Lightweight construction or rather solid?


Anyone building a new production plant is faced with the question at the start of planning: should the project be carried out in lightweight or solid construction?
Besides solid or lightweight construction, a mixture of both often makes sense, because the individual operating areas are exposed to different mechanical stresses.
If the solid construction method is the first choice, the builder decides between precast concrete elements and conventional masonry. Before starting construction, an expert should check the subsoil for condition and load-bearing capacity. This avoids expensive ground improvement measures or additional concrete piles, which transfer the considerably higher loads of a solid construction into the subsoil. Those who prefer the lightweight construction method of steel or prefabricated reinforced concrete supports must choose between sandwich panels or lightweight concrete panels for the façade design.
Master butcher Jochen Rieck from Römerstein in the district of Reutlingen (Baden-Württemberg) began planning a 600-square-metre new production building in the district of Böhringen a good year ago. With only 150 sqm and spread over several floors, his slaughter rooms and sausage kitchen were at the limit of their capacity. Schwan Projekt GmbH recommended the mixed construction method for the Riecks’ project: Concrete sandwich walls and ceilings were used in the heavily used rooms such as the waiting room, slaughtering, smoking and cooking areas, where high ceiling loads have to be absorbed. They minimise damage caused by impact or abrasion and allow for secure anchoring of the pipe tracks. Cutting, sausage production, delivery and cold storage rooms were built in the economically sensible lightweight construction method.
For the roof structure, concrete columns were used in combination with laminated wooden beams. This self-supporting construction made it possible to realise the floor plan with sandwich walls and a suspended, vapour-diffusion-proof ceiling as a so-called house-in-house system. Above the ceiling, an installation level was created in which the pipes for water, compressed air and ventilation were stowed. It is accessible via the technical room and completely sealed off. This means that any necessary conversion or repair work can also be carried out during ongoing production.

Michael Wirth started at Schwan Projekt GmbH initially as a site manager, then became project manager and later authorised signatory of the company. Wirth has experience in all areas of planning and project management for food processing plants.