< Daylighting

School Gymnasium in Mainz, Germany

When architect Wolfgang Ostertag from Pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG was commissioned to design this new gymnasium for a vocational school, an important part of the brief was to find cost-effective, energy-efficient solutions.

School Gymnasium in Mainz Germany

When designing new buildings in Germany, energy efficiency and costs savings are two critical demands. Regular heating and lighting costs must be reduced. In addition, new buildings must feature a low dead load, so that expensive supporting structures can be avoided. Because the latest changes in the German building legislation include much stricter stipulations for thermal insulation and daylight intensity, it was decided to specify light polycarbonate multi-wall panels filled with LUMIRA® aerogel supplied by EMB Products AG.

Weighing less than 100 kilograms per meter3 and being used within the equally light cladding, the construction met the requirements of low structural weight coupled with high insulation efficiency. With glare-free light diffusion and up to 80% light transmission (at 10 millimeter thickness), LUMIRA aerogel creates a low thermal conductivity U-value of 0.018 W/m²K. In addition, the insulation significantly improves the sound absorption (100 m/s instead of 340 m/s through air), is UV-resistant, damp-proof and non-combustible according to EN 13501-1 with classification B 1.0.

To construct the gymnasium, LUMIRA aerogel was pressed into the 40 millimeter polycarbonate panels equipped with the "Prokulit P 540-3 Click-System" by Prokuwa Kunststoff GmbH. This system makes it possible to simply click fix the individual panels together without the need for additional sub-structure support. The system not only reduces costs but also provides the walls with unimpeded daylight. Optically, the interior ambience greatly impresses architects, visitors and users alike while externally at night the whole building glows.                 

Architect Wolfgang Ostertag says, "All the teachers and pupils are delighted with the warmth and natural light in this gymnasium. You can use the daylight all day long and don't need electric light. This means low running costs and low CO2 emissions. By using a façade constructed of polycarbonate panels filled with LUMIRA aerogel, we have achieved the building costs demanded by our client. An alternative solution with a glass façade would have been three times more expensive and, in addition, the gymnasium would also have needed a sunscreen." 

  • Owner: Berufsbildende Schulen BBS I und BBS III Mainz 
  • Architects: Pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG
  • Partner: E.M.B Products AG