„Study Aparts“ – Modular Construction for 420 Student Apartments
Carrying out large-scale building projects according to current specifications, within the set financial framework and the tightly planned time schedules poses a real challenge. This is also the case in the German capital Berlin. To cut costs, reduce complexity and make the construction process easier to plan, Central Berlin Wohnen GmbH relies on modular construction. In 2019, a student residence for a total of 420 students was built in Berlin Reinickendorf. The project was built from prefabricated reinforced concrete room modules including prefabricated installation walls for the building services and sanitary installations. Prefabrication not only saved costs but also construction time, and in the process created a good deal of living space.
Completed in just 13 months
The five-storey building named “Study Aparts” was built in Von-der-Gablentz-Straße. Thanks to the modular construction method of Lechner Projektbau GmbH, it took just 13 months from the groundbreaking ceremony to the apartments becoming occupied. Over a gross surface area of 15,605 m2, with the one-room flats ranging in size from 19 to 35 m2, the first students had already moved in by 2020.
One advantage follows another
With a degree of prefabrication of over 90 percent, each room module was manufactured at the Deutsche Modulhausfabrik and equipped ready for occupancy. This reduced the construction time by up to 50 percent compared to conventional solid construction. Christian Hanisch, engineer and technical project manager at the Lechner Group, explains: “At the same time as we built the foundations, we also started the production of the room modules.”
But it was not just the time advantage that achieved decisive benefits with the modular construction method. The quality also reached a significantly higher level, as Hanisch confirmed. Due to the industrial prefabrication, tight dimensional tolerances were maintained. Likewise, the entire production logistics as well as the material supply were far less complex than on a large construction site. Despite all the advantages, however, the modular construction method required an almost complete construction planning right from the start of construction. Extensive additional costs were thereby almost completely excluded, meaning that the project implementation remained within the cost framework. For the “Study Aparts” in Berlin, the construction and planning costs amounted to almost 30 million Euros.
TECEsystem - perfecting the modular construction
Building with modules required overall planning in the initial stages. This became particularly clear in the example of the building services: the layout of the shafts and hence the pipework dimensions for heating, ventilation, wastewater and potable water had to be determined at the time the room modules were cast. As a result, TECE cooperated with the Lechner Group already in the early planning phase. Together with the TGA specialist planner, Stefano Migliore, with whom TECE had already worked with on previous projects, and the lead architect's office IHT Planungsgesellschaft mbH, the relevant prefabricated sanitary walls were planned. This enabled TECE to ensure a smooth production process. Because of the industrially produced room modules and their inevitably tight dimensional tolerances, it was possible to create the prefabricated sanitary walls identically at all times. To fine-tune the prefabricated sanitary walls and the shaft layout, TECE supplied a 3D drawing to Deutsche Modulhausfabrik to aid ongoing planning and production. Thanks to the detailed planning of the overall installation, it was approved for fire protection during construction.
The “Study Aparts” show that modular construction is setting the trend for other comparable projects in terms of costs, time, quality and lean processes.