Good progress is being made on the construction of our new technology centre in Schwieberdinger Straße in Ludwigsburg. We are on track to complete the project on time and in budget, and the building’s shell and parts of the façade are already finished. To celebrate this progress, we held a topping out event on 22 September 2015. Alfred Weber, Chairman of the MANN+HUMMEL Board of Management, used this traditional historical builders’ rite as an opportunity to thank the architects and all those involved for their sterling work. During the short celebration, Ralph Kraut (Works Committee Chair), Lord Mayor Werner Spec and Wolfgang Lutz (KBK Architekten) each gave a short address.

The topping out celebration is always seen as a milestone in a construction project, no matter how big or small. At this point, the excitement is slowly starting to build. What will the building look like inside? Have everyone’s requirements been taken into consideration? Will it meet the intended objectives and deliver the desired synergies?

Of course, it isn’t possible to answer all of these questions fully in such a short blog article, but there are a few details that I would like to share, and I can assure you of one thing: it is our mission to take everyone’s concerns into consideration as far as is feasible within the constraints of our budget and time frame.

Newer readers may not be familiar with this project, so allow me to briefly explain: the new build currently under construction on Schwieberdinger Straße marks the expansion of MANN+HUMMEL’s Ludwigsburg headquarters to include a new technology and testing centre. Roughly 24,000 m2in size, this building will house around 430 staff members and feature a conference area, bistro and the new company museum.

One of the biggest advantages of our new technology centre is the shorter travel distances. We were able to prioritise this goal during the planning stage. For example, we created a skywalk between the existing administration building and the testing centre so that colleagues based on higher floors do not have to travel all the way down to the ground floor to enter the building. What’s more, the height of the new building was adjusted to suit the location of Plant 2. As a result, the new testing centre on the lower ground floor will be easily accessible from the plant’s access road.

In our new offices, we want to offer staff space to work quietly on their own or in a team, as well as places for informal meetings and areas for relaxation. We are therefore planning to create a large, centrally located meeting point on each floor, furnished with comfortable seating and standing options, a coffee machine and a hot and cold water dispenser. Another space for informal meetings will be available in the middle zones between offices, which will be fitted with quiet areas as well as additional seating and standing options.

Our construction plans will also address the often bemoaned lack of meeting space, firstly by providing a sufficient number of new rooms, and secondly by altering the meeting process. In future, meeting rooms in the new building will be booked using a room booking system. At the beginning of a meeting, individuals must confirm that the room is in use via an in-room touchscreen display. If this doesn’t happen, the room’s status will change to ‘free’ after a set period, allowing it to be re-booked at short notice.

The outer structure of this new building will also feature a modern and attractive design. One way we will achieve this is by expanding the existing greenery in the surrounding grounds, e.g. by incorporating plants into our new courtyard covering. The building will be fitted from floor to ceiling with heat protection glass and outside blinds and an internal shade will protect staff from excessive sunlight. The office spaces will be heated and cooled by heating/chilled canopy ceilings and supplied with warm air through an earth-source heat pump. The new building will be ventilated through a mechanical two-way ventilation filter, as well as opening panels to allow natural air to circulate.