Schwarz Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG is adding a five-story building to the experimenta science discovery center in Heilbronn. The foundation stone for the new building was laid on June 22, 2016. Drees & Sommer has overall responsibility for management, planning, and construction management. The building shell up to the fourth floor is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.
The Science Dome with its spherically curved screen and an auditorium capable of rotating through 180 degrees, an observatory, and a staggered spiral facade make the building unique. experimenta’s exhibition rooms and the so-called ‘space-time spiral’ enclose a spacious atrium resulting in a gross floor area of 18,000 square meters. Architectural firm Sauerbruch Hutton is Drees & Sommer’s partner for the project. Because of the complex geometry of the building, Drees & Sommer decided from the outset to use Building Information Modeling (BIM). The BIM principle – ‘Build it twice: first digitally, then physically’ – was applied right from the draft planning stage, and included the development of a seamless 3D planning model. The BIM data model served as the starting point for virtual testing of key properties of the new building. Energy simulations and profitability analysis demonstrated that a combination of groundwater use, heat pump technology and natural gravity cooling systems represented the most economical energy concept. This alone resulted in a six-digit investment saving as well as a five-digit annual saving in operating costs. Digital modularization allowed the specialist engineers to develop a large number of identical facade elements despite the complex architecture. This will simplify logistics during construction and speed up the construction process. The official opening of the new building is planned for 2019.