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New premises of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt / Main

The European Central Bank (ECB) erects its new premises on the area of the listed former central market hall (Großmarkthalle) in Frankfurt / Main. The manufacturer of special building materials epasit is involved in the new premises of the European Central Bank and supplies building materials for the interior insulation of the central market hall with the epatherm climate board system.

The plan of the Viennese architect's office COOP HIMMELB(L)AU - which won the architectural design competition in 2004 - for the ECB's new premises comprises of three main elements: the former central market hall with new internal structures, a high-rise building of 185m consisting of two office towers joined by an atrium and an entrance building. The entrance building which visually and functionally links the tower with the central market hall, simultaneously provides a clearly identifiable main entrance from the north and includes an area for press conferences. Mainly in the office towers approx. 2,300 places of work are provided.

Future function of the central market hall

The former central market hall is preserved in its fundamental appearance and houses the ECB's public functions, such as lobby area, visitor's centre, conference rooms, library, exhibition areas and staff restaurant. The gross floor area will amount in total to approx. 185,000 m2. The new premises are due to be completed by the end of 2013 and ready for occupancy in 2014.

Careful rehabilitation of a monument

The central market hall, in which, until 2004 fruit and vegetables have been traded, was built between 1926 and 1928. At that time, this building represented the largest free-spanning prestressed reinforced concrete hall in the world . During its renovation, the ECB collaborates therefore closely with authorities such as the responsible Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (state office for preservation of monuments), Wiesbaden, and the energy department of Frankfurt city. In future, the originally unheated central market hall will be brought to a moderate temperature; thus the demand for an appropriate thermal insulation arose. Simultaneously is was not allowed to alter the structure for reasons of the preservation of monuments. As a compromise, an extremely thin layer of interior insulation was opted for.

Material samples ease the selection

To find or to develop appropriate restoration methods, samples of all original parts and materials were first taken. Based on their analysis the materials and surfaces to be used were finally determined. Because of the danger of mould through condensation of water, for the interior insulation, only surface-active insulating materials were suitable. The epasit team prepared various technical samples to test the function and quality of the preselected material.

Interior insulation and energetic rehabilitation

For the thermal insulation of the listed central market hall, an interior insulation system of calcium silicate boards will be used. Around 10,000 m2 of insulating boards with thicknesses of between 20 and 50 mm were consumed in the central market hall in 2012. The company adicon BWE was responsible for a proper processing of the interior insulation system of calcium silicate.

Further rehabiliation measures

The facade of the former market hall was predominantly of concrete grids and clinkers. In the course of the renovation, the concrete grids of the northern and southern facades as well as the northern clinker front part remain preserved, as they are essential design elements of the hall. The hall has been equipped with new, double glazed windows. With its narrow steel sections, these optically resemble the original single-glazed windows. The historically important barrel-shaped shell roof will be rehabilitated.

Energy-saving measuress

Already during the preparations for the architectural competition the ECB pursued the objective to make its new premises 30% more energy efficient that it is requested in the Energiesparverordnung (energy-saving directives) 2007. Therefore, the energy concept comprises a series of fields, such as, among other things, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery, efficient isolation with own microclimate, natural ventilation, sun shelter and illumination as well as geothermics.

Presse contact:
epasit GmbH Spezialbaustoffe
Peggy Wandel
Sandweg 12 - 14, D-72119 Ammerbuch-Altingen,
Tel +49 (0) 7032 2015-0, Fax +49 (0) 7032 2015-21




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+49 (0)7032 - 20 15-0

Project management

Jürgen Berg

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