Project SheetAlong the Researchers’ Lane

Fraunhofer Project Group IWKS, Hanau

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The Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies (IWKS) explores the fields of resource strategies, recycling, material cycles and substitution with the intention of securing industries’ long-term supply of raw materials.

The new building containing offices, laboratories and other technical departments offers space for 80 staff on approximately 2,600 square metres. The overall modular concept, realised with the innovative approach of a “researchers’ lane” to easily connect all functional areas, facilitates maximum flexibility for future research approaches and further extensions. The building’s programme features heterogeneous requirements of space regarding depth and height for diverse functions including offices, laboratories, technical facilities as well as specialist laboratories.

  • On the entry level, all public functions are grouped around the atrium stretching the full height of the building. Inserted between the office and laboratory areas, this bright centre forms the compact building‘s core. The atrium is the communicative heart, it is here that all paths convene, it negotiates between internal and external communication.

  • All functions connect along the »researchers’ lane«. Compact and with short distances, the building allows a clear orientation.

  • The inviting atmosphere is characterised by openness and transparency, nonetheless the very high requirements on confidentiality are met. Spatial density, generous spaces spanning several storeys and daylight within contribute to an identity-generating work environment with a high atmospheric quality.

  • On all levels, communication zones, like the library, tea kitchens, lounge areas as well as meeting and seminar rooms, are grouped around the three-storey high atrium.

Designed for Deconstruction

Prerequisite of a resource efficient circular economy, also called Cradle to Cradle or short, C2C, is the ability to deconstruct a building following the types of the materials used. What is crucial herein is the materials’ facility to be separated, made sure by the type of structure, as well as the use of zero-emission materials, extending and economically optimizing the material cycle.

» Research at the Fraunhofer Institution makes a strong contribution to the development of new sustainable technologies, optimising existing ones and in the sense of optimised resource efficiency keeping implemented materials within the economic and raw materials cycle. «
Prof. Dr. Raimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Society

Sustainability in the building industry

Fraunhofer IWKS’s specific research foci have engendered significant impulses, e.g. by establishing a resource efficient circular economy. When choosing the materials we ruled out composites in favour of recyclable constructions which, after use, can be disassembled according to type.

The new building in Hanau was created according to the guidelines of the German Assessment System for Sustainable Building in Federal Buildings (BNB) and received BNB silver status. Apart from the ecological and socio-cultural qualities the BNB Assessment System takes into account and assesses the following parameters in the planning and building process: economic as well as technical qualities, process quality and site-specific features.


Fraunhofer Project Group IWKS, Hanau

  • Aschaffenburger Straße 121
  • 63457 Hanau
  • Deutschland

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