Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (DE)

Optimum lighting for demanding maintenance works

The Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK) is the municipal transport company of the city of Karlsruhe. It operates the tram and bus network, used by more than 100 million passengers annually. Recently a new hall which is used as a tram wheel machining centre was built in the Karlsruhe Rhine Port area. Here, similar to a car tire check, a so-called underfloor turning machine carries out the regular measurement and, if necessary, the re-profiling of the tram tires.

A major part of the façade of the new building was designed with the curtain wall system VARIOPLANplus. VARIOPLANplus consists of translucent fibreglass, allowing the natural daylight to be spread softly into the interior of the room. Diffuse light is dispersed in the room and thus creates ideal glare-free working conditions in the storage rooms, offices, workshops and machinery rooms located behind. Artificial lighting can be dispensed with during the day and consequently energy cost is reduced.

In addition to the light transmittance the solar protection of the façade was another very important aspect for the customer, who pointed out that no additional external sun screening device should be required. Unlike window fronts which heat up inside areas quickly, VARIOPLANplus provides a pleasant and wellbalanced working temperature. The total energy transmittance of 42% compares favourably with good solar protection glazing and a costintensive sun screen is not necessary. At the same time the multichamber design of the twin-walled fibreglass panels in combination with thermally broken aluminium profiles leads to a U- value of 1.55 W/m2K, significantly reducing the required heating energy in the building. With these values the fibreglass façade also meets the requirements of the German Energy Reduction Regulation EnEV 2009, to which VBK paid great attention.

Another crucial factor was the extraordinary appearance of the fibreglass façade. The colour Brilliant matches perfectly with the colour scheme of the rest of the building. The integrated fixed glazing at eye level ensures a dynamic look. Two stacking doors as well as a sectional door were integrated in the building skin. Both door systems are also made of translucent fibreglass and are characterized by their lowwear design which purposely avoids protruding hinges, helix cables or springs susceptible to faults, and thus reduces maintenance work. In combination with VARIOPLANplus this is an optimal interaction of design, function and sustainability.

Products used:

Curtain wall:

Fibreglass curtain wall VARIOPLANplus. Infill fibreglass 40 mm, Up=1.4 W/m2K, light transmittance 57%, colour Brilliant, profiles in RAL 9006 white aluminum. Integrated fixed glazing at eye level.

Doors:

2 stacking doors SPACELITE HT 40. Door panels in fibreglass, 40 mm, Ug=1.4 W/m2K, colour Brilliant.
1 sectional door SPACELITE HTU. Door panels in fibreglass, 40 mm, Ug=1.4 W/m2K, colour Brilliant.