What are networks around buildings for?

Protection against crumbling - More and more buildings are being networked

The customs investigation building at the beginning of Vahrenwalder Strasse rises nine stories. The crumbling metal facade is protected from top to bottom by a robust net, as is known from ocean cutters. It has been hanging there since August - and it is unclear how long it will stay. The Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (Bima) is still checking what will happen to the ailing building. It is not the only construction in which nets, gauze sheets, truss constructions or scaffolding are necessary to protect passers-by from falling parts. Noticeable: These are almost exclusively public buildings. Private owners apparently deal with their real estate differently. Some examples:

■ Former adult education center opposite the town hall: networked for nine years.
■ Two high-rise buildings on the MHH campus: networked for a year.
■ Urban round bunker on Weidendamm near the new fire station: wrapped in a net for over a year.
■ Historic university building opposite the Conti campus: nets on the balcony and the ornate eaves have been protecting against falling rocks for almost ten years.
■ Municipal building administration next to the town hall: Secured with scaffolding since 2013 chunks were detached from the facade. The renovation is delayed.

So-called curtain walls are often the reason for dangerous crumbling, a popular construction method especially since the 1970s. At that time, expensive stainless steel was usually not used to hang the stone or metal plates on the concrete wall - now the material has rusted and the plates are threatened with loosening. The most recent case was the regional directorate of the employment agency on Altenbekener Damm, where security was provisionally provided for months with nets and locking tapes. The building has now been torn down and a residential building is being built there.

Costs in the millions

The Bima has not yet reached that point in the customs investigator building. Although she hardly ever uses the huge office building: Only about 50 employees are reportedly working in the office area in the best inner city location. Experts have calculated the need for renovation; it should be so high that demolition is a more likely option. It has not yet been decided whether to build a new building for your own needs or to sell the 5300 square meter property (opposite is the Conti headquarters, where you are looking for a new office location for up to 1200 employees). Nobody seems to have come up with the idea of ​​accommodating refugees there in times when sports halls are being used as accommodation for a purpose other than those intended and the country has acquired initial reception centers through “administrative assistance” from the municipalities. “Nobody can live here,” says one employee. It is possible that the people who live by the hundreds in exhibition halls see it differently.

Protection against crumbling: More and more public buildings in Hanover are wearing "overcoats".

The future is also still uncertain for the municipal building authorities. The building from 1955 is considered a case for total renovation - the monument protection prohibits demolition. The feasibility study, however, which was supposed to provide information about different variants, should have been completed last autumn. Then came the rush of refugees and blocked work processes in the construction management - now spokesman Alexis Demos hopes that the course for the future of the renovation project will be ready for decision at least by the end of the year. These are not peanuts: The cost corridors range from 15 to 45 million euros, depending on the renovation effort. The start of renovation can be in 2018 at the earliest.

"This is how you imagine the view from prison"

It will possibly go faster at the former adult education center opposite the New Town Hall. For more than nine years a scaffolding with nets has stood in front of the crumbling facade. Investor Gregor Baum bought the building from the city, inside of which there are parts of the old city wall and the Cord-Borgentrick city tower. He wants to carefully create living and office space in it. The architectural competition is over. "It will be an exciting project - it should be clear shortly when the renovation will start," promises Baum.

The city is hoping for a buyer at the round bunker on Weidendamm - and has provided the damaged facade with a safety net. It was last used for the federal civil protection program, which has expired.
In the case of the high-rise buildings on the campus of the Medical University, however, there is no longer any salvation. "A facade renovation would be uneconomical," says MHH spokesman Stefan Zorn: "As long as they are still standing, they will remain networked." He himself has his office in the 15-story building K 27 next to the main entrance and looks through the greenish shimmering network in front of it every day Window. He takes it with humor: “To put it positively: I feel very safe here. And negative: This is how you imagine the view from prison. "