The Weimar Institute of Applied Construction Research (IAB - Institut für Angewandte Bauforschung Weimar gGmbH) had not just one but two reasons to celebrate on June 12, 2017: On the 25th anniversary of the well-known institution of research with a practical orientation, the technical center II was opened simultaneously.
About 400 guests from industry, politics, research and media accepted the invitation and took a seat on the rows of chairs in front of the rostrum at the test area on the first floor of the new technical center II. After the welcome speech of Dr. Ulrich Palzer, Director of the Institute and Managing Director, and greetings by Antje Tillmann, MP and spokeswoman for financial affairs of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group of the German Federal Parliament, and Dr. Claudia Kolb, Assistant for law and order, and construction issues of the city of Weimar, Wolfgang Tiefensee, the Thuringian Minister for Economic Affairs, Science and Digital Society, honored the activities of the researchers at the Weimar institute. According to the Minister, just about 2 % of the overall investments made by Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises account for research and development. Given that background, for him it was all the more pleasing and important that IAB Weimar is available as partner above all for small and medium-sized enterprises, with many of them not being able to run own research departments.
Eventful and successful development
Following the short opening speeches, Dr. Steffen Mothes, the General Manager of F. C. Nüdling and vice chairman of the development association of IAB Weimar, gave the guests an overview of the eventful and successful history of the institute: IAB has its origins in the 1990s after the unification of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. At that time, the Weimar Institute for Underground and Pipeline Construction (FITR) and the Weimar Institute for Precast Technology and Construction (IFF) were established on the initiative of two former university professors.
In the years between 2010 and 2012, the two institutes were gradually brought together to become the Weimar Institute of Applied Construction Research (IAB), which is now domiciled at the address “Über Nonnenwiese 1” in Weimar.
Today, the institute employs 111 people in the sections “building materials and process engineering”, “construction systems and building components”, “underground and pipeline construction”, and “energy and building services engineering”. IAB Weimar is firmly established in the Thuringian, the German and even the international world of research thanks to “projects on all continents, except for the Arctic” and national and international co-operations with the NIPTIS Institute, Minsk (Scientific Research and Technological Project Planning Institute for the Organization and Administration of the Construction Industry, NIPTIS) and Cerib, Épernon (Center for Studies and Research of the Concrete Industry).
Numerous awards furnish evidence of the quality of the research work and the status IAB has acquired in the course of years. This includes the award granted by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work for the “harmonious vibration”, a vibration exciter system for the production of concrete blocks in 2005, the Innovation Prize for Structural Concrete Products of the Supplier Industry in 2006 for a process allowing the flexible production of manhole base sections as well as the repeatedly won award of IAB as “landmark” of the landmark initiative “Germany - Land of Ideas” in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Since 2014, IAB has organized the Science Days on an annual basis. About 250 attendees take part in the two days of the event every year.
The new technical center II
It took only ten months to build the technical center II which was presented to the professional public on the occasion of the IAB anniversary. Together with the adjoining associated office building, the technical center I on the opposite side and the IAB headquarters, the new technical center II encloses a large courtyard. The research building alone comprises a test area of 1,400 m² including flow and geothermal energy test station as well as high-rise storage covering 140 m²; the associated office building has a usable floor space of about 1,300 m².
The technical center II was designed as reinforced-concrete skeleton structure. The wall panels between the columns are made of autoclaved aerated concrete. The wall structure is integral part of the energy concept which also comprises industrial floor heating, a photovoltaic system, a block-type thermal power plant and an energy storage of about 40 m³. The floors of the associated office building are provided with concrete core activation.
An overall amount of 5 million euros was spent in construction of the building. Around 25 % of the amount were subsidies.
Text: Christian Jahn, M. A.