alt="Turnable ladder at work"

What happened during the firefighters operation?

The fire brigade in Langenselbold is seated within the range of vision (for more information visit: Feuerwehr Langenselbold). Except from this, the firefighters from Langenselbold are incredibly fast: They need only 4 – 5 minutes until they are ready to start. This time is equal to the performance of professional fire brigades. Good for us in case of emergency! :)

Fabienne and I talked to Mr. Markus Mohn, city fire chief of Langenselbold to get some details of the firefighters operations at the new Elementar headquarter last week. Here are some key facts of the operation:

  • 35 firefighters entered the building
  • 7 emergency vehicles were used
  • 1 big turnable ladder was on site

They made a standard exercise regarding the firefighter’s regulation number 3:

  • saving peoples life with behalf of a turnable ladder
  • fire extinguishing in all 3 floors: basement, ground floor and upper floor
  • saving peoples life (simulated with 2 big dolls) from basement and ground floor


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They tested with preferably real operating conditions. Orange blinking lights simulated the seat of fire and they draped big dolls at basement and ground floor to simulate a critical situation for peoples life. Furthermore they placed a person on the roof to train the operation with a turnable ladder, too.

The firefighters worked in in 4 teams: one team in each floor and one at the outside. The teams in basement and ground floor first need to save the peoples life, before they could extinguish the “fire”. Mr. Mohn told us that this is an important rule: saving peoples life always has the highest priority! The team outside used the turnable ladder to save Mr. Sieper’s son from the roof. He was so brave to play the endangered person – I think now he could tell a really cool story at school. :)

We would like to thank the fire brigade from Langenselbold for their engagement. We could be happy to know that we can count on their help in case of emergency!


Here you could watch the firefighters at work during the recovery mission from roof and basement:


alt="Big operation team"

Firefighters operation at the new Elementar headquarter

On Wednesday was high life at the new Elementar headquarter: a big amount of firefighters entered the ground and made an exercise. That was a good opportunity to train themselves and to get an overview of the building. New industrial buildings are often walked on by the local fire brigade – so they have a better orientation in case of emergency.

Even if the basis of such an operation is the ground plan, its better when the firefighters have seen the building “live” on beforehand. The ground plan is marked with colored coding (i. e. staircases) and shows access routes and other important topics like the best way to enter the roof, etc.

Besides that, the fire brigade tested the radio field. It is highly important that the digital radio field works in the whole building. Often is the signal defected by the building itself (i. e. from the floor). Unfortunately they discovered that there isn’t a good connection to the upper floor and the connection to the basement failed completely. That’s a pity, because Elementar has to install a building radio communication system, which will cause high costs.

Anyway, the safety of our staff has of course the highest priority!

Next week you can read more about the details of the firefighter’s operation and watch some nice videos. :)

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What’s going on inside?

Since the works at the building site have shifted to the completion of the interior, the webcam provides only scarce information on what’s going on inside. Therefore we prepared a picture gallery with the latest impressions for you. You will recognize how fast the works at the building site proceed:

  • The concrete floor of the warehouse is cured, the walls are smoothed and pipes installed. Thanks to the profiled glass façade, the numerous windows on both sides and the rooflight domes, the warehouse is very bright.
  • Internal partitions made of chipboards are errected to divide different areas. Some of these partitions have already been smoothed.
  • The installation of pipes and sheet metal parts at the ceiling still continues. These parts form the cooling & heating sails that are going to regulate the temperature in the future offices.
  • There are a lot of cables that need to be laid. In every corner of the building, you’ll find cables hanging from the ceiling, cable funnels in the walls and cables that come out of the floor. You can even recognize the cut-outs for the sockets in the walls.

Now enjoy clicking through our picture gallery!

(Photos by Piotr Banczerowski)


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Delivery of the heating system units

Heat pump and refrigerator installation

The heating system of Elementar’s new headquarters is located in the basement. Last week the heat pump, refrigerator and boiler were delivered – but how to transport these bulky units into the basement?

For this purpose there is an assembly opening in the floor of the production department. The floor plate was lifted and the units were lowered by a chain into the basement. Therefore there was no need to use the staircase, which was plastered at the same time when the system units arrived.

In addition to the heat pump which uses geothermal energy, a boiler is installed to ensure that even during very cold winters the building will be comfortably warm.

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alt="Rat's nest of cables"

Fast progress of the completion of the interieur

In the last weeks we wrote a lot of posts over topics like the construction of the air handling units, geothermal drilling, etc. So, I think its time to give you a short update of the status of the completion of the interieur of our future working places.

A lot of teams are working in the building. Because of that, the work on the interieur is in fast progress. The inner walls are erected and smoothed, the elevator and the stairs on the main customer entrance are already there and much more… Please watch the gallery to get an impression of the actual status of our new Elementar headquarter.


