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SKIN PROTECTION
G+H is a partner of choice in the field of façades from planning to completion.

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01.jpg For over four decades property owners, developers, planners and architects have been making use of G+H Fassadentechnik’s know-how in façade engineering. The company can offer turnkey service from a single source both for new buildings and refurbishment of existing ones.

With its regional offices - in Berlin, Bochum, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe and Nuremberg - and subsidiaries, Dwuzet Fassaden and Dwuzet Fassadentechnik, the company handles projects throughout Germany and across Europe.

It co-operates with all major suppliers and manufacturers, and as part of VINCI S.A. the world’s largest construction group, it is also strongly positioned internationally.

Managing director Jens Glöyer explains the benefits of being part of a larger group: “Basically we’re very autonomous, but of course a large group of companies gives us leads into some projects. We also have a very good financial reputation, so our customers do not need to worry about losing us during the course of a project, which is a big advantage to some of them with the volatile markets that we have at the moment. With some companies you don’t know if they will still exist after the job is done – so what’s the value of their warranty? We provide a guarantee for the whole building envelope rather than customers requiring those from five different sub-contractors. The reputation of the VINCI group helps us, but ultimately our reputation stems from the quality we deliver, the timeliness of our work and the craftsmanship we supply.”

A building’s character is determined by the envelope around it. It is the visual impact of this envelope which governs the way the building merges with, or is set off from, its surroundings. The building envelope is more than just a façade. Like a human skin, it has to provide reliable protection from wind, rain and snow, from extreme heat in summer or severe cold in winter; it may even have to provide protection from fire. It helps to ensure a pleasant room climate for the building’s occupants by protecting from excessive sunlight or noise. A building envelope performs the same sort of function for a building as clothes do for people. Depending on the individual requirements, the envelope may resemble a simple workers overall or a sophisticated designer garment. With one key difference though: it can’t be changed quickly, which makes it all the more important to have the façade made-to-measure by a company which understands customers’ needs and has the expertise to turn them into a long lasting reality.

“We deal with all parts of the building envelope and related trades,” says Jens. “We also have an aluminium workshop which produces stick-built elementised curtain-wall facades and windows. Everything else we design, engineer, and supply to a site, then supervise the erection and installation process. We have private and industrial customers for some projects and then we also carry out public work.”

From office buildings or power stations to heritage–protected structures, G+H’s specialists create the appropriate solution for every project. In close co-operation with the client, it first defines the requirements in regard to functionality and building physics, the desired visual impact and the budget. These factors form the basis for the concept and design of the building envelope. For this, G+H uses state-of-the-art software including 3D CAD technology. Then, during production, it pays the utmost attention to the required characteristics and monitors strict dimensional compliance. In subsequent assembly it ensures first - class quality in combination with absolute adherence to deadlines.

Displaying the company’s array of talents, Jens highlights the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin – a 12 million euro casino and music theatre: “It was a very challenging project because the design included a large variety of materials and technologies, aluminium, embossed aluminium , a stick-built store front façade, sloped roofing with non-rectangular shapes, ceramics and rain screen cladding. There are a lot of competitors who do offer singular types of façade but not the diversity at the same time like we are capable of. We’re typically working out of Germany but we do have activities in the neighbouring countries. We’re currently working on a couple of jobs in Switzerland, we often work in Austria, a little in France, and we have operated in Luxembourg too.”

Horst Kagerer manages the Nuremberg branch, he has also supervised work in the UK: “Our first UK project was in Manchester. Currently, we are in the competition of several building envelope contracts in the London area. In Dublin we did the façades for Bewleys Hotel. We are trying to use our network and our contacts to increase our exposure in the UK and we’re trying to be more up-front. With our next project there we are planning to open an office, but the idea is not to grow too quickly.”

There are several differencesbetween the two markets as Jens adds: “The position of an architect in the design team in the UK seems to be stronger and the contact between the contractors and the architect is probably much more developed. In Germany the architects do their design and then often project management teams come in to get the job finished. When we tendered in the UK we had provided a suitable approach to match a design, which it’s not totally fixed or drawn down to the last detail. Although there are different ways to go, it is not too much of a problem because our company has a deep knowledge and our people are well-trained.”

With its diverse range of materials, focus on quality and absolute reliability, G+H hopes to continue creating further distinctive buildings and visual impacts whilst providing protection and saving energy for customers at home and abroad. CT-E

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