The local press, the student newspaper, neighbors – everyone’s talking about the successful interior and exterior renovation of Kuniberg vocational school. At the center of all the attention is the school’s new facade, with panels made of pladur® organic coated steel from ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe.
Facade as technical challenge
Kuniberg vocational school in Recklinghausen, Germany, was a gray building that had seen better days. So, in October 2012, Recklinghausen district council contracted the architecture firm Wallmeier Stummbillig to carry out extensive energy efficiency renovations. Sandra Wessels was the architect in charge of the project: “The facade presented a particular challenge,” she explains, partly due to the building’s complex structure, and partly because the existing poorly insulated concrete facade could not be demolished. Instead it had to be strengthened to support additional loads. The facade was also very uneven in places.
Steel panels offer the most sustainable solution
As part of a Europe-wide tender for planning and construction services, the Herne-based architects – who specialize in renovation projects – looked at various ways of modernizing the facade. They eventually decided in favor of panels made from coil-coated steel. “For us, the building owner and Recklinghausen district council, sustainability was the key factor in choosing a metal facade,” says Wessels. The successful bidder offered profiles made of material from thyssenkrupp Steel Europe that exactly matched the demanding technical specifications. The high-quality coil-coated finish guarantees long-lasting surfaces with very low maintenance requirements. ZM Ecoprotect®, a zinc-magnesium coating, provides excellent anti-corrosion properties while PVDF offers ideal UV resistance.
Collaboration on all details
At the start of the planning phase, Wessels quickly got in touch with Klaus Kottkamp, the main contact for construction projects at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, to discuss technical details. “Together we came up with solutions to all the challenges,” says Kottkamp. “The three-part substructure specified in the tender enabled us to compensate for even major unevenness.” “And in one place the facade bulged as much as 17 centimeters,” adds Wessels: “We were pleasantly surprised not only by the scope for adaptation but also by the amount of design freedom for the surface.” Despite this, the choice of color was a difficult one, with the committee of building owner, user and architect team eventually selecting a combination of ruby red, blue and telegray.
A new landmark in Kuniberg
The school, with 2,200 students and 90 teachers, remained open during the interior and exterior renovation work. Coordinating deadlines was a complicated job and called for on-time delivery of the materials in several packages. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe supplied the starting material to DWT Systembau, who processed it into steel panels and planned and carried out installation. Since completion of the work in early 2013, the vocational school and its facade have become a new landmark in Kuniberg.