Radevormwald, 28 October 2016. The construction of a new 30,000-square metre production, logistics and office building in the Mermbach industrial park in Radevormwald is the largest and one of the most important investment projects in the 111-year history of Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG (www.gira.de). More than 500 employees in the Innovation, Production, Logistics and Dispatch divisions will work in the new building on Bundesstrasse 229/483 which is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2018. On Friday, the company marked the start of the erection phase with a foundation stone ceremony attended by mayor Johannes Mans, architect Professor Matthias Sauerbruch, and a large number of guests. "You don't often get the opportunity to design from scratch an ideal value chain in its entirety - from incoming goods, warehousing, logistics, assembly, right through to outgoing goods – and on a greenfield site too. The fact that we don't have to consider existing buildings or construction-related disruptions to ongoing operations is also a big advantage. We've rented numerous buildings in the industrial park over the past few years and are grateful that this was possible. But it has also created some complicated internal logistics. We're now at the point where it's worth making an investment of this type so that we can bring all these processes together again in our own, perfectly customised premises", said Dirk Giersiepen, Gira Managing Partner, in his welcome speech at the foundation stone ceremony. "This new construction is an important step for our international competitiveness, a clear commitment to the Radevormwald site and to the 'Made in Germany' quality seal, and creates ideal conditions for further growth," continued Giersiepen.
Flexible space concept, connecting structures
This applies all the more, as the planners at Berlin-based architects Sauerbruch Hutton, the Gira project team led by Andreas Dürwald, Head of Production and Logistics, and Dietmar Daszkiewicz, Head of Facility Management, have designed the new building in such a flexible way as to enable a functionally-independent extension of the Gewerbestrasse site's capacities by up to 50,000 sq.m of gross floor area.
The Innovation, Assembly, Logistics, Incoming Goods and Dispatch divisions share a central artery, which will remain in place during future development stages. The office spaces are located above the production floor which has a roof featuring a modular grid of skylights. The offices form atriums dotted between the skylights on this grid. If either of these two areas is extended, the grid can simply be continued. This ensures that both the production floor and the offices always benefit from daylight as well as a link to the outside.
Building for the future
The design gives equal weight to using the space as flexibly as possible and an open-plan architecture, which promotes direct 'barrier-free' communication and cooperation. In addition, a mezzanine floor has been suspended above the production floor, creating a spatial, visual and functional relationship between the areas. A central conference area is available there for developers, production staff and visitors.
"We are building for the future and must factor in right now any potential requirements for tomorrow and beyond," said Gira project managers Dietmar Daszkiewicz and Andreas Dürwald about the main challenge: "At the planning stage it was all about finding the perfect path between functionality, flexibility for the future and architecture – with due regard to all the legal requirements."
Sustainable industrial architecture
The company places particular emphasis on the sustainability aspects of the new building, which are designed to ensure responsible and resource-friendly operation of the facility. It is no coincidence that Gira hired the award-winning architects at Sauerbruch Hutton who enjoy an excellent international reputation for their sustainable architecture. The design focus was on optimising the generation and the use of energy throughout the new industrial building. An efficient cogeneration unit will be used as the central heat generator, and will simultaneously provide power for the building's own use. The building technology specialist is also focusing on systematic heat recovery. For the equally important effective cooling of the building complex, Gira will use absorbers that convert heat into cold, while additional cooling will be generated through evaporative cooling using rainwater. Two large sprinkler tanks, each holding up to 1,200 cubic metres, will serve as intermediate storage for both heat and cold, releasing either when needed. Of course, Gira will use its own control technology to manage various functions and components of the building's technology such as lighting and sunscreening in an energy-efficient manner, based on usage and user.
In Radevormwald since 1910
Founded in 1905 by Gustav and Richard Giersiepen in Wuppertal, Gira has had its headquarters in Radevormwald since 1910. The family-run business, whose products and solutions are currently used in 40 countries, has continually expanded its base at this location with extensive construction phases in 1980, 1990, 1994 and 2002. Around 1,100 of the approximately 1,300 Gira employees work in Radevormwald, the rest being sales and field service staff in Germany and abroad.
Commitment to "Made in Germany": At the foundation stone ceremony for the new production, logistics and office building in Radevormwald, Gira's Managing Partner Dirk Giersiepen emphasised that the new building was an important step for maintaining international competitiveness. (Photo: Gira)
Well positioned for future growth: Dirk Giersiepen (front), Gira's Managing Partner, and architect Professor Matthias Sauerbruch lay the foundation stone for a new, 30,000 sq.m production, logistics and office building in Radevormwald in the presence of mayor Johannes Mans and numerous guests. (Photo: Gira)
State-of-the-art industrial building: From 2018, the new Gira building will house the Innovation, Production, Logistics and Dispatch divisions on 30,000 square metres of floorspace. (Image: Sauerbruch Hutton)
Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG (www.gira.de) is one of the leading suppliers of innovative electrical and digital networked building management systems. The family-owned company, which was founded in 1905 and has its headquarters in the German town of Radevormwald, has helped to shape the world of electrical systems and building management for the last 111 years. Right from the start, Gira with its many innovations, such as the Gira HomeServer, has been one of the most influential players in the development of networked smart building systems and in the digitalisation of buildings. Gira products and solutions stand for German engineering expertise, reliable 'Made in Germany' quality, sustainable production processes, environmentally friendly and resource-efficient operations and perfection in form and function. But, most importantly, they make people's lives a little more easy, convenient, and secure. It is no coincidence that Gira switches and control, communication and safety systems are now used in more than 40 countries, including in the central railway station in Berlin, the Olympic stadium in Kiev, the Messner Mountain Museum Corones on the Kronplatz mountain in South Tyrol, and the Banyan Tree Hotel in Shanghai. Thanks to its extensive expertise in the field of plastics technology, Gira now also manufactures complex plastic system products for the medical technology sector. The Gira group also includes its subsidiary Stettler Kunststofftechnik in Untersteinach, near Bamberg, and participations in Insta Elektro in Lüdenscheid and the software firm ISE in Oldenburg. Together, around 1,700 employees generate an annual turnover of more than €300 million.
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