Precast concrete components as strong as a bear

So that the Lip Bear from South Asia feels comfortable in the cold North Rhine-Westphalia, Cemex submitted a special product proposal to a zoo.

Solid walls with concrete core activation will provide comfortable temperatures appropriate to the species. Works at the new area for bears are running at full speed. The shell of the building for the bears and the shelter for the visitors in the periphery of the generously dimensioned open-air enclosure have been completed meanwhile. Cemex Beton-Bauteile GmbH supplied about 650 m2 of precast concrete components, which were assembled by Joseph Krüselmann Bauunternehmungen, Neuenkirchen (Germany). Double walls were used as retaining walls in the outdoor area, thermo walls with internal thermal insulation were used for the building envelope, and precast slabs and precast concrete components were applied, which provide the species-appropriate temperature for the sleeping and brood boxes: 122 m2 of solid walls with concrete core activation. Because precast concrete components are able to store thermal energy, buildings constructed according to this method can be heated and cooled in a cost-effective way. In case of the building for the bears the latter was primarily of importance. About 70% of the internal walls are solid walls, in which the workers of the supplier of precast concrete components have integrated pipe systems in the reinforcement layers already at the factory – the principle is similar to that of a floor heating. A calculation of the heat requirements determined the necessary number of so-called “pipe registers” specific to the components. These are incorporated in center of the wall, which will radiate heat equally to both sides in future. In case of the object in Rheine (Germany), the system proves an additional superiority: the wild and strong inhabitants will not be able to damage the heating which will be well protected inside a highly durable and hard-wearing concrete wall. The planning of the building project was made by NaturZoo. The construction engineer, Ina Yüksel, is satisfied with the construction of the building for the bears. She was surprised that the assembly of the precast components was carried out that fast and at a reasonable price-performance ratio. “The concrete core activation is functioning excellently. Although there are not yet any bears in the building, however in order to dry the building, we have already turned on the heating. At a flow temperature of 37° C we have achieved a room temperature of about 22° C.”
Although being native in the tropical South Asia, this great bear species is insensitive to low temperatures. The room temperature should be constantly at about 15°C. The gas heating system operating in a low-temperature range allows to control each wall and each cage individually. Some of the future inhabitants will especially be in need of cozy temperatures: in the center of the building for the bears there is a mother-child zone. The walls of the brood box feature an especially high heat output.    

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