In August 2018 the Schabmueller-Group moved into their new company headquarters at an exposed place in the centre of Ingolstadt. The architecturally noticeable office complex at the Westliche Ringstrasse was constructed on the grounds of the former traditional restaurant ‘Ludwigsgarten’. The representative building is flooded with light and gives the employees a great view of the surroundings – whether the Schutter flowing by, or the Glacis, a green belt around Ingolstadt. When designing the whole building, those responsible opted for high quality materials, so the building owner chose patio decks of wood composite material from Bavarian producer NATURinFORM’s range for outdoor areas. A total of 130 square metres of the brown ‘SMART’ deck were laid on the diverse patio areas.
Company headquarters ‘Ludwigsgarten’ in Ingolstadt
Smart in brown
Type of Construction
Founded in 1978, Schabmueller Maschinenbau laid the foundation for today’s Franz Schabmueller Company Group, producing yard loaders and small tractors. Currently the group has more than 1100 employees in ten companies and reaches a turnover of around 180 million Euros. They produce on-site at several locations in Germany.
’Ludwigsgarten‘: In the past a meeting point for beer and supper – today an extravagant office complex
The new office complex was erected on a plot where a traditional restaurant used to be, the history of which can be traced back to 1856. For many decades, the people of Ingolstadt would go there during their Sunday stroll and have a beer and supper at the banks of the Schutter. Later, the popular meeting point was given the name ‘Ludwigsgarten’. The building was empty for a long time and was finally bought by the Schabmueller Group as the site for their new company headquarters. The name ‘Ludwigsgarten’ stayed. There is space in the new headquarters in Ingolstadt for around 30 employees, and the company’s training and seminar area is located in the new building.
The new company headquarters were designed and projected by the Vollack Group from Karlsruhe, specialised on methodical planning and realising of office, industrial, and health buildings, that had won the advertised competition with their design of the building. ‘The tight situation with the plot, as well as the topography with the offset of floors regarding the bordering course of the Schutter were a real challenge,’ says Wolfgang Eitel, Partner and Managing Director of the Vollack Einheit archiTec.
’Smart‘ wins with attractive look and material-typical characteristics
Around 1,400 square metres of usable area – 800 square metres thereof office area – present themselves with a façade of stamped steel plate with a special red-brown coating on the two top floors that has a large impact on the look of the building. Ground floor and basement with their light cladding made of Jura marble additionally emphasise the upper floors again optically. In total, the building obviously has company boss Franz Schabmueller’s handwriting, who consequently decided on high quality materials throughout the design. ‘For the floors outdoors in front of the conference rooms in the basement, as well as on the roof patio on the 2nd floor, we decided to use NATURinFORM’s ‘Smart’ patio decks, due to their robustness and the low level of maintenance required,’ says Franz Schabmueller. ‘The combination of haptics, optics, durability, and suitability in proximity to water were important factors in the decision-making process,’ adds Wolfang Eitel. Originally decks made of Bangkirai had been an option, but in the end the wood composite material was what was chosen.
Besides the elegant wooden look of the deck, the building owner was also convinced by the material-typical characteristics and its ‘smart’ technical criteria. Because the zero-degree-massive deck ‘Smart’, which automatically allows water to run off thanks to a slight curve, can be laid on patios and balconies without any slant. The surface structure supports this effect, preventing rain or cleaning water collecting. Due to the stamping on the surface, ‘Smart’ is additionally non-slippery (R10) and comfortable to walk on. Despite its low weight and a thickness of only 19 millimetres the zero-degree massive deck is very stable and robust. Apart from the classic colours brown, grey, and anthracite, it is also available as a Natureline edition in oak, amber, and chestnut brown, as well as graphite and basalt grey.
Expert company Spindler: Excellent experience with wood composite materials
The roofer and tinsmith company Spindler were appointed to lay the decks on the patio and roof patio, as well as an outdoor footpath. The company from Ingolstadt, founded by Karl and Waltraud Spindler in 1990, with currently 25 employees, is now being led by the second generation. In its core competence surrounding roofs and building covers the company deals with all work on pitched and flat roofs, as well as on facades; further focus points are sealing balconies, patios, buildings, as well as expert laying of balcony and patio surfaces.
’We have already had positive experience with wood composite materials,’ explains junior boss and authorised representative Hans Spindler. ‘The product characteristics, such as user-friendly laying, durability, and surface composition are what convince us as an expert company,’ says Spindler. NATURinFORM’s ‘Smart’ was decided on together with the appointed garden and landscape builder. ‘On the one hand we were looking at the criterion durability, on the other hand, the look was also very important for the building owner,’ the 47-year-old roofer and tinsmither master remembers. A decisive argument was the fact that with ‘Smart’ the water-repellant characteristics of the wood composite material are combined with a curved surface. Due to the curvature towards the middle, rain or cleaning water is automatically drained.
’On principle it is our aim to convince the building owners of the general advantages of this material and especially its laying method,’ says Hans Spindler. ‘For us as roofers it is always important to have surface water drain as quickly as possible’. Besides the ‘integrated, built-in slant’ he also appreciates the form stability of the material, which enables a rapid and simple laying. ‘Warping, as is often the case with wood, doesn’t occur here’. Hans Spindler points out another important topic. ‘In consultation sessions our customers always bring up the point of the material ‘greying’. Epecially with partially covered balconies or patios, this leads to permanent colour variations that the customers do not like, the professional knows. ‘This ugly development can be minimised by using wood composite decks’. The work on the completion of the patio areas in the new Schabmueller headquarters went smoothly, says Hans Spindler. ‘Due to the professional planning and preparation by the garden and landscape builder, the underlying surface having been optimally prepared by us with a gravel bed and concrete plates, our team was able to lay the decks rapidly, also thanks to the base profiles with a click function. To make sure that no sections would be too small, the placement of the individual decks was measured beforehand’. And the building owner is happy, too: ‘Especially the large patio courtyard in the basement is very popular with everybody, whether they be external seminar attendees or our employees. The patio has become a real meeting point. Which is not really a surprise, as the atmosphere there is great, regardless of the weather and it is extremely relaxing. A green oasis in every day office work,’ says Franz Schabmueller.
Durable, low on maintenance, and resilient
’Smart‘ stands for durability and easy maintenance: As with all of NATURinFORM’s decks, wood is enhanced by adding a technical polymer in such a way to create a water-repellant surface. Green growth doesn’t stand a chance. The special curve optimises this effect additionally. At the same time it is bare-foot friendly, safe to walk on, and non-slippery. The wavy stamped surface offers a further advantage: It breaks the light, enhancing the elegant wooden look even more. As it has no grooves, ‘Smart’ also saves on height and is only 19 millimetres thick. But nevertheless it can ‘carry a lot’: Its own weight of 2.7 kg per running metre can carry a load of 400 kg per square decimetre. The low level of maintenance required means that it – even in the future – does not require any varnishing or oiling, and need only be cleaned using clear water.
Sustainable building material can be recycled 100 percent
NATURinFORM patio decks are a sustainable building material. They consist to ca. 70 % of wooden fibres. The other 30 % are made up of an environmentally-friendly polymer (thermoplastic agent). As a wood composite material both components are melted together using pressure and temperature, thereby retaining their natural characteristics. For production only wooden fibres from domestic sustainable forestry (exclusively PEFC-certified wood suppliers) are used. No trees are felled, as the wooden fibres are a side product of the woodworking industry. This makes this material an extremely environmentally-friendly product that can be recycled 100 percent. After the decks are no longer being used they are taken back by the company and re-fed into the production process after they have been tested.