World’s most energy efficient office and administration building relies on the ESSER brand for fire protection

Usage of renewable energies such as solar, wind, water power and biomass fuels is on the rise. Almost 10% of the overall energy usage was from this field last year in Germany. European leaders – for example Denmark and Spain in addition to Germany – are permanently expanding the usage of renewable energies and are getting closer and closer to their ambitious targets in climate protection. They are also reducing their dependency on fossil fuels, the availability of which is limited and finite. Terms like energy efficiency and sustainability have become a common topic in today’s media. Another landmark was set and an important contribution to a more climate-friendly energy supply was made when the International Agency for Renewable Energies (IRENA) was founded in Bonn this year –with 75 countries participating.

In light of the above, projects which deal with optimizing usage of energy over the long term receive special attention. With an annual turnover of more than 400 million euros the juwi Group, which was founded in Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) in 1996, has now become one of the leading enterprises in the area of renewable energies. With a total of approx. 550 employees, juwi covers the complete value creation chain, including the planning, installation, financing and management of regenerative energy plants. 

The new company headquarters in Wörrstadt in Rheinhessen were ready for its staff to move in by July 2008. This newly constructed building – 12 meters high and approximately 100 meters long – houses 300 employees who are surrounded by 8,500 m2 of surprisingly pleasant ambiance spanning seven levels arranged in an offset pattern. Aside from workspace, there is also room for creativity, relaxation and the replenishing of one’s energies. The office complex was created on a building site of almost 30,000 m². The building itself was designed and erected using a woodframe construction and makes use of an innovative concept which reduces the amount of energy used for electricity, heating and air conditioning to approx. 200,000 kWh per year.

The technical fire control monitoring of this complex building structure is safeguarded by using ESSER brand high-quality components. Two IQ8ControlM control panels monitor the building with 210 O²T IQ8Quad detectors as well as 34 manual call points. Additional O²T detectors with integrated alarm support evacuation measures which may become necessary in a case of emergency. The patented O²T detector’s unique principle of operation fulfills the wish of many installers and operators of fire detection systems being able to clearly distinguish disturbance variables (such as steam) from real fire characteristics. This Neuss manufacturer, with more than 35 years of successful specialized research and development in the field of fire detection behind them, ESSER has already set one milestone years ago with their “dual” smoke detectors. The technological innovative potential of this was also integrated into the current IQ8Quad series. The detector works according to the optical light scattering principle using two different angles of dispersion and offering two decisive advantages: It significantly increases the certainty factor in the recognition of fire smoke and at the same time strongly reduces the false alarm rate since it is able to distinguish fire smoke from other kinds of smoke. It thus saves the operator from many expensive fire department visits  and ensures a significantly higher level of safety. 

Synergy effects in structural and technical fire protection

Air duct detectors, aspirating smoke detection systems and two F30 Fire Protection Housing components complement this sophisticated fire protection system. In cooperation with the PRIORIT AG, one of the leading companies in the development and manufacturing of non-flammable, decorative building materials and fire resistant structural units, ESSER is the first manufacturer to offer an installation concept which fulfills all of Germany’s building law requirements and fully integrates all safety-related aspects. The planning process is simplified significantly early on and planning security is created through the exemplary use of synergy effects in structural and technical fire protection. A cost-efficient and flexible solution could be created which fulfills the full scope of all currently valid requirements. The solution consists of a standardized fire protection housing (already approved by the building authorities) a coldsmoke-proof ventilation system with a smoke detector controlled, electromagnetic shutter release, into which an IQ8Control M FACP with additional smoke detector has been built. The big advantage here is that the overall construction is a type-tested “fire protection distribution board” and simultaneously fulfills three requirements at the same time: firstly, the proven functional integrity of the FACP for a time span of 30 minutes, in accordance with regulations; secondly, the proven fire load insulation of circuit systems in evacuation routes; and thirdly, the verification of the overall construction by the VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH as an enterprise of the German Insurance Association (GDV).

Dornhöfer GmbH, a specialist installation enterprise located in Mainz and certified according to DIN 14675 and VDS 2095, were awarded the order with their customized offer and convincing performance during installation and start-up. Project manager Jörn Zentini pointed out that Dornhöfer had already covered the whole scope of electronic security for years by supplying businesses as well as private households with innovative engineering solutions and realizations in the fields of industrial, business, housing and administrative building projects. “In addition to consultation, planning and projecting, our range of services also includes installation, start-up, maintenance and final servicing. Our qualified specialized employees were especially trained in the field of security and fire detection technology“.

The technical sales representative for ESSER fire detection technology, Gerhard Florig, acted also as contact person to Dornhöfer in all technical questions. He was very happy about how smoothly the work had been completed. Ralf Ratanski from the juwi Holding AG, head of the implementation department, was responsible for the new building on the part of juwi, and related to the company’s philosophy during the interview: “juwi wants to contribute to producing energy in many regions solely from regenerative sources as quickly as possible – such sources as modern wind turbines and photovoltaic systems, sustainable bio-energy projects and new technologies to increase efficiency levels. This aim is to be reached in close cooperation with political committees and the administration, with enterprises and associations as well as with the citizens themselves. The demand for energy is increasing all over the world but resources are diminishing – our complete energy needs will have to be covered by renewable energy at some point.”