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alt=" Big air ducts"

Installation of air ducts

Some of the last construction steps we could watch at the webcam are actually in progress. The air handling units are connected with the building through air ducts. These will ensure a comfortable climate at our working places. Nobody could give 100 % if it’s too cold or too hot in the office, production, etc.


Within two weeks the workers should be able to finish the connection of the building and the air handling units through the air ducts (I think it looks like a little labyrinth on the roof). Then the most of the work on the outbuilding is done and the completion of the interior is now on focus.


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Installation of air handling units

Installation of air handling units on the roof

When I drove to the building site this Wednesday, it was raining cats and dogs. It seems like I chose the perfect day (just kidding) to take pictures of the installation of air handling units on the roof. Luckily I had my rubber boots ready to hand in my trunk – an essential accessoire when reporting from a building site :-)

Although the rain was rather unpleasant and the provisional staircase leading to the roof not easy to climb, I was rewarded with a nice view from the top of the building. A view I had not experienced before: you could see into the two inner courtyards of the building, and take a look at the surrounding neighbourhood consisting of a residential area (opposite the roundabout) and a commercial area.

As Tamara reported in her last article, last week the preliminary work was done by creating the foundation for the air handling units. This week the units were delivered and lifted onto the foundations on the flat roof by a large crane. The installation of the system, performed by a building services engineering company, still continues today. The system consists of several modules of air conditioning and ventilation systems made by NOVA. On the pictures below, you can see the filter elements and ventilators in the accessible housings.

This technology on top of Elementar’s new headquarters is going to regulate the climate in the building. Cooling and warming will be performed by multifunction sails AVACS (Air Ventilation And Cooling System) bond to the ceiling. These sails are not only cooling and heating sails, but also serve as acoustic sails, absorbing noise. This will certainly contribute to a good working atmosphere. In addition to that, the building’s ventilation will also be regulated via these elements.


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Alt="Panorama view of the roof"

Foundations for air handling units

The general construction of the new Elementar headquarter in Langenselbold will soon be finished. One of the last steps is the installation of pre-cast concrete elements for foundations of air handling units on the roof. They are needed to protect the insulation on the roof (to watch Fabiennes report regarding the roofing click here). The air handling units for climate control will probably be installed on the foundation next week.


It was a good day to install the pre-cast concrete elements for foundations of the air handling units: dry and relatively calm. If it’s windy the truck-mounted crane isn’t able to place the elements as exactly as needed because of eolian vibrations. The elements are built on stilts (ca. 50 – 60 cm high) at defined areas on the roof. This should prevent the insulation from being damaged by the heavy air handling units. After the concrete slabs are installed they will be screwed together and poured to create a stable foundation for the air handling units for climate control.


Pictures of the installation of the air handling units will follow next week!


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ALT="Overview of the storehouse"

Storehouse bottom plate pouring

Today another important step of building the new Elementar headquarter will be finished: the pouring of the storehouse bottom plate. The workers started today at 06:00 am and will already be able to finish their work within today. A lot of work!


To cover the high demands of the bottom through heavy storekeeping and material handling, the bottom plate is made of ferroconcrete. Ferroconcrete is a composite material consisting of concrete and steel reinforcement. It combines the advantages of both materials to create an optimized carrying capacity of the bottom plate.


The steel reinforcement is already placed on the ground. A truck-mounted concrete pump uses pipes to deliver the concrete into the storehouse.  There the concrete gets spread and smoothed by the workers. Even if the workers finish their work today, it takes up to 4 weeks until the concrete is completely dried. That’s no wonder: to pour the complete bottom plate of the huge storehouse are 312 m³ of concrete needed!


I made some pictures, so that you can get some impressions. The next step at the storehouse is to implement the building services when the ferroconcrete is walkable after ca. 2 weeks.



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alt=" Drill rig at work"

Drilling for Geothermal energy

Another big step in processing the construction of the new Elementar building started yesterday: the drilling for the geothermal energy! We will use near-surface geothermal energy in combination with a heat pump for climate control and a water heating system. This technology perfectly meets the sustainable attitude of Elementar.


To supply the whole building, the company BauGrund Süd, which is located in the Lake Constance area, has to drill 21 holes. They will presumably only need 3 weeks to drill the 100 meter deep holes – the test drilling was very successful. The soil is not really hard, what enables the company to accelerate the progress up to two complete drillings per day. The average of this kind of work normally is only one drilling per day.


The drilling rig uses small and wide tubes. The wide ones are only used up to 18 meter depth and then they progress only with the small ones. The arising air, water and rocks are pumped off by thick hoses. Within these tubes, the borehole heat exchanger will be placed in the ground. It detracts 10 to 12 °C from the ground and delivers it up to the heat pump. The water in the borehole heat exchanger is used in a closed loop and will again be used to detract heat from the ground after cooling down. For some impressions you could watch the pictures or click here for a video of the drilling process.

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