How the Faculty of Building Services, Energy and Environment is using an intricate structure to simulate wastewater flows.
Esslingen University of Applied Sciences was formed when the University for Technology and Esslingen University for Social Studies merged in 2006. Just under 6,100 students at eleven faculties are currently working hard for their future under the guidance of 224 professors. Numerous results in university rankings are testament to the quality of teaching. In 2016, for instance, the university came in third place for mechanical engineering in the ranking by German business magazine, Wirtschaftswoche. The Faculty of Building Services, Energy and Environment offers two exclusive degree programmes – a Bachelor’s in Building Services, Energy and Environmental Engineering and a Master’s in Energy and Facility Management. In view of the current energy revolution, these programmes have real potential. But it’s not all about theory, as students have the chance to get hands on, too, and this is where item comes into play.
Seven metres for an in-depth insight into practical applications
One of the pioneering projects at the faculty is a new laboratory featuring an elaborate wastewater tower. The tower offers students an authentic insight into exactly how water flows in a normal household behave. There is a facility designed to replicate a toilet flush, a bath tub is simulated and there are various washbasins and sinks. The process of building a sanitary system provides a practical way to show students the careless mistakes that are to be avoided when constructing wastewater systems. Having previously used our profile technology to good effect, e.g. when building test frames for certifying toilet flush mechanisms, the decision to use item solutions was a no-brainer for the university. The TPS Stairway/Platform System and Line 8 profiles were used for the project. The former allows users to access the frame on two levels.
Lots of challenges, ideal material
Although the material for the wastewater tower was machined and delivered to the university back in autumn 2013, it took quite a while before building began as delays to the construction of the laboratory meant having to wait almost three years. During that time, however, building requirements had changed and, as a result, parts of the wastewater tower – including the stairways and platforms – needed to be returned to the item site in Ulm. Luckily, the modular nature of the material ensured modifications could be completed quickly.
Optimum laboratory for the energy revolution
The laboratory, which covers an area of 1,400 square metres and features 35 laboratory test benches of all kinds, was officially opened on 30 June 2017. Laboratory facilities were previously spread across the campus but now everything is in one place. The aim right from the start was to create an inspiring learning environment that combines the best of theoretical and practical training. This approach is reflected in the very design of the building, which not only houses laboratories, but can even be studied as a research subject in its own right.
For example, the entire IT infrastructure, including the energy monitoring technology and building automation, are a showpiece for the students. Last but not least, what makes the new laboratory so special is its sustainability. It generates more energy than it consumes thanks to, amongst other things, its own solar plant on the roof. This commitment to the environment has already been commended with the “sustainable building” certification by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
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