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More Comfort For Everyone

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More Comfort For Everyone
More Comfort For Everyone

Video: More Comfort For Everyone

Video: More Comfort For Everyone
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Since 2017, around 130,000 square meters of facade space have been insulated and attractively plastered in two Berlin settlements. 3,000 Kreuzberger tenant households benefit from this comprehensive modernization. A mineral facade insulation system is used on the outer walls, which is non-flammable and protects against winter cold, summer heat and noise emissions.

Author: Achim Zielke I Photos: Caparol / Marcus Ebener

Deutsche Wohnen - with a portfolio of 164,000 residential units from one of the leading housing providers in Germany - has had various multi-storey buildings in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin insulated and plastered since 2017 and probably until the end of 2020. When renovating facades in Otto-Suhr and the neighboring Spring settlement, old facades are to be repaired with durable and, above all, safe materials: a facade system is installed on an outer wall surface of 130,000 square meters in order to minimize building energy requirements. “Non-combustible stone wool is used as the insulation material and a matching - also mineral - plaster system with a layer thickness of one centimeter. The plaster and the mineral coating are free of biocides,”explains Michael Karst, property consultant at Caparol.

A home from home

“A comfortable home is one of the most important things a person needs. Our tenants should have the feeling and certainty of living well and safely in our houses - regardless of how many residential units a multi-storey building, an ensemble or a high-rise building contains and in which district it is located,”notes architect David Weinert, who is responsible for Deutsche Wohnen (DW for short) is the project manager for the ongoing modernization of the portfolio.

With 111,500 residential units, DW is one of the most important providers of living space in the Spree metropolis. What distinguishes the company as a landlord from others is its guiding principle: "We want to offer our tenants apartments in houses that are always welcome", emphasizes Dipl.-Ing. Marko Lehmann, who is responsible for technical project management at DW. He mentions increasing living comfort as the primary goal of ongoing building renovations in the Kreuzberg district. It is the most complex and comprehensive modernization project that Deutsche Wohnen has so far undertaken. For protection against winter cold,Summer heat and disturbing noise immissions ensure insulation measures on facades as well as the replacement of old compound windows / double box windows with double-glazed wooden insulating glass windows. The costs to be expended are partly allocated to the rents; a large part is considered an investment in the conservation of the portfolio and, according to Deutsche Wohnen, is financed from reserves.

Mineral wool instead of hemp

Project manager David Weinert originally favored facade cladding made of hemp insulation boards for the Spring settlement. "We would have found hemp great!" Confirms project manager Marko Lehmann. The fact that the choice ultimately fell or had to fall on stone wool instead of hemp fiber panels is due to the strict fire protection requirements stipulated by the Berlin State Building Code: Non-combustible products are mandatory for facade insulation measures on Class IV and V buildings.

“Rock wool is non-combustible and fulfills the strict fire protection requirements set by the Berlin state building regulations for multi-storey residential buildings. In addition, the mineral insulation material effectively protects against both too much summer heat and icy cold. In addition, mineral wool offers good sound insulation, which is becoming increasingly important, particularly in building construction. Due to the all-round convincing material properties, Deutsche Wohnen decided to use mineral wool to insulate the facades in both quarters,”explains Paul Schüttauf, Managing Director of SPP Schüttauf and Persike Planning Company, which accompanies the facade insulation work on behalf of the living space provider.

Two settlements, two companies

The Spring settlement in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district includes six- to fifteen-story buildings, most of which were built in the 1960s. The ASA construction company from Panketal has to insulate and coat around 50,000 square meters of facade area. The processors also deal with the repair of around 1,200 balconies, in addition to installing and coating the insulation boards.

The Otto Suhr estate comprises a total of 2,300 apartments and was completed in three construction phases by 1963. At present, an impressive 80,000 square meters of facade area are to be insulated on the buildings, which include a eight-storey high-rise building with 16 floors on Alexandrinenstrasse. The execution is the responsibility of the Berlin specialist company B & O Gebäudetechnik, which at the same time realizes top floors to create additional living space.

Characterized by the Bauhaus style

The executives of the real estate group wanted an authentic design for the facades of their insulated buildings, which is based on the style and color theory of the architect and urban planner Bruno Taut (1880 to 1938).

Taut has shaped the cityscape of Berlin through numerous large housing estates. He was in close contact with Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, which is expressed in the straightforward design language and purpose-built cubature of many Berlin objects. According to Taut's designs, around ten to twelve thousand apartments were built here. The typical Bauhaus style is also evident in the Spring settlement. The architecture of these post-war buildings dates back to Prof. Wils Ebert.

Color accents

Bruno Taut masterfully understood how to accentuate the Bauhaus-typical cool objectivity and strict form with striking colors. Numerous architects built on his courage to set accents in the post-war period - including the builders of the Otto Suhr estate, as evidenced by a restoration report.

Based on the reconstruction of the original appearance, Gabriele Gerlach from the Caparol Color Design Studio in Berlin visualized the design template on which the current facade renovation is based: "The building facades were tinted in the traffic light colors red, yellow and green and the exact nuances were determined on site," reports Ragnar Ruhle, managing director of B & O Gebäudetechnik from Berlin. His company carries out the facade insulation in the Otto Suhr estate, including plastering and other modernization work.

More photos:

The color concept for the Otto Suhr estate: The building facades are tinted in the traffic light colors red, yellow and green.

Photo: Caparol


Construction board:

  • Client: Deutsche Wohnen GmbH
  • Planning / architecture: SPP Schüttauf and Persike
  • ETICS processing Otto-Suhr-Siedlung: B&O Gruppe | B&O Gebäudetechnik GmbH & Co. KG
  • ETICS processing Spring settlement: ASA Baugesellschaft mbH
  • ETICS product supplier: Caparol
  • Execution advice: Michael Karst, Christian Lahayn


David Weinert, architect

A comfortable home is one of the most important things a person needs