CMP - Center for mobile Propulsion, RWTH Aachen

Customer: Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW, Aachen

User: Lehrstuhl für VerbrennungsKraftmaschinen (VKA), RWTH Aachen

General planner: Lepel plus Generalplanungsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne

Architect: LEPEL & LEPEL, Architektur, Innenarchitektur, Cologne

Net costs, building services €: 16,700,000.00

Project period: 2007 until 2014

Services: Planning and monitoring, sanitary systems, high pressure mist system in the test benches, heating systems, air conditioning, refrigeration, cooling ceilings, electrical engineering, communications engineering, information technology, materials handling, building management systems, measurement and control technology, building automation, external drainage, underground pipes, fire extinguishing systems, thermal simulation, flow simulation, laboratory equipment, fire protection

Award: Auszeichnung guter Bauten 2014, BDA Aachen

From 2007 to 2012, a new competence center for research and development in the area of engine technologies was built for the Institute for Combustion Engines (VKA) at RWTH Aachen University: the Center for Mobile Propulsion (CMP). The CMP's building complex, which comprises three different structures, was designed by the Cologne-based architecture firm Lepel & Lepel. A test-center building has been designed as a closed, cubic structure with an external facade of black exposed concrete. To the south, it is abutted by a light-flooded, glass-walled administrative tract, with a Z-shaped floor plan and softly rounded edges, that houses offices, classrooms and laboratory areas. A plant building is situated to the west of the test-center structure, and the two buildings are connected via an enclosed bridge at the upper floor level.
The heat produced by combustion engines running in the test center and by the chillers for its cold water supply systems is recovered and fed into the complex's static and dynamic heating circuits. The static heating surfaces and dynamic air heaters that are fed by the waste-heat recovery system are optimized for relatively low system temperatures, since the waste heat as recovered has temperatures in the 40°C - 60°C range. The complex is also equipped with underfloor heating systems, near-surface concrete-core activation, heating and cooling ceilings and ventilation systems that operate with relatively low supply-air temperatures.
Virtually all of the test-center structure, and all the complex's offices, classrooms and laboratory areas, are air-conditioned and force-ventilated. For standardized testing processes, the temperatures and humidity levels required in the combustion-air supply for the test beds, and in the air supply for the laboratories, can be preset and controlled throughout a defined set point range. To minimize heating / cooling energy requirements, all major ventilation systems for process air and hygienically required air exchange are also equipped with highly efficient heat recovery systems.
When outdoor temperatures are low, cooling requirements for structures and processes are met with free cooling, via adjustable-performance recooling systems. As outdoor temperatures and/or cooling requirements increase, cooling capacity is added via district cooling systems and electrical water chillers.

Images 1-7: © Jens Kirchner
Images 11-18: © Solveig Böhl (ZWP Ingenieur-AG)

Worth knowing

Technical facts:

  • cooling capacity 3.500 kW
  • heating capacity 1.250 kW
  • sprinkler area 1.800 m²
  • cooling ceiling area 200 m²
  • area concrete core activation 2.300 m²
  • flow ventilation 200.000 m³/h
  • data points 2.000 piece
  • sprinkler heads 200 piece

Further projects with LEPEL & LEPEL, Architektur, Innenarchitektur, Cologne:
Ernst Flatow Haus, Cologne
Kinderklinik, Cologne
Fachhochschule Wismar