Photo © TTC Timmler Technology/Arnulf Hettrich
Photo © TTC Timmler Technology/Arnulf Hettrich
© TTC Timmler Technology/Arnulf Hettrich
© TTC Timmler Technology/Arnulf Hettrich
© TTC Timmler Technology/Arnulf Hettrich
© TTC Timmler Technology/Ines Heimbuch

experimenta Science Center

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Experimenta-Platz, 74072 Heilbronn, Germany
Schwarz Real Estate
Sauerbruch Hutton
General Construction Management
Drees & Sommer
Gravity cooling, air diffusers, drainage channels
TTC Timmler Technology, Flamersheim

experimenta - Innovative Gravity Cooling in the Science Center | Lighthouse project with certification

Experimenta in Heilbronn is the first museum building to receive platinum and diamond certification from DGNB, the German Sustainable Building Council. DGNB has used the above certification to reward a real showpiece for the Dieter Schwarz Foundation. The Science Center is a good example of the perfect symbiosis of outstanding architecture and innovative technology.

At the heart of the Science Center is a silent gravity cooling system by TTC Timmler Technology. For the architects, the innovative air conditioning technology was an important component of this sustainable showcase project, because when in operation it uses almost no energy and at the end of its product lifecycle it can be completely dismantled. Moreover, it integrates into the building’s architecture so completely that it becomes as good as invisible.

Experimenta is a world of experiences and learning which has now had a spectacular new building added to it. Here, each day up to 2,500 visitors can discover and learn in a way that is refreshing and by no means pedantic. It is often the case that the body temperatures of large groups of people present air conditioning technology with a major challenge. Particularly if the contractor has, from the outset, defined a clear objective, the building concept should not only be technically well-thought-out, but also and especially an ecologically exemplary one. And this not only with the desired DGNB certification in mind. It was, amongst other things, the intention of Schwarz Real Estate to put in place exemplary building management, thus making for the kind of property that would highlight new approaches, at as a beacon project and serve as a shining example, one that would be taken notice of far beyond the confines of the region. With Drees & Sommer, a leading European consultancy, planning and project management company became involved in the project.

For their undertaking, the experts opted for the Gravivent silent gravity cooling system by TTC Technology. The extremely high in- door cooling requirement of the exhibits and media technology called for a powerful cooling system, one that also needed to be as invisible as possible for architectural reasons. Over the four stories there was total wall length of only 179 meters available on which the type AASI.51 high-performance units could be installed. The cooler is controlled in accordance with the wet-bulb temperature and is self-adjusting. Here the flow temperature of the cooling water is 15 °C, when it reaches 17 °C the water is reintroduced into the cooling system.

The delta is sufficient to keep the ambient temperature to a maximum of 26 °C at all times. ‘This system is extremely energy-efficient, quiet and low-maintenance and is ideal for experimenta’s high walls and the chosen ventilation concept,‘ explains project manager Jürgen Behringer of Drees & Sommer confidently.
Many different factors contribute to making experimenta what it is, namely an exemplary building in all respects. Its glass façade means that the incident light is natural; this saves on energy for lighting. In order to keep the thermal and cooling loads as low as possible the engineering experts at Drees & Sommer optimized the façade’s thermal behavior and its performance with regard to daylight. A high degree of comfort in the building is achieved through component cooling in the ceiling and a gravity cooling system which works with heat exchangers and physical effects. By using groundwater in combination with a heat pump, 75 percent of the heat used in heating can be derived from groundwater. When the system is in cooling mode the groundwater absorbs the heat. Thus, thanks to the well and the cooling load reduction, each year the system cuts emissions by 200 metric tons of CO2. By using these technologies, this energy concept adapted to usage manages to get significantly below the statutory requirements. ‘An ideal package, one that combines the advantages of different systems,‘ explains Jürgen Behringer of Drees & Sommer.

In the themed areas where media technology, light and the exhibits themselves generate heat the gravity cooling system keeps temperatures perfect and gets the air moving. As well as being cheap to operate, the system’s silent cooling is one of the important advantages to the product, particularly in the learning environments where concentration is called for. In this context, the design approach favored by the architects Sauerbruch Hutton called for air vents that were frameless like a wall, could still be inspected, and simultaneously guaranteed the necessary airflow for the Gravivent system. In consultation with the architects, the idea was to purpose-develop a KSM-V grids with spacing between the bars of 2.5 mm as this met all the requirements. Whereas the high-performance units are almost invisible despite being installed on-wall, the refined KSM-V type air vents meet DGNB requirements. These were also designed and manufactured by TTC Technology and guarantee a harmonious visual appearance.

Silent gravity cooling
→ High performance units type AASI.51, in total approx. 179 meters ,
in unit lengths of 1,000 to 2,400 mm
→ Performance categorie 2; coated in special colours after specifying for the purpose of certification
→ Water flow/Return temperature 15/17 °C Room temperature 26 °C
Performance per meter 950 Watt

Homogeneous grids
Air outlets with filigree linear grids
→ Stainless steel linear grids type KSM-V | widht 300 mm, total length 360 meters straight grids + 25 meters curved grids in the entrance area
→ 2 mm thickness, bar spacing 2.5 mm, likewise 2.5 mm to supporting angle used as skirting base; hidden mounting by selctive brackets for the attachement in metal support section; Recesses for singel/double power sockets; removable through fold mechanism of the grids;
general impression of a continous grid as skirting board
→ Symmetrical divided cross-connections, as well across grid divisions; built-in flaps as access to ELT installations
such as power sockets

Grids + channels
Linear grids for smoke outlets in the staircase
→ Linear grids type KSF made of powder-coated steel; bars 18/3, total height 50 mm, bar spacing 10 mm; 77 % air outlet with angle profile 40/30/3 mm
→ Width 730 mm | 8 lenghts each 1,500 mm
→ Frameless appearance through identical bar spacing
between the profiles
Water games
→ Stainless steel drainage channels with slope; height from 35 tos 97 mm, parts flanged; welded drain ø 32 mm, length 200 mm
→ Stainless steel linear grids type KSM-V | width 86 mm, total length 38 meters; profile width 3.4 mm,
bar spacing 7 mm, slip resistance R10 linear
9 miter corners

Other Projects by TTC Timmler Technology GmbH

Exclusive Residence
Düsseldorf, Germany
SRF Studio
Zurich, Switzerland
Cour Bareuzai
Dijon, France
Copenhagen Concert Hall
Copenhagen, Denmark
Heinrich-Heine-University | Faculty of Medicine + Chemical-Medical Institute
Düsseldorf, Germany