• Wälderhaus

Wälderhaus, Hamburg, Germany

In Hamburg, there is a new building that stands out from the mass of steel and concrete: The multi-purpose Wälderhaus building with its "green" wooden facade. It was constructed in the framework of the International Building Exhibition (Internationale Bauausstellung, IBA) and is designed to bring the forest closer to the inhabitants of Hamburg, right in the middle of the city.

On the ground floor and the first floor, the German forest protection association (Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald) is making use of the exhibition facilities with an exhibition on the North German forest. This area also features conference and training rooms as well as a restaurant. The top three floors house a hotel.

What's so special about it? The upper part of the building uses solid wood construction techniques. Not only have the ceilings and interior walls been constructed from solid larch wood, but the exterior walls as well.

Service Areas

  • Project Execution
  • Design & Engineering

Disciplines

  • Security & Safety

Client Segments

  • Real Estate Investors and Developers

Types

Challenge

What is the most effective way to protect this wooden construction from the spread of fire if the walls, ceilings and even the facade are combustible?

Solution

  • Internal simulations and analyses through research and development gave the following result:
  • A water vapour fire-extinguishing system using the low-pressure vapour extinguishing system EconAqua
  • The low-pressure water vapour fire-extinguishing system uses around 85% less water than conventional sprinklers. In the event of a fire, water damage will be kept to a minimum – a major consideration in wooden constructions, which suffer much greater damage as a result of fire-fighting water than, for instance, reinforced concrete constructions.
  • As less water is used, less room is needed to store water supplies
  • Fastening to combustible wall and ceiling constructions using double brackets developed internally
  • Year

    2012–2013

    Key project figures

  • Largest wooden building in Germany with exceptional fire protection concept
  • Five-storey building, using solid wood construction techniques from the second floor upwards
  • Won the "sprinkler protected" award from the bvfa (Bundesverband vorbeugender Brandschutz, German Preventative Fire Protection Association)

  • Facts and figures on Caverion’s role

  • Around 700 sprinkler heads
  • Water supply of around 20 m³
  • Compressed sprinkler protection for the windows, to prevent flames from jumping from the facade into the rooms (and vice versa)
  • Ground floor divided into two fire compartments using a fire-protection curtain. Here, conventional sprinklers have been fitted using compression techniques.
  • 20 m³
    water supply

    Lifespan
    2012-2013

    700
    sprinkler heads