Betonwerk Heinrich Hachmeister

Precast concrete shelter for refugees

Betonwerk Heinrich Hach­meister, the concrete manu­facturer based in the town of Andernach, is responding in a clever and business-minded way to the allocation of refugees to the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Together with the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW - Technisches Hilfswerk), which, as a federal agency, is part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the team headed by general manager Martin Hachmeister developed a temporary refugee accommodation consisting of precast concrete components. They were inspired by a similar accommodation for refugees used by THW in the 1990s during the civil war in the multi-ethnic state of former Yugoslavia, separated meanwhile. Thus, Hachmeister brings the copyrighted modular building to the market under the English-language term „concrete shelter“.

The basic version consists of a floor slab, four walls and a roof slab. The 150mm thick concrete floor slab is installed on top of a subgrade of crushed gravel and on extruded polystyrene boards. As usual in precast concrete construction, all windows and doors are already installed in the 100mm thick concrete walls provided with 80mm insulation of class B1 – electrical wiring can be fixed to the walls later. The roof consists of a 150mm thick concrete roof slab and an insulation layer of polystyrene foam boards. Anchor channels and screw threads are used for the connections and fastening between floor slab, walls and roof.

Room for up to eight people

The overall weight of all individual components of a shelter amounts to 22 t, allowing the transportation of one construction set per truck from the factory to the construction site. A shelter can be assembled by four workers within 2 hours. The floor area of the shelter covers 14.50 m² in the basic version. According to Hachmeister and THW, the accommodation provides space for six to eight camp beds.

At the beginning of October, Betonwerk Heinrich Hachmeister in cooperation with THW had already assembled about 60 concrete shelters in the village of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler on the premises of the Academy for Crisis Management, Emergency Planning and Civil Protection (AKNZ - Akademie für Krisenmanagement, Notfallplanung und Zivilschutz) of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. The Andernach-based concrete manufacturer is said to have concluded a contract for a total of 150 concrete shelters.

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