Climate House Bremerhaven

Controlled Natural Ventilation

Drive and control technology by STG-BEIKIRCH
Special ventilation concepts for a unique climate envelope

Bremerhaven has a new museum attraction – the Klimahaus® Bremerhaven 8° Ost. This is a so-called science centre for weather, climate, oceans and environment situated at the edge of Bremerhaven’s city centre, at the old harbour side directly on the banks of the Weser. Here, through different experience levels, visitors are shown the various aspects of climate and climate change in an impressive way. What makes it special is not only the architecture, which reminds one of a huge cloud or a ship, but also the concept of a building, which does not cause any additional CO2 emissions. The buildings’ technical services for this so far unique museum concept show what modern drive and control technology has to take into consideration nowadays and how cleverly it can be incorporated into filigree facade structures.

Object Dimensions: 125 x 85 m in plan | 27 m height
Year: 2012
Products: STG Natural Ventilation Products

Elements of steel and glass
The architecture embodies the symbolised depiction of our globe’s latitudes and longitudes with the different types of world climate along the eastern 8th longitude. The building’s dimensions are 125 x 85 m in plan and a height of 27 m. Actually, the museum is made up of two separate building elements, the interior building built as a massive construction (in-situ concrete) and the outer shell measuring a total of 8000 m2 made from glass. This consists of a steel construction weighing approximately 1200 tons, into which the facade glazing is set.

The scale-like VSG glazing of the outer skin and its associated support construction as well as the trapezoidal beam construction of the roof are carried by a steel structure and supported by the primary supporting structure. The steel structure of purlins (circles of latitude) and rafters (meridians) contributes considerably to the general outer appearance of the building.

Exemplary realisation of a sophisticated ventilation concept 
From the invitation to tender until completion the museum project was attended to by the company of Transsolar, which developed an integral concept of building air-conditioning for this specific project. The amazing aspect is that the building’s energy supply results in almost zero CO2 emissions.

This required the use of “soft” air-conditioning concepts. In this the natural ventilation is an important component of integral planning. Fresh air supply is important for the comfort perceived by people. The mechanical ventilations systems are efficiently supported by natural ventilation. For this ventilation flaps in the outer shell are opened and these can also be used for the required smoke extraction in case of fire.

Especially during the summer the glass interspace of the facade must be flooded effectively with outside air, to keep the warming of the air at a minimum before it enters the inside. During the night the natural ventilation is used for the overnight cooling of the building.

In contrast to this the warmth gained through the facade is welcome during winter and serves to pre-warm the fresh air. In this area the warm air naturally escapes freely upwards via the open air spaces, which considerably reduces the need for ventilation shafts and the transport of air.


Klimahaus Bremerhaven

Why controlled natural ventilation?

Natural ventilation increased the energy efficiency of buildings. The right amount of fresh air supply and the simultaneous removal of used air lead to a comfortable room climate. To a great extent there is no need for a sophisticated distribution system, such as air ducts. Energy is only required when opening and closing the ventilation flaps.

Functional principle of natural ventilation
The key element is an intelligently controlled window, which is controlled by electric motors. This regulates the supply of fresh air. Sensors capture such data as the pressure differences, day and night time, wind force and direction as well as temperature differences inside and outside. These are processed to then open or close the air inlets and outlets via the central building control system as required.

Ventilation technologies - recognition – understanding - design
The museum has 143 different exhibition rooms including several aquariums of varying size. The total water volume of the aquaria is almost 500 m³, i.e. around 500.000 litres. The humid climate which is prevalent in theses areas must also be taken into consideration when planning the drive technology.

As far as the building’s interior is concerned large parts of the structure of the Klimahaus cannot be defined by classic architectural terms like floor level, wall and ceiling. Any spaces below the equator are regulated by the vents of the smoke and heat extractions system and simultaneous ventilation and any spaces above the equator are only served by the smoke and heat extraction and ventilation systems.

Instead of the usual 24V supply for the smoke and heat extractions system anything connected with the system and the ventilation was to be designed for 230V. This resulted in a considerable reduction of the required cable cross-section of the motor cables compared to the 24V control.

This particularly required a durable and intelligent control technology for the facade element as well as a manufacturer who would take on the required warranty. For this reason the facade manufacturers chose the market partner for innovative control and drive systems - – STG-BEIKIRCH of Lemgo-Lieme - when designing the demanding project. For STG-BEIKIRCH the scope of supply for the Bremerhaven museum consisted of project planning, delivery and installation of the drive technology for the smoke and heat extraction and fresh air supply of the facade as well as supply and installation for the control technology in the facade elements for the ventilation openings and fresh air flaps.

Technical implementation

Drives and controls for 113 differently formed casement elements
Due to the shape of the building’s outer shell the casements are not rectangular as would be the case for normal buildings. Depending on its position each casement has an individual shape. There are no 90° angles and thus as a rule no parallel outside edges either.

Therefore the Lemgo-Lieme technicians had to determine the exact physical position of the drives for each individual window, to achieve as little torsion of the chain as possible.

In total 113 curved casements of varying geometric shapes were fitted with the respective drive technology. As far as project planning was concerned this meant that each casement including its chain drive had to be considered individually and had to be adjusted and fitted individually to the element facade on site as with the free shape of the building’s shell the respective installation level also changed. This was solved by individual adjustment of the mounting brackets of the chain drives.

Careful specialist installation required safe use of material and technology
This task was solved using modified robust standard drive systems. On smoke and heat extraction casements as well as inlet vents and air vents a total of 23 chain drives of the series EM Tandem-AC were installed on frameless glass panes with special holders on the glass, as well as 90 of a special version of chain drives of the series FM-Tandem. The special version of the TM-tandem drives consisted mainly of the integration of the 230V upstream units into the motor housing and adjusting the electronics. In addition a total of five controls in 230V for the outer facade and three controls for the lamellar facade were fitted with additional drives.

The installation, too, was not a standard task. The laying of the cables required considerable specialist know-how and the safe use of material and meticulous care had to be taken to avoid shearing off and bending the filigree beam structures.

The installation position of the windows is higher than 2.50 m. An advantage of this is that safety flaps were not required. However, due to the difficult accessibility the chain drives could only be installed with the use of scaffolding.

For this reason the technicians created a separate operational protocol after the completion of the installation for each casement. The function tests were carried out without any problems and a final acceptance test was not required. The building report, taking into account all requirements for fire protection, confirms good, problem-free performance.

Heat, extreme humidity of the air, icy cold: When walking on the eighth longitude you can feel the weather. By now the Klimahaus 8° Ost has won several awards. The concept is something quite special.

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