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Front view of DFS Systemhaus, Langen_(c) Ulrich Rossmann; Front view of DFS Systemhaus, Langen_(c) Ulrich Rossmann;

DFS Systemhaus, Langen

Facade redesign with natural night ventilation

When it was decided that this 1980s office building would undergo a complete façade redesign, Arup was keen to lend its expertise through a team of architectsstructural and façade engineers.

The design features an enhanced façade and a new entrance area as well as a concept for natural night ventilation. The parapets are clad with suspended ventilated concrete panels that are reinforced with glass fibre. The corners are covered with curved elements which give the building its characteristic new design.

The window bands are constructed with a post-and-beam system made from narrow powder-coated aluminium profiles, securely glazed and featuring a highly selective sun screen glazing. Integrated glass panels provide considerable heat insulation.

Double 'ventilation boxes' are integrated into the window bands. At least one ventilation box is allocated to each office room. The design is based on an automatic tilt-in window construction which integrates a ventilator in the upper box to enhance the cooling effect.

The translucent glass pane in the box facilitates good light transmission and avoids direct glare into offices. Fixed glass panes and lateral openings in the supporting frame control ventilation while providing adequate weather protection.

Adjacent swivel windows provide sufficient natural ventilation during the daytime. The existing suspended ceilings were removed, creating 25% more room volume and allowing the exposed concrete ceiling to be cooled by the night air.