An extremely remarkable residential building was realized in Wiesloch, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The modern lightweight concrete house combines functionality with a masterful architecture. "In our projects, we always want to show how lightweight concrete can be used in construction," states Thomas Schweigert from the executing bauwerk Bauunternehmung GmbH. This has been impressively achieved with the residential house in Wiesloch. A special lightweight concrete formulation of strength class LC12/13 was used, which was developed by Betotech Baustofflabor GmbH and Dennert Poraver GmbH, and which was supplied by Heidelberger Beton Kurpfalz GmbH & Co. KG.
The initial situation was not easy. An L-shaped property, also situated on a slope, demanded an extraordinary concept of residential construction from the building owners and architects. The result is a unique building with a clear architectural language. Two massive walls made of hydrophobic lightweight concrete seem to slide into the slope without any effort and thus demarcate the building from the neighbouring properties. As locked up as the house may seem from the sides, as open it is to the front and back, where wide glass fronts seem to dissolve the transitions from living space inside to nature outside. The building is situated on a hillside property, which is why it extends over a total of four floors with a height of 12 metres. The principle of a clear design language and structure is also consistently pursued in its interior, creating a pleasant living atmosphere over a total of 210 square metres. The functional rooms are separated from the large and open living area. The bedrooms on the upper floor open up a panoramic view into the countryside.
Thomas Schweigert is a proven specialist and fan of lightweight concrete. With his company bauwerk, he has already realized several projects with visible concrete surfaces. "We can make the lightweight concrete almost as perfect in appearance and homogeneousity as exposed concrete," he says and points out the special processing method. In combination with the specific kind of formwork and a special type of compaction, the lightweight concrete can be made almost without pores.
For the formulation, the Betotech company relies on Poraver® expanded glass and expanded clay. Despite a maximum grain size of 10 mm, the lightweight concrete has a low porosity. The lightweight concrete contains Poraver® expanded glass in the grain sizes 0.5 - 1 mm and 1 - 2 mm. Poraver® was precisely weighed in advance for the lightweight concrete mix and delivered directly to the construction site in big bags. There it was added to the truck mixer.
The closed-cell Poraver® expanded glass ensures improved low thermal conductivity. This is why the lightweight concrete walls in the building project in Wiesloch with a thickness of only 45 cm do not require additional insulation. In addition, no specific permissions were required for the reinforced concrete construction, despite the high earthquake safety requirements in Baden-Württemberg.
The "Hillside House" in Wiesloch is an outstanding property. It is groundbreaking in terms of the technical development of modern construction with lightweight concrete. It gives an idea of the numerous possibilities that are far from being completely explored.
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