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STEELROOTS®    25 Years BFtec
With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

Optimal load-bearing capacity, high economic efficiency and quick implementation: for the new construction of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall in the so called "Lüneburger Heide", the foundation on STEEL-ROOT® from BFtec proved to be a decisive structural solution with great cost and time savings for those involved.

It's all about the packaging. In the case of Smurfit Kappa Wellpappe Nord, based in Schneverdingen, this applies to both the product and the location. In the production facility on the edge of the "Lüneburger Heide", the company, one of the global industry leaders for paper and packaging solutions, manufactures corrugated cardboard, most of which are used in packaging for the food industry. With this market segment, the location, which employs 160 people, serves an industry that has seen positive economic development despite the corona pandemic. In order to be able to meet the current requirements of the market even better, the company planned to expand its capacities at the Schneverdingen location by building a new hall.

With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

View of the finished, 2,700 square meter lightweight hall. The hall has a length of 90 meters, a width of 30 meters and a ridge height of 7 meters (with a side height of 5.20 meters).

"We quickly needed a structural solution that would also offer us a high degree of flexibility with regard to later needs and market adjustments without having to build large concrete foundations on our factory premises that could later interfere", said the operations manager of Smurfit Kappa, Dirk Sawatzki, immediately noticed two advantages of his new building. The new lightweight hall was set up on an existing paved area on the company premises and based on STEEL-ROOT® from BFtec. The STEEL-ROOT® offer the advantage over a conventional foundation with concrete foundations that they can be loaded immediately. There is no longer any curing time after concreting, which significantly shortens the construction time. There is also no need to dispose of excess soil that arises when excavating the concrete foundations. Furthermore, the costly dismantling and disposal of the concrete foundations after the end of their useful life is no longer necessary. Instead, the STEEL-ROOT® can be removed and fully recycled. The lightweight hall could therefore be completely dismantled and set up again elsewhere on the factory premises or at a different location - including the foundations. That makes the STEEL-ROOT® far more sustainable than other foundation variants.

For the company HTS TENTIQ, an industry leader for temporary hall structures and large tents with headquarters in Kefenrod in the Wetterau, which had finally received the order for the new construction of the 2,700 square meter lightweight hall, another competitive advantage of STEEL-ROOT® was decisive: the high one Economics. "Originally, we had also calculated with a conventional foundation on concrete foundations and offered this in a total package. A competitor was still ahead of the game," explained the HTS TENTIQ area sales manager for Central Germany, Marco Kugler. As luck would have it, he had taken over the project from his colleague as a vacation replacement. While looking for potential savings, he remembered the STEEL-ROOT® from BFtec. He had already successfully implemented other hall projects with the concrete-free steel root foundations. Even though these were nowhere near the size of the new hall in Schneverdingen, the area sales manager had positive memories of the advantages of this alternative foundation method in terms of economy and load-bearing capacity. Marco Kugler asked Peter Kellner.

For the BFtec company founder, who with his team has continuously developed the STEEL-ROOT® in recent years and perfected it for a wide variety of applications - from radio mast to hall construction - the case was clear: This construction project is for the use of STEEL-ROOT ® virtually predestined. How much he did with this assessment, which was also mathematically confirmed by the structural engineers' proof of stability, was then shown during the assembly work. But first of all, HTS TENTIQ area sales manager Marco Kugler was able to significantly improve his offer. By using the STEEL-ROOT® from BFtec, the costs for the foundation work could be reduced by almost half. This gave the offer a decisive price advantage and won the company the bid. At the same time, the client also benefited from the cheaper offer. A win-win-win situation.

With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

The STEEL-ROOT® foundations used with a height-adjustable flange plate. A total of 41 STEEL-ROOT® foundations were used in this 2,700 square meter lightweight hall. The steel root foundations were embedded about 1.40 meters deep into the ground.

With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

Even the difficult, sandy soil conditions are not a problem for the STEEL-ROOT® foundations. In the picture, the previously removed excavated earth is returned to the excavation and compacted in layers. The STEEL-ROOT® foundations can then be loaded immediately.

The fact that those involved had made exactly the right choice by choosing this concrete-free foundation method was then confirmed during the construction work. The soil conditions at the Smurfit Kappa site, which is located on the south-eastern outskirts of Schneverdingen, are extremely demanding. Immediately behind the factory fence begins the cultural landscape typical of the "Lüneburger Heide" with its sandy soils and moors. The name of the street on which the company has settled was therefore no coincidence: Moorweg 55.

"Our installation team came across groundwater at a depth of around one meter," reported Plant Manager Dirk Sawatzki. With a foundation on concrete foundations, this would have entailed a complex and cost-intensive deep foundation on bored piles and thus completely contradicted the idea of ​​the greatest possible flexibility. "In principle, we then set each steel root foundation individually," explained the client. The alignment of the individual STEEL-ROOT® was a bit more demanding, but that way you didn't have to pump groundwater out of the construction pit. During assembly, the construction pits are usually first excavated, the STEEL-ROOT® aligned and then the construction pit backfilled with the existing soil.

The new lightweight hall with its 2,700 square meter area was founded on a total of 41 STEEL-ROOT®. These have a basic size of 1.40 meters by 1.40 meters. At the same time, a height difference of 40 centimeters could be compensated for on the site. The steel root foundations were embedded about 1.40 meters deep into the ground. Since the STEEL-ROOT® are made of galvanized steel, they are also protected against corrosion from the groundwater.

Only the top segment of the STEEL-ROOT® protruded from the ground with a connection flange. This connection flange has an adjustment adapter that enables horizontal alignment to the millimeter. A connection plate was screwed onto the flange, which was dimensioned exactly to the connections of the aluminum side profiles.

With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

Ultimately, only the connection flange protrudes from the floor. This connection flange has an adjustment adapter that enables horizontal alignment to the millimeter.

With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

A connection plate was screwed onto the flange, which was dimensioned exactly to the connections of the aluminum side profiles. After the frictional connection had been established, the 4.5-ton cross-beams could be erected with the help of a mobile crane and screwed to the ridge.

With the help of a mobile crane, the individual preassembled tie beams were then erected in full width and screwed to the ridge. Despite the lightweight construction, each one weighed around 4.5 tons due to its large span. With each crane lift, the hall grew by 5 meters in length. The walls made of sandwich panels were then installed between the girders. The roof structure was additionally reinforced in order to meet the requirements for snow loads applicable in the region. The hall with a length of 90 meters, a width of 30 meters and a ridge height of 7 meters (with a side height of 5.20 meters) was handed over to the client within just seven weeks. Even with a system construction method, a construction time of around three months is normally assumed for halls of this size.

"In this construction project, the STEEL-ROOT® showed what they can do," enthused Area Sales Manager Marco Kugler. Client Dirk Sawatzki from Smurfit Kappa is also very satisfied with his new lightweight hall. Finished goods are now stored there, which can be delivered to its customers just in time. The foundation on STEEL-ROOT® enabled him to find a quickly realizable, flexible, economically lucrative and ecologically sustainable solution in extreme soil conditions, which is optimally adapted for the intended use. It all comes down to the packaging - and the foundation.

With the right foundation to the success of a 2,700 square meter lightweight hall

Outside view of the completed 2,700 square meter lightweight hall - based on STEEL-ROOT® foundations.

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