Schüssler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft

Case Study

Top-of-the-league urban development - this is the goal Cologne has set itself with the large-scale Rheinauhafen project.
To preserve the character of a port, the historical buildings and grounds were restored and adapted to the general architecture of the district.


The Rheinauhafen is a new 235,000 square metre commercial, residential and cultural district in the southern German city of Cologne that combines historical monuments and modern architecture. To preserve the character of the port, the historical buildings and grounds are being restored and adapted to the general architecture of the district. The transformation of the city's port area, which will provide housing and workplaces for up to 5,000 people, is the largest urban regeneration project in Cologne and is scheduled for completion in 2009.

The first construction projects in the district were completed in 2003 and include the Chocolate Museum, the Sports and Olympics Museum and the Siebengebirge, the oldest concrete grain warehouse in the world, which has been restored and adapted to the general architecture of the district.

One of the highlights of the Rheinauhafen is the longest underground car park in Europe. The Cologne office of design firm Schüssler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (SPI) was entrusted with the design of this spectacular underground car park on the flood plain of the River Rhine.

Schüssler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (SPI), which is headquartered in Duesseldorf, Germany, provides a broad range of design, engineering, construction and project management services for buildings, airports, bridges, railways, roads and tunnels. The firm employs more than 400 engineers, designers and technicians at 16 office locations throughout Germany and has international offices in Latvia and Sudan.

SPI has been reliant on RIB Software's RIBTEC suite of software products for more than 10 years and used RIB's proven software again for this complex project.


RIB's software solutions ensured that the car park project ran smoothly during the design phase. SPI used the statics and tendering solutions of RIB for reliable verification of load-bearing stability and smooth running of the cost management and project control phase.

SPI spent 15 months designing and building the car park which has been in use since November 2003. In addition to the design, SPI was also responsible for the structural engineering of the building in the flood plain.

One of the problems encountered during the design phase was the later overground workings planned for the district. The company had to consider the openings that will have to be made to connect the underground car park to the overground levels that are to be added later. SPI used RIB solutions for dimensioning girders, calculating bulkheads and cross-section programmes.

The resultant water-impermeable design ensures that the structure is flood-safe up to a water level of 11.3 metres and eliminates the risk of the city flooding through the underground car park.

A team of 15 SPI staff are working with RIB Software. The GAEB-XML interface offers the Cologne firm security when importing data. The SPI team also benefits from the intelligent link between RIB's design software and Microsoft Office.


"Exact dimensions and calculations are essential for complex design work. We needed reliable software to guarantee trouble-free overground building and also to be able to take into account all the specifications for securing the object in the event of flooding right from the very beginning of the design phase."

"In the many projects for which they have been used, RIB's innovative software solutions have always lived up to expectations."

Nicole Jaschinski
Project manager
Schüssler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH

Industries>Architecture, Engineering & Construction>Architects and Engineers>Schüssler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft

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