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Where cars learn to drive...

Where cars learn to drive...
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Knauf AMF supplies 10,000 m² HERADESIGN® superfine A2 Wood Wool acoustic boards for BMW offices in the new Unterschleißheim Business Campus

Unterschleißheim has a tradition of high-tech innovations. In future, all of BMW's automated driving know-how for select premium models and the announced model BMW iNEXT will be concentrated where Siemens and Airbus used to have their development centres. Since September 2017, the new Unterschleißheim Business Campus has accommodated the first 550 BMW specialists for this ambitious future project. More than 10,000 m² HERADESIGN® Wood Wool acoustic boards from the KNAUF AMF ceiling raft system were used in the elaborate conversion of the existing building.

The DV Immobilien Group, which constructed and successfully operates the Garching Business Campus, also acted as the investor, developer and lessor of the 17 hectare site in Unterschleißheim. For 50 years now, the company with headquarters in Regensburg has designed and operated commercial properties in the fields of business parks, shopping and motorway service stations and continuously develops the locations with their own on-site management teams. This is also the case in Unterschleißheim. The former production buildings are gradually being demolished and replaced with new offices, commercial premises, catering businesses, multi-storey car parks and other infrastructure facilities. With large scale long-term investments, in the final stage DV Immobilien will implement a gross area of 200,000 m² which could provide workplaces for up to 4,500 people for the companies which locate there. BMW alone estimates that there will be about 2,200 employees at the New Unterschleißheim Business Campus, who will work on all of the development and implementation processes involved in autonomous driving, from software planning to road testing.

Workplaces with high ambient quality

The 50,000 m² office complex which was last used by Airbus remained on the site. Over the past months, it has been extensively converted and modified to suit the needs of the main tenant BMW for its "project 1 20", which has secured two thirds of the available area. DV Plan GmbH is responsible for the conversion and modernisation. The subsidiary of the DV Immobilien Group with 70 architects, engineers and other specialists has a great deal of experience in the planning and implementation of large construction projects.

In Unterschleißheim, BMW is also establishing new forms of cooperation - with small specialist teams, cross-company cooperation and high levels of individual decision-making. Above all, the new structures will be characterised by short decision paths and great flexibility. At present, the structural requirements are being aligned with the modernisation of the office complex. "The workplaces must offer a high ambient quality", explains Christian Bretthauer, Central Manager of the DV Immobilien Group. This not only includes the attractiveness of an open campus area with infrastructure and leisure facilities in addition to offices and production halls, but also the architecture as well as the façades and interior design of the buildings.

Ceiling rafts, lighting and ventilation run in parallel

For the new design of the ceilings in the offices which are intended for BMW in the existing complex, the DV Plan experts faced a challenge: How could the required acoustics of the rooms, the necessary installation of the technical building systems and an attractive visual appearance be achieved at a reasonable cost? The head of the DV Plan GmbH planning department in Garching says: "We wanted to keep the existing ceiling height perceivable for users after the conversion and not restrict the feeling of space with the installations. The suspended ceilings had to be acoustically effective and at the same time act as a visual barrier between the installation level below the reinforced concrete ceiling." Knauf AMF HERADESIGN® Wood Wool acoustic boards were used for this. The rectangular rows of ceiling rafts alternate with parallel lighting strips and cooling bars to air condition the rooms. Even at the planning stage of the interior design, the low ceiling height and the density of the existing and extensive new electrical and technical installations were at the focus of the architects from DV Plan and the involved office "Die Planstelle" (Munich). However, first of all the removal of the drywall office constructions with closed metal grid ceilings was necessary. After this, the reinforced concrete ceilings had to be smoothed and painted. The team from Knauf AMF advised the architects especially during the selection of the boards with regard to format, noise insulation and fire protection, as well as the form of the edges.

Unobtrusive surface appearance

"The decision to use HERADESIGN® was also due to the fact that we had already used this product brand from Knauf AMF in a construction project at the Garching Business Campus", explains the architect. "This was used in the form of acoustically effective ceiling boards in the guest rooms of the company restaurant." The proven functionality and the attractive price-performance ratio resulted in the further use of these Wood Wool acoustic boards from Knauf AMF. As well as this, the planners also had to consider the time factor for installation. Specifically, they decided on HERADESIGN® superfine A2 in the format 25 x 600 x 1200 mm This is a single layer, non-flammable magnesite bonded Wood Wool acoustic board (fibre width 1 mm) with an elegant surface structure. The characteristic natural structure of the wood wool also remains visible with the unobtrusive white colour which was selected for Unterschleißheim, and gives the ceiling rafts a lively appearance. Chamfering of the edges all round provided the closed and precise joint structure which was required by DV Plan and achieved the overall effect of an office conversion with good sound absorption and room acoustics as well as an attractive industrial appearance.