VoltAir Office Facade, Berlin, Germany

Customer Project

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The new VoltAir office building in Berlin includes a 394 ft x 213 ft area and a height close to 98 ft. The building envelope consists of several different box elements that form several inner and outer corners on the edge.

Investor Volt Berlin GmbH & Co KG
Planning J. MAYER H. und Partner, Architekten mbB
Facade Contractor Metallbau Früh GmbH
Facade Engineering Rümmele Bauingenieur GmbH

RFEM model parameters of a facade corner element


The facade elements are suspended from relatively long cantilevers/outriggers fixed to steel brackets. The steel brackets are further fastened to the concrete floors by Halfen rails or anchors. Each box element has a height of approximately 26 ft, width of 8 ft - 10 in, a fixed support for the vertical and horizontal loads, and two additional roller supports for horizontal loads.

RFEM Model

The model is a combination of member, surface, and solid elements with several releases and hinges to absorb tolerances and accurately model the slotted holes. The front T-sections (posts and beams) are modeled with member elements and the outriggers with solid elements to ensure a correct force distribution between the front beam elements and the secondary supporting structure. The brackets are displayed as surface elements.

The locations where screw elements intersect surfaces or solids, average regions have been defined to properly distribute the stresses. The anchor points utilize the concrete surface’s pressure points to withstand the large downward force due to self-weight. At the fixed supports, spring stiffnesses were defined to determine the allowable concrete stress and the tensile force acting on the Halfen rails. At the roller point supports, difficulties arose due to the relatively thin 8 in concrete floor, which was solved by modifying the direction of the stirrup’s slotted holes.

Rümmele Bauingenieur GmbH drew the conclusion: "The user-friendly interface of RFEM made it possible to easily make the necessary changes, which saved us a lot of time in finding practical solutions."

Project Location

Alexanderstrasse & Voltairestrasse
10179 Berlin, Germany

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We saved a lot of time and found practical solutions

"The user-friendly interface of RFEM made it possible to make the necessary changes easily, saving us a lot of time and finding practical solutions."

RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

Main Program

Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

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RFEM Steel and Aluminum Structures

Add-on Module

Stress analysis of steel surfaces and members

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