Viersen District Archive - a new building in the sense of circular value creation

Viersen District Archive - a new building in the sense of circular value creation

At a time when resources are becoming increasingly scarce and the environment is undergoing major changes, it is necessary to break new ground. The district of Viersen recognised this back in 2016 and has since been improving processes and developing concepts to reduce its ecological footprint. One focus topic: the district's construction sector. In the future, all of the district's building projects are to be designed sustainably. The first building, the new building of the Viersen district archive, was completed in 2022. For the construction of the district archive, the district of Viersen worked together with the Healthy Building Network, an innovation network and knowledge platform specialising in healthy building. The Healthy Building Network is also a CLAYTEC partner, so some exciting presentations on the topic of "healthy building" have already been realised in the past.

The district archive is the responsible public archive of the district of Viersen and the towns and municipalities of Brüggen, Grefrath, Kempen, Nettetal, Niederkrüchten, Schwalmtal, Tönisvorst and Viersen. It ensures the preservation and utilisation of the historically and legally significant written records of the administrations in its area of responsibility. In addition, the district archive collects documents (photos, posters, maps, newspapers, etc.) that document district and local history.

For the archive rooms, an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius at 50 per cent relative humidity and slow climate movements are required all year round. These tasks are fulfilled via the room ventilation system using ventilation ducts made of recycled polyethylene. In the office area, on the other hand, only a ventilation system with heat recovery is used. The necessary heat is provided by underfloor heating, which also allows passive cooling in summer by using groundwater. The various transmission systems are supplied by three different heat pumps. A 250-cubic-metre thermal ice storage tank and the combination of photovoltaics and solar thermal energy on the roof of the archive ensure particularly efficient operation. With all these building blocks, it is possible to undercut the building code requirements for energy efficiency of new buildings by 45 per cent and to completely dispense with fossil fuels. Materials were also chosen for the interior fittings in the spirit of circular value creation. In addition to recycled bricks, climate-friendly, circular and low-pollutant clay building materials were used. CLAYTEC clay building board was used for the dry construction, a dry construction board made of clay and reed for planking wood and metal stud constructions of interior walls, facing shells, ceiling and roof surfaces. For the reinforcement layer, the clay building boards were provided with the clay adhesive and reinforcement mortar and a glass fabric. With a high compressive strength that is new for clay mortar, the clay adhesive and reinforcing mortar ensures the strength of the entire construction. It is the basis for the final fine surfaces, which were designed with YOSIMA clay design plaster. For the district archive, the universally popular colour Kolumba Grey was chosen, originally developed for the Kolumba Museum in Cologne. Clay building materials fulfil a decisive factor with regard to sustainability and future viability; they offer the possibility of single-variety recovery. Earthen building materials can be reused as often as desired, even after decades. No other building material fits so perfectly into the environmental cycle and can be used in such a resource-conserving and waste-avoiding way. Due to the astonishingly multifaceted use and reusability, earthen building materials demonstrate their future viability in the best possible way.

Thanks to its innovative and sustainable construction method, the Viersen District Archive is unique in Germany. With the completion of the first sustainable building, the district of Viersen is setting standards in the field of sustainable construction in the sense of circular value creation and has created a prime example for future building projects.


Architect's office: DGM Architects

Craftsman's workshop: Stuck- und Akustik Weck