Twenty meters tall, 7,000 square meters of total floor space, about 300 workstations and a total cost of €14.5 million euros—these are just a few key facts about the new administration building in Merkur-Allee in Espelkamp which the Gauselmann Group officially inaugurated last month. It is the largest and most expensive administration building of the group of companies—and thus a property of superlatives. Apart from its sheer size, however, it is above all also a sign of confidence that stands for an economically strong future despite all the challenges the present holds.
“I am very proud of the new building and the excellent working conditions it allows us to offer our associates,” explains Board Chairman Paul Gauselmann. “As you can see today, our decision to go ahead with the construction despite the pandemic has turned out to have been the right one.”
Two years ago, he says, it was “a big step” to decide in favor of the construction, given the current circumstances. Yet the company founder has always had a positive outlook on the future and with this basic attitude emboldened everyone involved.
As technical manager for real estate, Lars Reichel offered a brief overview of the special features of the 42-metre-long and 42-metre-wide building. In the center, an inner courtyard of approximately 13 by 13 meters extends all the way from the ground floor to the fourth floor, creating a friendly atmosphere with large window fronts serving as a source of natural light. The environmentally friendly green roofs complete the concept.
A special highlight is the interior design with its future-oriented working environments in a particularly employee-friendly atmosphere: hardly any classic office spaces, for instance, are to be found in the entire building. The interior design was guided by the way work has generally been developing towards becoming ever more agile, flexible and project-oriented. This is connected with an increased need for communication among the staff members—and dividing walls are often an impediment to this. Even so, the space still offers the option of withdrawing to special cubicles for meetings or to do concentrated work.
In terms of energy, too, the building is state of the art: to make sure that as little energy as possible is consumed, highly efficient heat pumps have been installed, most of which are powered by the 30 kW photovoltaic system on the roof. Thanks to the heat recovery systems, as little energy as possible has to be fed to the building. Only at times of peak loads is fossil fuel still to be used. For reasons of sustainability, the room temperature is also linked to whether or not employees are in the rooms. If, for instance, offices are not occupied during the morning or evening hours, the room temperature is automatically lowered.
Frank Kögel, managing director of the general contractor Kögel-Bau, thanked Paul Gauselmann for the confidence placed in his firm, saying it had been in the spirit of partnership that they had looked for ways on how to proceed and always found constructive solutions. A total of 43 contractors were involved in the new building, with the majority of the work being done by 33 regional companies. In the approximately one and a half years of construction work, 3,200 cubic meters of concrete, 400 tons of steel, 20 kilometers of pipes and 200 kilometers of cable were used. After construction began in June 2020, the building was ready to be occupied in January 2022. Now some 250 employees have their workstations there.