Solid as a Rock

Steinbeis helps a facade construction company with the development of a permanent anchorage system

The facade of a building presents an unmistakable face to the outside world. Its occupants want it to look good and, just as importantly, to fulfill its intended purpose. These days there are many different types of wall materials with different types of surface consistencies and mounting options. That’s why it’s important to think about the safest way to keep scaffolding in place when working on a facade. This is achieved by planning and installing anchorage points as the building is erected. It is also essential in Germany, given DIN standard 4426 (Section 7). This isn’t a task that should be swept under the rug if clients need professional support, neither by the architect, the planners, nor by the construction workers on site. And it is a problem that the plastering company Wessendorf Systembeschichtung GmbH is familiar with from everyday business. But it is also a problem it has tackled successfully with a new kind of permanent anchorage system. It was supported in its efforts by two teams of experts from Steinbeis.

Wessendorf Systembeschichtung is based in Emstek in the state of Lower Saxony. One of its specialties as a workshop business is building facades. The firm came up with an idea to develop a permanent anchorage system that could stay in place from the moment scaffolding is erected and would not need to be moved or modified. The aim was to ensure all elements of a facade could work independently of one another. The fixtures would have to adhere to DIN norm 4426 and be approved by the German construction competence center DIBT for use with concrete and masonry. As required for all German thermal insulation systems, the anchorage should be able to support 100% of loads placed on walls, it should leave plaster smooth around the edges, and it should work properly with joint sealing tapes. It had to be really simple to mount and be suitable for use in as many different application areas as possible. Finally, it should use premium materials, from the point of contact with the wall to the end cap on the outside, such that the system can still function properly after many years of exposure to the elements.

The specialists at Wessendorf were fully aware of the challenges and already had some initial ideas, but they were uncertain how to turn such a development into a reality. Help came for the SME from the Steinbeis Transfer Center for the Oldenburger Munsterland Region, which as a long-standing partner of the community in Cloppenburg and Vechta regularly provides support to firms in the area when implementing innovation projects. The Steinbeis experts immediately set to work in a number of areas. To develop the required plastic components, they got in touch with Merkutec GmbH & Co. KG, which jumped in as a development partner. Steinbeis also brought two other partners (and their expertise) on board: Irmler GmbH and the PHWT (a private university of commerce and technology) in Diepholz. The intellectual property experts at Infothek, another Steinbeis Transfer Center, helped the team at Wessendorf with its applications for financial backing from the ZIM (the Central Innovation Program in Medium-Sized Enterprises), also helping to ensure the funded project was made to happen, that property rights were registered, and that the firm gained funding through the SIGNO program.

The results of the project speak for themselves and Wessendorf has now succeeded in developing a permanent anchorage system called isorocket®. The solution has all the answers to the many challenges faced with thermal insulation systems, especially ventilated curtain facades, walls built from traditional red bricks, concrete walls, and all kinds of walls with a thickness of between 100 and 400 millimeters. It offers:

  • a secure anchorage for scaffolding, ingeniously transferring load through the fixture
  • ultimate load bearing per anchorage point, for smaller walls but also thicker foundations
  • perfect connections and rendering
  • the possibility to extend the screw fittings to the required depth of plaster for each anchorage point
  • neat connection to plaster and thermally insulated sealing system
  • reattachment of each anchorage point without material loss or wear
  • no need for subsections, simplifying all steps during mounting
  • registration under DIN standard 4426 with the DIBT for concrete bases and masonry

The isorocket® system was officially launched at the European specialist trade show for facade and room design in Munich, where it was extremely well received. And this was just the first step. At Hannover Messe, the project earned the project teams a prize from the Lower Saxony Innovation Network, which was awarded by the Lower Saxony Minister for Economic Affairs, Olaf Lies, and the Lower Saxony Minister of Science, Dr. Gabriele Heinen-Kljajic. The prize is awarded to innovative collaborative projects carried out by companies with less than 50 employees in partnership with scientific bodies and economic development agencies.

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