Viega is opening one of the most innovative and sustainable seminar centres in the industry at its headquarters in Attendorn, Germany. The interactive Viega World is regarded as a landmark project for the construction of the future: it clearly showcases how construction projects can benefit from integral planning using the Building Information Modeling (BIM) working methodology. BIM was used consistently to plan for the building’s use as a climate-neutral training centre. As a result, it was possible to develop an energy concept that meets the highest sustainability requirements and can be replicated for other buildings.
Viega, one of the world’s leading companies in the installation sector, has officially opened its new interactive training centre on a site covering a total area of around 12,000 square metres near its headquarters in Attendorn in the Sauerland region of Germany. With this new building and an investment figure in the high tens of millions, the family business is looking to provide versatile training and further education opportunities for skilled professionals. A key element of the project was the use of the integral BIM working methodology: the building was designed in its entirety with the help of a 3D model, a so-called digital twin. This involved continuously enhancing and overlaying information from specialist models of all trades involved in the construction, such as plans for the building services engineering (BSE), steel and concrete work or electrical installation plans. The entire life cycle of Viega World was planned in advance – from construction through to the operating process and disposal.
Viega is defining new standards for integral planning using BIM
This is the first educational building in Europe to have been planned so consistently using BIM across all phases of work. Viega World is therefore setting new standards in digital, sustainable and efficient construction. “In order to plan a building using the BIM working methodology, many parties have to come together around the same table: the building services engineering provides the structure and a framework for planners, architects and trades. We have therefore broken new ground in many respects with the design of Viega World,” says Ulrich Zeppenfeldt, Vice President Global Service & Consulting and responsible for digital building at Viega. As part of this project, Viega worked closely with the Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building at RWTH Aachen University under the direction of Prof. Christoph van Treeck. Together, it was possible to gather key findings that are already being reflected in work on standards and guidelines for BIM and are therefore being incorporated into the development of new standards for construction using BIM.
Planning reliability and focus on sustainability right from the outset
As a flagship project, Viega World illustrates the advantages of integral construction based on the BIM working methodology: by planning using a digital model of the building, challenges in construction planning – such as fire protection, utilisation and installation routes – as well as throughout the entire life cycle of the building can be identified at an early stage and accommodated more flexibly. This has a positive impact on cost calculations and provides building owners, construction planners, operators and facility management with more certainty. It also allows energy efficiency and sustainability to be factored in at an early stage. The development of the energy concept was funded by the German government as part of the “Energie.Digital” research project and was supervised on a scientific level by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg and the Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building at RWTH Aachen (e3D). It is reproducible and can be applied to other buildings. With this, Viega is making a significant contribution to achieving the climate targets set for the building sector and is paving the way for a climate-neutral building stock by 2045. The efficient planning process for Viega World has already been awarded the highest rating level of “Platinum” by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
Interactive learning in the most advanced seminar centre in the construction industry
The findings from the digital planning of Viega World using BIM are now being incorporated into Viega’s seminar programme. Viega already trains over twenty thousand visitors every year in a total of 23 seminar centres around the world – the training concept is regarded as particularly successful in the BSE sector. “Viega World will take us to a new level of quality in knowledge transfer,” promises Walter Viegener, Chair of the Viega Shareholder Committee. At Viega World in Attendorn, the company is now focusing on innovatively integrating the building itself into the learning experience. With exhibits to touch and look at, knowledge is brought to life: exposed systems as well as digital models of the building and building data illustrate processes and minute details that are usually hidden behind a wall. Interested parties can attend more than 700 seminars on more than 20 specialist topics, such as drinking water hygiene. As an expert in training and further education in the field of installation technology, Viega is offering a unique brand of knowledge transfer in its new training centre and is continuing to position itself as a key player in the industry.
“We are installing lifelines for the buildings of tomorrow,” says Anna Viegener, Chair of the Shareholder Committee, in her opening speech. “We are now clearly showcasing this in Viega World, the heart of the Viega brand, which is in many ways a landmark project that is bringing the construction of the future to life. Our sustainable approach consistently combines health, energy efficiency and climate protection.”
Viega World in figures
- Total area: 12,200 m2
- Exhibition space: 2850 m2
- Training area: 7500 m2
- Floors: 5 levels
- Rooms: 9 seminar rooms, 2 conference rooms
- Visitor capacity: up to 195 people
- Seminars on offer: over 700 seminars on more than 20 specialist topics covering drinking water hygiene, energy efficiency, sound and fire protection, and BIM