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DIAL opens new technology HQ

13 August 2013 14.30 BST

(Germany) - New state-of-the-art energy efficient building featuring thermal insulation and an airtight shell results in huge energy savings.

Invited guests from both the lighting and political world were present at the official inauguration of DIAL's new building in the Bahnhofsallee, Germany on 5th July. This striking new building sets standards, especially with regard to the integral planning of the building's technical facilities, namely the buildings systems design. One significant result is the high energy efficiency: the building dispenses completely with conventional heating.

The new building was constructed with an investment of 4.6 million euros and has been designed to accommodate a maximum staff of 100 working in offices for up to four people. Currently DIAL employs a staff of 72 so that the company will be able to continue expanding. As well as offices, space also had to be available for a photometric laboratory - the ‘Black Laboratory’ - and laboratory for lighting experiments - the ‘White Laboratory’, fitted with two vertically adjustable ceilings. In addition to this the building also houses a testing laboratory for building systems technology, several seminar rooms, a training laboratory and a catering zone.

A further design objective was transparency. Transparency from one employee to another and transparency of customers and employees. The managing director, Dieter Polle, emphasised that the building is intended to create an atmosphere which improves communication and fosters regular encounters among colleagues. DIAL will thus benefit increasingly from its interdisciplinarity.

The result is a clearly constructed architectural cube consisting of three floors with a net floor space of 2,858 sqm. The feeling of transparency is communicated by the atrium with the integrated body of glass made up of offices and seminar rooms with their glass walls and a bistro that is available at any time as a meeting place for staff and seminar participants.

A further challenge was the embodiment of the building technology. This building was designed according to the principles of building systems design, which means that the architecture and building technology are designed jointly to suit the users' needs. The deputy managing director of DIAL, Andreas Bossow, pointed out that particular attention had been paid to energy efficiency, flexibility, good working conditions and modernity.

The subject of energy efficiency is reflected in particular in the 30cm-thick thermal insulation and an airtight building shell. The users of the building do however still need air. For this an artificial lung has been installed - the ventilation system which is located on the roof of the building. 24,000 m of fresh filtered air flow through this ‘nose’ each hour, and thence through the building. And just as when humans breathe through the nose, pre-heated air enters the lungs, so the ventilation system is fitted with a highly efficient heat exchanger which converts 85% of the extracted air into the new air supply. In this way the new air supply with an outside temperature of 0 degrees is pre-heated to 15 degrees without any additional energy.

In humans, when more heat is required, the chemical conversion of food into body warmth is initiated by muscular activity - controlled by our brain and nervous system. In DIAL's new building a total of six heat pumps do this job: in winter they extract heat from the outside air using electrical energy and feed it to the air inside, and in summer they cool the building by giving off heat to the outside air. The whole process is controlled by a number of interlinked central units whose five sub-buses are interlinked with the decentral components throughout the building.

As a result of taking the decision to realise this technological concept, although this is a mono-energy building (i.e. electricity is used as energy), DIAL need 28% less energy than the applicable energy-saving regulations would have permitted.

“The new building represents an enormous turning point in the history of our company,” Dieter Polle emphasised in his welcoming speech at the inauguration of the building.

The managing director was able to welcome the Mayor, Dieter Dzewas, and numerous representatives from the political, business and public arena, members of the shareholders association and companies involved in the realisation of the building project. Dr. Herbert Schiffke, Vice-Chairman of the Association of Shareholders, pointed out that DIAL is only at the beginning of its success story.

“DIAL is customer-oriented and is already keepings its eye open for the needs of the building and lighting industry of the future in order to develop the corresponding products and services,” Harald Rutenbeck, President of the South Westphalian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, referred to the new building as an impressive advertisement for DIAL which clearly reflects DIAL's philosophy.

Mayor Dieter Dzewas referred to the special importance of DIAL in the development of the centre of learning in the vicinity of the railway station which was triggered by the ‘Altitude 415 THINK TANK’ slogan for the Regionale 2013.


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