Timber as the construction material of the future: ZÜBLIN Timber building new headquarters of UmweltBank using timber hybrid construction system

UmweltBank’s UmweltHaus in Nuremberg. Copyright: Spengler Wiescholek Architektur // Stadtplanung | bloomimages
The large beechwood supports allow for generously proportioned, wide-open spaces. Copyright: ZÜBLIN Timber
The load-bearing structure on all floors consists of columns and beams made of beech supporting the timber-concrete composite ceiling system. Copyright: UmweltBank AG
Exterior view of the new UmweltHaus: the UmweltBank headquarters will have a gross floor area of around 25,000 m² spread over 13 floors. Copyright: UmweltBank AG

ZÜBLIN Timber has been togheter with ZÜBLIN Nuermberg commissioned to build UmweltHaus, the new headquarters of UmweltBank AG in Nuremberg. The new 13-storey building with a gross floor area of around 25,000 m² was designed by the architectural firm Spengler Wiescholek and is being realised using the timber hybrid construction method with as little concrete and as much wood as possible. The timber works are currently in full swing and should be completed by the summer of 2024.

“A comprehensive energy concept was drawn up for the building that includes photovoltaic panels on the roof and parts of the façade as well as a geothermal energy recovery system,” says Matthias Kupfer, UmweltBank’s project manager for UmweltHaus. The building, under development by ZÜBLIN Timber on behalf of UmweltBank, will be one of the first office buildings in Germany to be realised in accordance with the KfW Effizienzhaus 40 NH energy efficiency standard. The project is also aiming to achieve certification to the platinum standard of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

Building sustainably and more quickly with wood
UmweltHaus is being realised with approximately 760 m³ of beechwood and 130 m³ of spruce glulam for the load-bearing structure of beams and columns. The window parapet sections will feature approximately 200 m³ of LENO® cross laminated timber. The wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests, predominantly in Germany and Austria, thereby avoiding long transport distances. The glulam components are for the columns on the upper floors, while the beechwood elements are being installed on the lower floors that are subject to higher loads. The beams support a timber-concrete composite ceiling system consisting of prefabricated ribbed elements and a layer of in-situ concrete subsequently applied on site. Insulated timber frame elements for the exterior walls are assembled on the supporting structure at the ZÜBLIN Timber plant in Aichach. To reduce the assembly times at the construction site, the windows are also preinstalled in the finished elements at the factory. ZÜBLIN Timber will produce a total of 6,120 m² of large-format exterior wall panels for the project. In total, the project will require 3,000 m³ of timber to be installed.

“The prefabrication in our plant in Aichach has the advantage that the construction elements only need to be assembled on site and – unlike with concrete, for example – no drying times need to be taken into account. This has a positive effect on the overall construction schedule,” explains Roman Kreutmayr, Head of Timber Construction & Façade at ZÜBLIN Timber.

UmweltHaus will not only serve as the headquarters for UmweltBank but will also lease office space to other companies as well as commercial space for retail on the ground floor that would be suitable for specialty shops such as an organic market, for example.