Protected against rainwater

Brink drainage channels protect R+V Versicherung

When planning new buildings, special consideration should always be paid to proper drainage. This also applied to the construction of the new administration building of R+V Versicherung in Wiesbaden, where natural drainage was not possible because of the clay content of the soil. In order to avoid overwatering of the lawns and protect the building fabric against driving rain, drainage channels and gullies made by Richard Brink GmbH & Co. KG from Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock in Eastern Westphalia were used.

Energy efficiency built in

The most important criteria in the architectural design competition for the new building were an energy efficient design and intelligent use of the whole site. The result is two purposely discreet atrium buildings with landscaped inner courtyards which blend harmoniously into their surroundings and are linked by a spacious hall. In designing the façade, tried and tested materials such as shell limestone were combined with modern steel and glass elements, thereby creating a timelessly beautiful and pleasant appearance.

A geothermal system is used to supply the building with energy, covering 50 to 70 per cent of the total energy requirements and thus significantly reducing CO2 emissions. Other features relating to energy efficiency are the presence-linked lighting control system and the automatic blind controls, which react to heat and light. ‘An ecological design was very important to us,’ says Georg Baulig, the project manager for this undertaking.

Design improves communication

Improving communication between employees was a central component of the building’s concept. On every floor, ‘meeting points’ replace the old kitchenettes, their open design inviting staff to linger. Incorporating large-scale glass surfaces throughout the whole building lends continuity to the concept. In summer, the canteen provides seating for employees in the 40 x 40 metre landscaped inner courtyard. The inner courtyard is broken up by plants at different levels. In order to protect them against overwatering, custom-made drainage channels from Richard Brink GmbH & Co. KG were installed around the flower beds.

Channels protect the building fabric

A particular challenge in this construction project was the clay content in the substrate, which prevents natural drainage. Without targeted drainage of rainwater, water could collect and damage the building fabric. In order to ensure proper drainage, Richard Brink supplied custom-made drainage channels here as well. Functionality was the most important factor for R+V Versicherung in selecting the drainage system, but appearance was also an important criterion. The drainage channels from Richard Brink GmbH & Co.KG were able to score in both categories.

The Stabile channels used around the edge of the building are covered by a stainless steel mesh grating with a mesh width of 30 x 10 millimetres. Round channels, which blend seamlessly with the building, are used for the rotating doors to the administration building. ‘All of these drainage channels are custom-made by Richard Brink and were specially manufactured to meet our requirements,’ says Georg Baulig. ‘These channels catch rainwater directly where it falls, guide it into the drainage system and thus protect our building fabric against the effects of adverse weather.’ A total of 260 metres of drainage channels and 26 gullies were supplied. The drainage system was installed between April and July 2010. Baulig was extremely satisfied with the choice of supplier. ‘The services were provided reliably, the whole installation worked well and we were able to move into the new premises ahead of schedule.’

Raiffeisenplatz gets a face-lift

At the moment the square in front of the new building, comprising an area of 4,500 square metres, is still under construction. It is intended to be both a linking area and a place to spend a while. The key motif for the square is a lighting strip in the company’s shade of blue, which links the entrances to the buildings across the square. Seating will be provided by ‘blue cells’, and a fountain will be another highlight in the spacious square.