A new location of the Hagedorn Group of Companies has been opened on a former 17 400 m2 landfill site on Venloer Straße in Cologne. The Gütersloh-based family business acquired the site in the summer of 2020 and has since undergone extensive revitalization. The project is emblematic of the sustainable development of building land envisaged by the German government and sets new standards in land recycling. The official inauguration took place on September 14 with over 250 guests. Greetings from Oliver Krischer, NRW’s Environment and Transport Minister, Andree Haack, Cologne’s Department of Urban Development, and Volker Spelthann, the district mayor, acknowledged the importance of the project for the region and for advancing land neutrality in Germany.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, around 550 000 m2 of land is sealed every day. The German government has set itself the goal of putting a stop to this: Net Zero by 2050, which means that no new land may be built on in less than 30 years without providing compensation. “The lack of commercial and industrial land is hampering economic development in our country. This is particularly noticeable in regions undergoing structural change. Yet sites like the former landfill in Cologne hold enormous potential if they are properly prepared. We build on a landfill site out of conviction, because without the use of brownfields we block the path to a sustainable future,” emphasizes Thomas Hagedorn, managing partner of the Hagedorn Group.
Special challenge: building on a landfill site
What makes the project special is that the household waste remains in the landfill, which required special sealing. Because landfills gas and the subsoil was not stable enough, a lot of effort had to be put into waterproofing and stabilizing the soil after deconstruction. A special drainage system safely diverts the resulting gases to the edge of the site in a controlled manner. To isolate the gas-bearing layers, the Hagedorn Group’s civil engineering team also pulled a special plastic sheet over the entire area, which was welded tightly around the piles of the elevated structure. The Environmental Protection Agency accompanied the entire process to carefully check that there were no longer any harmful effects on health or the environment emanating from the soil.
Not only the revitalization of the area, but also the realization of the special building was a challenge. Due to the critical subsoil and the elliptical shape at the eastern end of the structure, the realization of the 100 m long, 16 m wide and 15 m high building required intensive planning, led by the Cologne architect Klaus Müller. For example, the foundation for the four-story building was not built directly onto the landfill, but onto a concreted footbridge whose 179 piles in the ground below the landfill provide the necessary support. The office building with its perforated facade, generous glass surfaces and special concept with regard to room acoustics, ventilation, cooling and lighting measures around 5500 m2 without terraces. With its elongated shape and elliptical end, the building resembles an elegant ship’s hull.
Best working conditions for more digitization in the construction industry
The new building now provides state-of-the-art office space for around 200 Hagedorn employees and the team from SCHÜTT-FLIX, Germany’s leading digital hub for the supply and disposal of construction sites. SCHÜTTFLIX CEO Christian Hülsewig praises the special nature of the location and is excited about the further expansion of the digital logistics platform. “As a tenant, we are pleased, not only about the proximity to our colleagues from Hagedorn, but also about the sustainably developed space. With SCHÜTTFLIX, we stand for circular economy, recycling and optimal supply chains like hardly any other company. The new office space provides the ideal space for our ever-growing team.”
Second site opening this year
For the second time this year, Hagedorn celebrated the opening of a new location. Most recently in Hanover with the inauguration of the Hanover Recyclables Center and Hagedorn Hanover. At the inauguration ceremony of the Cologne branch, the main focus was on brownfield recycling.