Germany (Dessau) | Public Buildings

Umweltbundesamt, Dessau (Federal Environmental Agency)

The ecologically exemplary office complex with cost of ownership not above those of a traditional building - this was the challenging task for the renowned architect’s firm of Sauerbruch Hutton, Berlin, when planning the new building of the Federal Environmental Agency in Dessau, State of Anhalt. The Federal Environmental Agency gives impressive proof of the fact that ecologically sound construction creates liveable working space and also is an exemplary presentation of urban development full of character.

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Environmentally compatible building materials

Highest demands were also made on the materials used. The wood, for example, comes from certified sustainable forestry. Environmental compatibility was also given priority when it came to the floorcoverings. “For hygiene reasons, we opted against textile floorcoverings and then prepared a comprehensive eco summary of the qualifying floorcoverings”, stated Gerd Schablitzki, director of the building department of the Federal Environmental Agency. “In doing so, we e.g. closely examined the production processes and the life cycle.” After thorough examinations and with a view to the best cost/benefit ratio, the planners of the Federal Environmental Agency decided in favour of rubber floorcoverings. The principals were in particular concerned about the emission behaviour of the floorcoverings.

And not without any reason: approximately 22,000 square meters are installed in the entire building - in corridors, offices, and conference rooms. The competent building authority and the Federal Environmental Agency decided in favour of the nora® rubber floorcoverings by nora systems whose company philosophy has long since emphasised environmental protection - from the selection of the raw materials and the processing up to disposal. Numerous certificates of international test institutes furnish impressive proof of this.

nora systems had each delivery to the Federal Environmental Agency examined pursuant to the latest AgBB guidelines (Committee for health evaluation of building products). The new test and evaluation plan of the Committee for health evaluation of building products (AgBB) deals with emissions of volatile organic compounds from building products. The members of the committee from the State health authorities, the building supervision agencies, the Federal Environmental Agency, the Federal Institute for Risk Evaluation, and the Federal Institute for Material Research want to set standards and provide comparability with the new test procedures. The nora® floorcoverings delivered by nora systems for the Federal Environmental Agency were tested by the Textile Flooring Institute in Aachen and found suitable without any restrictions. “We continue to examine our rooms regularly”, emphasised Schablitzki, „and are entirely satisfied with the emission values“.

Colour match

nora® rubber floorcoverings are installed both in long corridors, where on the right and left offices are strung like pearls on a bead, and in conference rooms as well as the library. In a discrete bright grey they prevent that the inner corridors appear too dark and guarantee that they are harmonically matched to the wood and glass walls. The discrete play of colours of wood, glass, and mat silverygrey shades of the connecting bridge is repeated by the floorcoverings in the atrium. The transition to these connecting bridges is designed with coloured anterooms which integrate into the play of colours of the façade. Be it bright yellowish-green, discrete greenish-grey or warm reddish-orange - the rubber floorcoverings are an unobtrusive part of the overall design. The floorcoverings were made exactly to the colour requests of the architects. The bright grey nora® floorcovering of the standard programme met the requirements for an unobtrusive floorcovering for corridors and office spaces.

“Hardly” to hear, excellent to walk on

The long corridors make highest demands on footfall sound absorption. In order to meet these demands, nora systems produced the selected floorcovering in a special version: the “acoustic” version of noraplan® has a footfall sound absorption improvement value of 20 dB. The resilience of the floorcovering also provides an excellent walking comfort.

Data and facts

Building Federal Environmental Agency, Dessau
Market Segment Public Buildings
Architect Sauerbruch Hutton, Berlin
Installation Year 2004


More references

Administration building, district Niederbayern Landshut 

Germany (Landshut)
noraplan® valua, noraplan® unita, nora® nTx | Public Buildings

Thanks to the new self-adhesive rubber flooring nora nTx, employees at the Niederbayern district administrative office were able to return to their desks immediately after the renovation.

hamburgmuseum Hamburg 

Germany (Hamburg)
noraplan® unita | Public Buildings

“Port as pacesetter. Hamburg’s urban development in the 20th century” is the name of the new permanent exhibition in hamburgmuseum which has been completing the so-called Historical Round Tour since June 2012.

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