The Fraunhofer IWKS (Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies) is at the forefront of research into the responsible use of natural resources – based on the principle that resources should be used but not consumed. Their focus is on recovery of materials and reintroducing those materials into new product cycles.
The important work of Fraunhofer IWKS will now be carried out from a new building in Hanau, Germany that has been built in accordance with the same sustainability principles that drive their activities. This office and technical centre houses 80 employees in a 2600m2 building that ensures short distances for good orientation and spaces for informal communication.
An important objective for the building was the target of silver certification according to the guidelines for sustainable construction for federal buildings in Germany (BNB).
Designed by hammeskrause architekten bda, the building is constructed of materials that are free of harmful substances and can be easily separated and reused or recycled when future deconstruction is necessary. This choice included extensive use of galvanized steel in the façades of the building. The galvanized coating of these façades will develop a highly stable surface patina over future decades and create an aesthetically pleasing as well as sustainable solution.
"Sustainable building and the most modern, high-tech research infrastructure, that’s possible. Both outside and inside, sustainability and energy efficiency in construction were our top priority", said Andreas Meurer, board member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, at the official opening of the building, adding that "The façade is clad with galvanized steel plates, for example. Steel makes an important contribution to zero waste management. The steel can be completely recycled. The material cycle is thus closed, without any loss of quality."