A 100% recyclable polycarbonate shell for a bright and sustainable building

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A 100% recyclable polycarbonate shell for a bright and sustainable building

Protection of the climate and resources are among the most pressing issues in our future world. This is not a singular problem, but a complex one that affects every sector of humanity, including mobility, architecture, sustainable living and learning. There is a common misconception that building materials – such as translucent polycarbonate sheet – cannot be sustainable. Plastic as a material has had such a tremendous impact on the world and has drawn negative attention, making it difficult to break away from the generalization that plastic is inherently “bad”. Companies such as Rodeca in plastics production have developed translucent building materials which, as an integral building material, can be used for many years and do not have to be disposed of quickly. As a manufacturer of polycarbonate sheets, Rodeca always looks to the future of sustainability.

Heiler Geiger Architects are building a new day care center in Memmingen

The architects Jörg Heiler and Peter Geiger are celebrating great successes with their recently completed Karoline Goldhofer daycare project in Memmingen. They are currently being nominated for prizes and have been selected to explain the complex and holistic concept of the newly built daycare center in lectures and lectures. Karoline Goldhofer is a prime example of building and renovating existing buildings. Almost 80% of the materials on the existing site were reintegrated into the new building in order to create a modern, spacious and ecologically sustainable building.

Courtesy Rodeca
Courtesy Rodeca
Courtesy Rodeca
Courtesy Rodeca

A complex building concept leads to great success

Three parts of the building were exposed: the old pool, the house and the garage. These elements were then wrapped in a new translucent shell made of Rodeca polycarbonate sheets. This enabled the building to be energetically renovated and upgraded in accordance with current sustainability standards. Despite common construction methods, a highly insulated building envelope is not the only way to retain the internal heat. Letting the sun and its radiation into the building is an alternative approach that was chosen when the daycare center was built. The Alois Goldhofer Foundation chose the Reggio pedagogy as the starting point for the building concept – an educational approach that is a student-centered and constructivist self-directed curriculum with self-directed, experience-oriented learning in relationship-driven environments.

The materials inside remained untreated and left as they were found, so that the construction could be supplemented with materials that were visible in their raw state. The building envelope made of 100% recyclable polycarbonate and the raw steel construction also meet the ideas of sustainability and adaptive re-use.

Courtesy Rodeca
Courtesy Rodeca
Courtesy Rodeca
Courtesy Rodeca

A translucent building envelope – the key to sustainability

Polycarbonate sheets from Rodeca in crystal and opal were used for the building envelope. Crystal and opal plates have different degrees of transmission, which leads to different incidence of light inside the building and thus to varied lighting. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors made of glass, embedded in the facade of the building, create a wide view of the surrounding nature. The material gives the building a strong architectural effect from the outside, while inside it emphasizes the beauty of the building’s surroundings.

The cover offers additional light-flooded space and at the same time enables Rodeca to renovate the building in an energy-efficient manner without the use of insulation or other heat-storing elements. Instead, the shell reveals the history of the existing structure. A 3D building simulation has shown that the modernized building with almost 5 kilograms of CO2 production per square meter per year has already achieved the climate targets for 2050.

With the kind permission of Heilergeiger architects and city planners BDA
With the kind permission of Heilergeiger architects and city planners BDA

Click here for an exclusive interview with the architects of the Kita Karoline Goldhofer to find out more about the design intentions of the project and the impressive results.




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