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Design prize for the structure of the 50Hertz headquarters building
With 500 discreet nodes that work together to resist enormous forces

Inros Lackner is honoured to have been recognised at the 2019 engineering awards ceremony of the German steel constructionfederation (Deutscher Stahlbau-Verband), for the structural design of the 50Hertz “Netzquartier” office building in Berlin’sEuropacity district. The new building – the German headquarters of the 50Hertz group, with approx. 650 employees – is an eye-catcher, its external appearance reflecting the office’s inner workings. The architectural design of the building, by the firm LOVE architecture & urbanism in Graz, Austria, with its mesh-like supporting structure of steel-clad concrete columns, placed great demands on Inros Lackner’s project structural design team. Large forces meet comparatively discreet nodes. In all, 500 such nodes required to be designed. "The trickiest was a node at the corner of the building above the entrance, at the level of the ceiling of the ground floor, to which the beams of the entrance canopy are connected. Due to the geometry of the façade and the associated flow of forces, a huge number of forces concentrate atone point. Visually, however, it should appear just as discreet as all other nodes", says Ralph Prüfer, Project Manager, Structural Engineering. Due to the inclination of the columns, horizontal forces of up to 7,000 kN arise in the slab at that level, which must be resisted at the node. That's about 714 tons. A small node that can carry the weight of up to four blue whales or forty city buses.

Since 2013, the prize has been awarded by the German industry association bauforumstahl e.V., the German Federal Chamber of Engineers and the trade journal Stahlbau for particularly future-oriented and trend-setting engineering work. Among other things, the jury's laudation states: "The way in which the deliberatelyirregular design of the exterior was implemented using the selected structure type is exemplary. The associated design of a wide variety of node constellations demanded sophisticated solutions to control the flow of forces, including the resulting load diversions. Particular demands ranged from the detailed design ofconnection points to the complete compliance with fire protection requirements. The clever choice of structure type together with the application of modern design methods justify a special recognition of this project" (
Inros Lackner participated in the design and construction of the award-winning building as a general design consultant. The building has set new standards for modern and sustainable working environments. The overall project was recognized by DGNB and LEED, the leading sustainability certification systems, becoming the first building in the world to be awarded DGNB Diamond and LEED Gold certifications.