Hettich opens new production facility in Bünde
Sustainable building for innovative products
Hettich’s new production building was formally opened on 22 September 2011 at company headquarters in Kirchlengern/Bünde. Constructed largely of timber, the energy-efficient industrial building will be used for manufacturing the new ArciTech drawer system and pursues some ambitious sustainability goals.
Covering some 13,500 square metres of useful space and with a gross volume of 165,000 cubic metres, the production building aims to set a new standard in industrial production. Total investment in the new, highly innovative ArciTech drawer system ran to about € 80 million and is the largest single investment the Hettich Group has ever made. Much of this went into the Kirchlengern / Bünde site. The Ostwestfalen-Lippe site was chosen for its proximity to the company’s development operation, its main markets and its key suppliers. Highly automated, production demands top skilled workers the Hettich Group prefers to train itself. Some 80 members of staff work at the new facility in 3 shifts.
In terms of quality, the demands placed on a modern work environment resolutely included the factors of energy efficiency and careful use of resources. The sum of measures implemented gives the building a primary energy requirement that’s 73 per cent below the level defined in the current German energy-saving regulation (EnEV). This is also where findings from the Hettich Forum, for which the Group received the national “Green BuildingAward 2009”, were channelled into planning the production building.
One striking feature of the building is the exposed, highly insulated lightweight timber structure which, in addition to its low weight and positive primary-energy balance, was chosen for the material’s potential in relation to atmosphere and textural feel. Certified as sourced from sustainably managed forests, just under 1,900 cubic metres of timber taken to construct the building have made an active contribution to protecting the environment because the atmosphere will be permanently freed from about 1,630 tonnes of the greenhouse gas CO2. In terms of its eco-balance, this climateprotecting effect is reinforced yet further by avoiding the use of conventional building materials, like concrete or sheet metal, that take vast amounts of energy to produce.
The steel pylon supporting structure seen on the outside of the building reduces the height required for structural stability, and thus also the volume of internal space that needs ventilating and heating. Integral planning has provided a marriage of innovative building design with facets of modern building services and production facilities. As such, the building’s concept is defined by a thick layer of heat insulation and ventilation systems that are particularly efficient at saving energy. With waste heat being utilised from production, it’s been possible to reduce the heatingenergy requirement to zero. Heat required for production comes from a combined heat-and-power system. Modern plant engineering permits recovery of power from the units that drive machinery.
The building has been constructed for the new ArciTech drawer system. New technologies, a flexible machine concept as well as short setting times guarantee rapid response to changing demands. “The sustainable concept behind the new production building once again means we are setting a further milestone in the environment management policy we established in the midnineties with an energy-related focus that has already improved the energy and CO2 balance of our products by over 30 per cent”, says Dr. Andreas Hettich, summarising.