Nuremberg, Germany, November 10, 2021. The biggest municipal construction project in northern Bavaria is gathering pace. Over the next seven years, the Südwest school campus in Nuremberg will develop into a state-of-the-art location for around 2,000 students. The city is investing around EUR 190 million in the construction of two schools: the secondary schools Sigmund Schuckert Gymnasium and Peter Henlein Realschule. In addition to a state-of-the-art learning environment, the complex will include generous sports facilities as well as a library for the school and the district. The city of Nuremberg has been supported since the preliminary design stage by the Nuremberg office of Stuttgart-based consulting company Drees & Sommer SE, which specializes in construction and real estate projects.
The investment in the Nuremberg school campus is a step towards reducing the backlog of renovations needed in many German schools. Municipalities have built up an investment backlog of more than EUR 40 billion.
Many schools requiring modernization were built in the 1970s, like the existing building in Nuremberg. The structural design of these buildings was intended more for front-of-class teaching and not so much for the varied methods now practiced in class. The layout of the new Südwest school campus is geared towards contemporary education practices and provides a state-of-the-art learning environment – with large sports fields, wide corridors and attractive spaces for social interaction throughout the campus.
Construction of New Building While School Continues to Operate
To ensure that the school can continue to operate with as little hindrance as possible until the move into the new building, the construction project is divided into three phases. Drees& Sommer’s project manager Christian Matschke commented: ‘This way, we can avoid the necessity for students to move into a temporary location.’ During the past few weeks, the construction site was prepared for the first construction phase. The real work began at the end of August: By the middle of 2023, the construction team will have built the first sports hall, part of the outdoor sports areas, and car and bicycle parking spaces.
The second construction phase, due to be completed in the middle of 2026, will include the majority of the school building space and the schoolyard, along with further outdoor sports areas and a playground. This phase also includes the main building of the Sigmund Schuckert Gymnasium, the Peter Henlein Realschule, a school cafeteria, areas for full day care, and the school and district library. The office of the ministerial representative for secondary schools (Realschulen) in Middle Franconia will also be moved into the building. The final phase, to be completed by the end of 2028, includes the construction of a second sports hall, a further schoolyard and the majority of the outdoor sports areas.
Climate-Neutral School Campus
The work phases have been carefully planned since 2018 – with involvement from the future users of the Südwest school campus. ‘The work is a logistical challenge,’ according to project manager Matschke. This is because exam periods and noise control for residents of the adjacent residential area have to be allowed for. The project manager explained: ‘To ensure that everything runs as it should, as project steerers we are working with the project management of the city of Nuremberg on a number of important tasks connected with the construction project.’
This includes preparing the entire design and construction process and keeping it on course during implementation so that cost budgets, time schedules, deadline and due dates are adhered to.
Also challenging is the desired objective of a climate-neutral school in a zero-energy building. The plan is for the new school campus to save more CO2 emissions through renewable electricity generation than will arise from the operation of the school over a year. The source of the renewable energy will be a photovoltaic system. The new building will thus compensate for the urgently required renovation work in combination with sustainable energy generation, including by the use of district heating. The school campus will serve as a model for climate-friendly construction, as Christian Matschke explained: ‘Buildings use around 40 percent of energy in Germany. If we want to stick to the goal of future climate-neutrality, there is no way to avoid a wave of large-scale renovations.’ The Südwest school campus in Nuremberg is a big step in the right direction.