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Vogelweh Elementary School Kaiserslautern

Plan view of the building complex from above. The communal area and theatre tower are in the centre. Various auxiliary buildings branch off the communal area.
Facts and Figures
Company Neubau VOES consortium: BBGS GmbH, Mickan General-Baugesellschaft mbH & Co. KG and Steffensky & Ringle Bau GmbH
PrincipalLandesbetrieb Liegenschafts- und Baubetreuung Rheinland-Pfalz LBB, Trier branch
LocationKaiserslautern - Germany
Type Public buildings
Runtime09.2016 - 08.2019

Focus on security and sustainability

Vogelweh Elementary School was built by a consortium under the technical lead of PORR subsidiary BBGS. The 52,000m² site is located within the US-owned ‘Vogelweh Housing’ estate in the south-west of Kaiserslautern. The school, accessible throughout, is attended by 655 students aged 2–12, of whom 25% are special needs students. The flexible building concept allows for different learning styles and varied class sizes.

High security requirements
The US military has high security requirements for its buildings. For this reason, the buildings are mostly monolithic reinforced concrete structures. Glass facades and windows have been reinforced with steel structures and have a special triple-layer safety glazing. All ceiling suspensions are double-secured.

Superbly sustainable
In addition to security, the US military also places considerable emphasis on sustainability – this applies to construction of the building as well as during operation.  The school was built from primarily regionally-sourced building materials with a high proportion of recycled material. For example, the reinforced concrete contained over 97% waste material. Pale-coloured materials were used for the outdoor areas and roof covering, in order to reflect as much sunlight as possible.

Surface water is collected in sunken buffer storage systems, known as swales, which slow down rainwater run-off to avoid flooding neighbouring land. Rainwater from the roof is stored in four 5m³ tanks and used to water the gardens. Green roofs also contribute to water management and improve the microclimate. The complex has been awarded Silver LEED certification.

Flexible building concept
The core of the school building is a large communal area at the centre of the school complex which is connected to all the main areas of the building.  The auxiliary campus buildings have a similar structure to the main building. Individual study studios are grouped around a communal connecting area that serves as a multifunctional space. An open, flexible construction method with mobile separating walls means that the study studios can be extended as needed.

A large sports hall is available for physical education, with pitch markings for a variety of sports. A big kitchen built to US hygiene standards ensures that students will not go hungry.

Construction challenge: the stage tower
A highlight from a construction point of view is the theatre tower integrated into the communal area. The formwork for the curved tower has an inclined upper edge that required particular manual skill. The interior and external facades are clad with clay tiles. This rounded arrangement is unique in Germany and required a special building permit.

Find out more about the project in the World of PORR https://worldofporr.com/en/174-2019/vogelweh-elementary-school-kaiserslautern/

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