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Intelligent commercial properties

Fraunhofer and Hochtief started a large-scale "innovative buildings" project. The technologies involved cover the spectrum from construction physics through microelectronics. The aim is to develop intelligent technologies for utility buildings and bring these to market maturity.

"The real estate sector has an enormous amount of catching-up to do in the field of innovations", says Dr. Dirk-Meints Polter, Fraunhofer Executive Board member for Human Resources and Legal. "Compared, for instance, with all the developments in the automotive industry in recent years regarding safety, comfort, user-friendliness, reliability and also entertainment, the property business is still back in the early 1970s." The new project is aimed at changing this. The research team is erecting a special-purpose facility to implement and demonstrate its ideas. Named "inHaus2", it will be constructed on a 5,500 square-meter site in Duisburg, close to "inHaus1", which already serves as a laboratory for innovative residential properties. The new building will incorporate trail-blazing concepts for the commercial properties of the future. Even before ground-breaking for the new facility, Fraunhofer and HOCHTIEF are cooperating on the developement of integrated design and planning, construction an operations methods. By mid-2008, it will evolve into a high-flexibility building capable of adaptation to the wishes and requirements of a variety of occupants. In the research wing, rooms geared specifically to such applications as hotels, hospitals or retirement homes will be designed and purpose-tested. The researchers will also investigate how to enable office premises to adapt flexibly to different forms of utilization or types of user. For this, rooms with the requisite electronic and IT infrastructure and all the necessary fittings, furnishings and equipment will be installed on the planned three floors of the building. Research and development work will then continue to the end of 2010 in order to test the systems in actual operation, optimize them and bring them to market maturity. "Hochtief will organize the erecting of 'inHaus2' as an 'intelligent building site'"‚ says Dr. Friedel Abel, CEO of HOCHTIEF Construction AG. "For instance, building materials will be fitted out with chips. On completion, these will be able to provide information on the degree of heat insulation." In addition to design, planning and construction, Hochtief will be responsible for facility management and will partner Fraunhofer in the planned R&D projects. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is contributing about EUR 3.6 million to project financing from its own resources, while HOCHTIEF will invest a total of EUR 4.3 million. Fraunhofer and HOCHTIEF have drawn up a comprehensive R&D plan, incorporating the know-how of nine Fraunhofer institutes, HOCHTIEF Construction and HOCHTIEF Facility Management.For further information: Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Scherer Phone: +49 203 3783-211 Fax: +49 203 3783-277 Fraunhofer-Institut für Mikroelektronische Schaltungen und Systeme IMS Finkenstraße 61 47057 Duisburg www.ims.fraunhofer.de Dr. Patricia Wischerhoff Phone: 02 01 / 8 24-26 53 Fax: 02 01 / 8 24-2585 HOCHTIEF Opernplatz 2 45128 Essen www.hochtief.de/presse

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