Airbus helicopters, a division of the aeronautic and space specialist Airbus, concentrates at its site of Donauwörth in Bavaria/Germany its development, prototyping, fabrication, service and training departments. Owner and architect had the clear objective to create ideal working conditions in their new development centre. As a solution they opted, for a large proportion of the building skin, for the material fibre glass. Inside the building the special light transmittance creates a uniform illumination level without hard shadow lines. The entire façade and door surface can literally be used in a passive way to reduce artificial lighting cost. At the same time the material offers a high static resistance and a thermal transmittance level which corresponds to insulating double glazing. The g-value, decisive for the control of transmission of solar radiation has been limited to 0.28. With a very low proper weight of only around 10 kg/m² only a reduced static load is transferred into the building structure and a concise horizontal accentuation of the building design with panel sizes of 10 x 1 m could be realised.
Externally the requested homogeneous impression could be achieved by using the identical material and design for the approx. 2000 m² of VARIOPLANplus façade and the total of 16 SPACELITE stacking doors. These doors, varying in size from 4.0 x 3.5 m to 8.5 x 6.5 m, blend perfectly into the façade design and are partially equipped with transparent glazing. Due to the self-supporting construction, the special stacking technology of the door panels in a cassette behind the lintel, and the abstinence of wear-sensitive components like hinges, ropes and springs the solutions for AIRBUS helicopters generate an optimal synthesis of design, function and sustainability.