Schwieberdingen, Germany, November 9, 2023. At Glemstalschule Schwieberdingen-Hemmingen in south-western Germany, there were many occasions to celebrate at the beginning of the new school year. When the students returned after the summer break they moved into the completed extension, which was inaugurated at an official opening ceremony on October 21. In September, a farewell party had been held for the old building, on which renovation work started in October following a delay for animal welfare reasons. However, the project partners managed to complete the extension a month earlier than planned, without any additional costs. Until 2025, a total of 28 million euros will be invested in the modernization of the comprehensive school’s campus in order to make it ‘fit for the future’. Project participants are Goldbeck Süd GmbH as general contractor, Stuttgart-based architectural firm Auer Weber and the consulting company Drees & Sommer SE, also headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
Before construction work on the existing Glemstal school building could start on the planned date in August 2022, forty small bats temporarily threw the plans into disarray. Roughly thumb-sized and a strictly protected species, the pipistrelles were using the façade of the building as a nursery for their offspring. They could not be relocated until after the end of the breeding season, which meant the start date for the renovation work had to be postponed. Construction work finally began in May 2022. “The subsequent construction phase went according to schedule, despite ongoing supply chain bottlenecks. We even managed to hand over the new building to the municipalities a month earlier than planned, in time for the beginning of the new school year,“ says Tilly Trautmann. The construction manager heads the project team at Drees & Sommer. The consultancy, which specializes in real estate and infrastructure, supports the construction and modernization project with services ranging from the feasibility study, 360-degree analysis through project management and controls to advice on engineering and building management. In addition, the team was involved in the combined ‘planning and building’ award process.
Modernization Work during School Hours
After completion of the new building with around 6,800 square meters of space and the start of lessons for pupils in their new class rooms at the beginning of the school year 2023/2024, modernization of the remaining roughly 27,000 square meters campus area started. The existing building dating from 1978 is undergoing a core renovation and modernization. A covered glass walkway will ultimately connect the two buildings and bridge the street that separates them. A major challenge here is how to carry out the construction work during school hours. “To ensure classes are not disrupted, processes have to be precisely timed and coordinated. Storage containers are being used as temporary classrooms,“ explains Tilly Trautmann.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Electricity
The new construction and modernization are based on comprehensive energy and sustainability plans. They include green roofs and the installation of photovoltaic modules. Moreover the new building was constructed in line with the energy efficiency standard EG 40 of the German KfW Development Bank. Both buildings will have wooden façades and windows that reach the floors. In addition to being sustainably built, the classrooms will allow for modern pedagogical approaches to learning with rooms for differentiated instruction and age group clusters, which are intended to strengthen interactive social cohesion between all age groups among the roughly 600 students. In the outdoor area, the open spaces and playing fields will be upgraded and made more attractive.
The large-scale project is a joint initiative of the two municipalities Schwieberdingen and Hemmingen. The Glemstal school in Schwieberdingen’s Herrenwiesenweg was built in 1978. In the following years, three extensions were added to the complex. In 2013 the school was finally converted into a four-stream community school.
The volume invested by the two municipalities totals 28 million euros. However, Schwieberdingen and Hemmingen received some funding for their joint project. The construction work was subsidized by the German development bank KfW. A sum of approximately 4 million euros was allocated because the building is constructed in line with the energy efficiency standard EG 40. Further grants of EUR 3.6 million for the renovation program and EUR 3.5 million for the construction of the new school building are being provided by the Stuttgart Regional Government Office (Regierungspräsidium). Modernization works are scheduled to be completed in summer 2025.