An invisible wooden façade, a brightly colored interior with lush indoor vegetation and an innovative water and energy concept: with the extension building of the Chocolate Center at its headquarters in the German town of Waldenbuch, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG is blazing a trail for sustainable building and innovative working. Because of its economic use of resources, its recyclable materials and its high level of user comfort, the building has now been awarded the DGNB certificate in gold by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
‘We were very keen to erect a future-oriented and environmentally friendly building. The certification by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) shows that our efforts have been worthwhile. We now have a demonstrably sustainable building which offers our staff and our visitors a high amenity value in a healthy environment,’ explained Benjamin Flaig, the responsible project head at Ritter. Sustainability experts of Drees & Sommer SE supported the project. The consulting firm specializes in construction and real estate. ‘We selected over 500 materials and products based on the quality standards of the German Sustainable Building Council and on extended Cradle to Cradle criteria,’ said Daniela Schneider, an engineer with responsibility for architectural and environmental issues of EPEA – Part of Drees & Sommer. To fulfill the need for recyclability, both the façade and the other elements of the building with several different materials or component layers are assembled with hardly any adhesives. Instead, they are bolted together or joined by other removable connections so that they can be separated into homogeneous materials and recycled when the building is altered or demolished.
The use of sustainable materials is a particularly important goal in the fittings for interior rooms, designed by Ippolito Fleitz Group: ‘Here, only durable and recyclable materials and products are used which are also low-emission and largely free from pollutants. This ensures the best possible quality of the interior air’, explained Daniela Schneider. Everything is checked – from the wall paint and carpet tiles to the desks, chairs and lamps and even the curtains, plants and plant pots. But this does not mean that the interior design of the building is limited to plain walls and simple wooden furniture. The extension building of the Chocolate Center is living proof that healthy building and modern design can go hand in hand.
Another special feature of the new building is that it is highly flexible. The load-bearing structure is strong enough to add another full story on top of the building if needed.
You can find more information in our press release.