The use concept provides for the testing of durability, fire resistance and smoke control, resistance to wind load as well as air, rain and wind integrity on the same test specimen.This helps to significantly shorten the time needed for testing. In addition, it is possible to carry out fire testing on loadbearing building components.
Construction started in July 2015, and every day the Technology Centre grows taller. With an investment of approx. EUR 7 million, a modern test and research centre with a gross floor area of over 3,000 m² is being created for large building components such as fire resistant/smoke control elements, facades, windows, side-hung/sliding industrial doors, pedestrian doors and roof and wall elements.
Large building elements of up to 8 x 5 m2 can be tested for smoke control and fire resistance, durability, wind load and air, wind and watertigthness using the same test specimen for all tests. This will be made possible by special rigging and installation concepts in which the special requirements of the various test standards are taken into account. This means that it is no longer necessary to produce several costly test specimens, and additional rigging work and transport becomes unnecessary. This accelerates the overall test procedure and customers receive the required test results and certificates much quicker.
From June 2016, the following test facilities will be available:
- Fire test furnaces – w x h approx. 8 x 5 m2 and 5 x 5 m2
- Fire test furnace – w x h x l approx. 4 x 4 x 5 m3 for loadbearing floor, wall and roof components
- 20 durability test rigs with sizes of up to 8 x 5 m2
- Test rig for air, wind, water – w x h approx. 10 x 7 m2
- Smoke leakage test rigs with approx. 8 x 5 m2, 5 x 5 m2 and 3.6 x 3.6 m2
All test rigs have been designed to ensure that testing can be carried out to German and European standards as well as to American, Russian, British and other standards. For this purpose, the ift Rosenheim has secured numerous bilateral acknowledgements, for example for tests to UL, AAMA, ASTM, CWCT, Ghost. Furthermore, in future the ift will also be able to carry out tests of walls and floors exposed to loads, i.e. provide evidence of the fire resistance of loadbearing walls and floors. On that basis it is possible, in combination with flexible accreditation, to carry out testing and provide evidence for special buildings and non-standardised building components. In addition, it is planned to provide testing of control systems to ensure electrical and functional safety. Overall, the Technology Centre will offer an ideal facility for the industrial and pedestrian door industry, which is one of the main users of automatic systems.
Based on a cleverly designed use and logistics concept with rigging boxes, lift and crane systems, and storage spaces, it is possible to ergonomically rig up, prepare and test components economically and quickly. Of special importance are also lockable rigging boxes and enclosed test areas, providing optimum conditions for the guarantee of confidentiality. Workshops for timber, metal and shell construction work with experienced tradesmen make it possible to quickly adapt test specimens and connections to the building fabric so that testing can be carried out without time delay. The close proximity to the A8 motorway means that it is easy to deliver large building components with special delivery vehicles.
The flue gas cleaning system required for the facility will be one of the most modern systems worldwide, ensuring that the emissions are far below the legally required minimum values specified in the TA Luft regulations and that any odour emissions are avoided.
The facility has been designed to ensure that testing, research and the investigation of modern construction technologies can be witnessed by customers, visitors and scientists from all over the world. With the help of a modern video and communication system, and a lounge with a direct view of the test hall, the ongoing tests can be recorded for the purpose of documentation and the production of sales material. The facilities are rounded off by a customer area with state-of-the-art office technology and individually available meeting rooms.
In cooperation with the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Competence Centre for Building Technology, it is also possible to carry out forward-looking research projects using innovative construction elements, building materials and construction technologies. These include “smart” construction elements, adaptive facades, regenerative use of energy in the building envelope, media facades, composites and timber wall elements in modular construction with integrated services installations. As is known from sound insulation, this also benefits small and medium-sized timber construction companies, which rely on publicly funded joint venture projects for technical development. This means that the Technology Centre will become a key component of the ift Rosenheim and for “timber construction competence” in Rosenheim.
Meanwhile, the ift Rosenheim’s notified product certification body for fire testing (NPZ) has been established in the”old” fire testing centre in Nuremberg so that – in time with the product standard for fire and smoke control doorsets coming into force – all necessary services, testing and certificates can be carried out in accordance with EN 16034 and manufacturers can apply the CE mark to their fire resistant and smoke control products from December 2015.
This is another service provided by the ift Rosenheim, offering its customers from the window, facade, door and glass industries a tailor-made, competent and economical service under the motto “all tests from one provider”.