BetonTage 2018: Cast stone – innovative material with  high design potential

“Studio Stuttgart” at the Edwin-Scharff-Haus in Neu-Ulm was filled to the last seat when Martin Möllmann, Board Member of Info-b, opened this year’s Cast Stone Podium. He presented the audience with a wide spectrum of topics extending from current and at the same time especially spectacular cast-stone projects in Wiesbaden and Leipzig in Germany and in Linz in Austria to innovative concrete cosmetics in the micro-range.

With the new RheinMain CongressCenter Wiesbaden (formerly Rhein-Main-Hallen), Dipl.-Ing. Ferdinand Heide of the architectural office of the same name in Frankfurt am Main, not only set new standards in many different respects in the capital of the German State  Hesse. Its special characteristics: unique architecture, high-end execution, flexible spatial concept, sustainable utilization concept, and central inner city location.

The architect’s elaborations on the design and conception of the building were perfectly complemented by the presentation of Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Lothar Hildebrand of P.V. Betonfertigteilwerke GmbH in Hanau, Germany. He took a look at the “special features and the technical challenges” during manufacture, transport and erection of the structural precast elements and the façade panels under the aspect of precasting. In the Nordhausen plant of the  P.V. Group a total of 374 precast elements were manufactured with a volume of 605 m³ concrete and 52 tons of reinforcing steel. The critical issues that were encountered, and which the speaker addressed in detail, ranged from the uniform appearance of the blasted finish  and cracking to the columns to the edge stresses in the elements weighing around 20 tons during turning to prevention of edge spalling during erection of the precast elements.

Spectacular concrete elements as “eye catcher(s)”

Ing. Gerold Schennach of Schretter & Ci. GmbH & Co. from Nils in Austria did not focus on the entire building, but on an unusual detail in the  form of “white precast concrete parapet elements of fine lattice structure.” The parapet elements were installed by the company Hans Lang GmbH, a precast company based in Terfen in the Austrian state of Tyrol, in the Paulinerkirche in Leipzig, an original monastery, which was rebuilt after reunification of Germany, which is today used as an auditorium by Leipzig University.

An optimal solution had also to be found for the manufacture of a “Precast façade in white concrete for the production and administrative building of Silhouette International in Linz/A,“ a well-known international manufacturer of designer spectacles. Perfectly round, regularly arranged window openings in the façade were to establish a reference to the theme of spectacles, and execution in white concrete were to reflect the  lightness of the spectacle frames of the typical design of Silhouette, explained Dipl.-Ing. Claus-Peter Anders of Systembau Eder GmbH & Co. KG from Peuerbach in Austria.

In conclusion, the Cast Stone Podium focused for the first time on the topic of “Cosmetics with concrete.” The specialist in concrete cosmetics Kaspar Hauser of Synfola GmbH from  Bäch in Switzerland, presented a concrete cosmetics system for “repairing concrete with concrete.” The concrete formula is so finely adjusted, according to the speaker, that a “purely mineral concrete perfection in the micro-range” can be achieved. The material can even be applied with a spraying device.

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