A focus on safety

project details

The new construction of the Vogelweh High School for 850 US students was the first time the educational ‘21st Century Concept’ was implemented in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It aims to better prepare children and young people for a technology and media-driven future with global challenges and has an influence on school buildings, including those at overseas locations of the US armed forces. The high-security technology of the facade was achieved in modern, light architecture.

The high school presented us with new challenges. The Corps of Engineers of the US armed forces in Wiesbaden has stringent standards for the safety of its fellow citizens in Germany. For this reason, the high school had to meet the current blast-resistant requirements of the American armed forces.

The electrochrome glazing, which automatically darkens when the sun shines, is another highlight. This product, developed by the company SAGE, which is also the only such glazing that works at minus temperatures, was produced in the United States and flown in. The light roof structures and the foyer facade were constructed using this glazing.

The blast-resistant glazing was statically calculated by a Munich engineering office and implemented by us with special profiles. The requirement was that the elements should not differ from standard constructions, either visually or in design. All the static reinforcements and additional requirements, for example for blast resistance and hardware technology, were therefore integrated in the design.

Once it was possible to develop the construction and manufacture the first elements, we rented a military training area that was specially equipped for blast-resistance testing. The facades were blasted at intervals using 100 kilograms of TNT. The explosions, which had incredible force, could be clearly felt within a radius of over three kilometres.

We have a total of 12 test certificates for blast-resistant constructions and thus cover a broad facade safety portfolio. Unfortunately, there will be an ever increasing need for such safety requirements in the future. Thus, we are a good partner in realising special constructions of this type as well.

Michael Gross
Managing Director, IGM
facade surface
4.000 m²
facade construction
Blast-resistant window constructions
Blast-resistant mullion-transom facades
Blast-resistant doors
Blast-resistant skylights
implementation period
ARGE High School Kaiserslautern