WKI Research Centre ZeluBa

Fraunhofer WKI Braunschweig

ZELUBA®, the "Zentrum für leichte und umweltgerechte Bauten" (Center for Lightweight and Environmentally Compatible Buildings) of the Fraunhofer WKI and the TU Braunschweig is putting various sustainable timber construction methods to the test.

The new building with a total floor space of about 1,700 m² will house the ZELUBA® department of the Fraunhofer WKI.

The test facility hall with earthquake test stand and a multi-storey laboratory and office building are designed as efficient timber buildings. An intermediate structure of filigree reinforced concrete and glass forms the foyer and connects the two buildings.

Project details

location Braunschweig (GER)

Completion 2019 (timber construction) total: end of 2020

customer Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V., München (DE)

architecture ARGE ZELUBA [Architekten DGI Bauwerk/schneider+schumacher]

structural engineering osd GmbH – office for structural design – Frankfurt a.M (DE)

Test facility hall

The 19.80 m wide and 42 m long test hall is 9.90 m high and designed as a glulam construction. 19.20 m long ridged roof girders (24/95 - 130 cm) lie on fixed glulam supports (24/80 cm) in a 2.80 m grid. In addition to a crane runway, the hall houses an earthquake test rig for the investigation on scaled models and is used for tests of the structural and mechanical properties of the hybrid and lightweight structures developed by the WKI.

The masses of timber construction systems add up:

  • 123 m³ glulam
  • 1,590 m²  Kerto-LVL
  • 737 m²  elements

laboratory- and office building

Two reinforced concrete towers at the head ends of the 14.50 m wide and approximately 46 m long laboratory- and office building serve for vertical access, fulfil fire protection tasks (F90) and provide bracing for the wooden skeleton, which is inserted between them over a length of 30 m.

Sensitive measuring instruments are operated on the first floor of the three-storey office and laboratory wing. To prevent them from being set in vibration by moving people, the floor slab above the ground floor had to be particularly heavy. The solution was a wood-concrete composite construction with filigree concrete ceilings on wooden beams. The ceiling above the upper floor is structurally the same, only slightly slimmer. The roof ceiling on the second floor is a timber beam construction.

Ten-metre long, factory-made prefabricated exterior wall elements in timber-frame construction, including finished wall construction and windows, allow the building envelope to be closed quickly and construction work to progress swiftly. 

We planned, manufactured, delivered and installed construction systems for the laboratory building to the following extent:

  • 119 m³ glulam structure
  • 840 m² wood-concrete composite slab
  • 868 m² wall-elements including windows
  • 1,114 m² shuttering elements