability, performance and aesthetics. A further important reason for the selection of Kielsteg elements was the flexible use of the building, which results from the outstanding structural performance of the wooden elements. The Kielsteg elements used aware as a visible roof structure which is resting on a classical concrete primary structure. This efficiency pays off handsomely.
The Styrian family business Faustmann has been producing furniture and interior fittings to the highest craft standards for 26 years. Their growing production operation in St. Johann near Hartberg, and 11 showrooms with expert customer service in Styria, Carinthia and Burgenland demonstrate the company’s determination to expand. Faustmann decided to build a new factory from scratch to increase capacity and also to improve competitiveness. The new 5,000 m² production space is designed to be as flexible as possible, so that it can be easily adapted to changing market demands. The structure is entirely made of wood and expresses the same clarity of form and material as the company’s furniture. It uses Kielsteg elements as a structural roof and also uses their aesthetic underside as a visible ceiling in the interior of the factory. Elements 16 m in length are being used in three spans across a frame of primary and secondary glulam beams and posts, with a span length of 5.25 m. The building uses a total of 3,569 m² of Kielsteg elements in visual surface quality.
We recently had the great pleasure of welcoming Ryoma Murata from Tokyo for a visit. The purpose of his visit was to explore the feasibility of using Kielsteg elements in a variety of projects. Ryoma Murata is a structural engineer at the internationally famed Shigeru Ban Architects. The main focus of our discussions was on how we could adapt the production of Kielsteg to meet specific needs in terms of structure and geometry. What was most interesting for us was how we were challenged to think far beyond our usual concepts. Now we are busy working out the details of how Kielsteg can be used in a number of specific projects.
The constant growth of the successful family business Sigmatek – specialists in automation technology for makers of industrial machines and plant – has resulted in the third expansion phase of their factory location in Lamprechtshausen. This involved adding an extra storey to the office tract and for this project they chose Kielsteg, firstly to minimize the additional load on the foundations. But also, thanks to the wide clear spans of the Kielsteg construction, the new office space has hardly any internal supports. This allows the company to use the space as flexibly as possible, which serves their corporate strategy. The roof was built from Zenz Timberconstruction from Eggelsberg with high-performance KSE 800 elements, which span the whole width of the building of 25.4 m. The underside of the elements is visible and forms part of the interior design.