Project Management in Harmony

Case Study

Project controllers of WLS Engineering + Projektmanagement set the tone for the construction of Duisburg’s CityPalais.
To guarantee optimum acoustic quality for CD recordings, design and construction companies have to meet limit curve 20 specifications.
Built for many different types of use: Duisburg’s entertainment centre consists of two philharmonic concert halls, a conference centre, a casino, a modern shopping mall with restaurants, offices and an underground car park.

The construction of the multifunctional CityPalais in Duisburg by the Hochbau Essen branch of Bilfinger Berger AG was a large-scale project commissioned by the North-Rhine Westphalian Development Association (LEG) and involving project controller WLS Engineering + Projektmanagement. The end-to-end software solution from the RIB company helped to avoid any discord in project management.

Overall coordination of all the companies working on a project to achieve a maximum standard of design, function and quality and adherence to the agreed cost and time frame: For WLS Engineering + Projektmanagement GmbH from Hesse in Central Germany, this is the definition of project control. Founded in 1978, the Nauheim architecture and engineering company has been continued as a project control firm since 2002 by partners Heinz Lusky, Eberhard Wapelhorst, Hermann Lebherz and Thomas Schildge. In 2004 WLS became a partner company of E +P Projektmanagement und Engineering. The firm not only looks back on many years of experience of the supervision of construction work. The architects and engineers of WLS have already handled major projects on behalf of owners, investors and building contractors in all of Germany’s federal states. The Nauheim firm has made a name for itself with its specialist knowledge in optimising design and construction processes.

State-of-the-art construction technology

The project controllers of WLS set the tone for the construction of the Duisburg CityPalais – financed by the North-Rhine Westphalian Development Association (LEG). The acoustic specifications for this urban entertainment centre on the Lower Rhine were extremely high. In the philharmonic concert hall, the design teams of the global architect’s firm Chapman Taylor and the contractors of the internationally operating construction company and service provider Bilfinger Berger had to meet limit curve 20 specifications in order to guarantee optimum acoustic quality for CD recordings. These and other construction engineering challenges all had to be met by project managers, designers and contractors alike.

Multifunctional use demands precision

Apart from two philharmonic concert halls with floorspace of 16,000 square metres, the 150 million Euro Duisburg entertainment centre houses a conference centre, an 8,000 square metre casino, a shopping mall with eight restaurants covering an area of 1,400 square metres and 6,600 square metres of office space plus an underground car park for a total of 650 vehicles. The aim of the project is to revamp Duisburg’s economic image. Many new jobs have been created just for the casino of the WestSpiel Group – now Germany’s most successful casino. In fact, the headquarters of Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH & Co. KG, a 100% subsidiary of NRW.BANK, have even relocated to the Duisburg complex.

With a total of 400,000 cubic metres of gross cubic volume and 80,000 square metres of floorspace, the CityPalais is gigantic. “Due to the many different intended uses, extra high precision on the part of the design and construction companies was essential for the project team as a whole to meet the extremely high specifications of the building,“ reports Hermann Lebherz, managing partner of WLS Engineering + Projektmanagement GmbH. 

Harmonious project communication

The importance of smooth communication between all the companies involved is confirmed by Peter Paeschke, project manager in Bilfinger Berger’s engineering office. Besides continuously exchanging information and data with the client’s representative WLS and the Chapman Taylor designers, the construction company’s team of five was in constant contact with about 70 subcontractors. “With the support of the widespread standard software of RIB, which our company has been using for over ten years, we have no problems exchanging project data via GAEB-XML* with other companies involved in the project,” comments Paeschke.

In-house communication also has to work well for the staff to be able to always concentrate on key tasks for such a complex engineering project. Besides the dovetailing of extensive design and construction tasks due to the different uses such as concert halls, restaurants and casino, Peter Paeschke and his team in the engineering office are responsible for cost estimating, tendering, cost controlling and negotiating with subcontractors. All the phases of the project lifecycle have to be interlinked. “Depending on the project, different staff work on different tasks,” reports Paeschke. “The decentral data hub of the software solution fully supports all the jobs we have to do. With RIB CSuite we keep an eye on the project as a whole within the team.“ 

About Bilfinger Berger:

Every year, Bilfinger Berger Hochbau realises a project volume worth approximately 1 bn EUR in Germany. The company's core competences extend from project development to the design and turnkey construction of new buildings and the redevelopment and optimisation of existing office, residential and special-purpose properties. The company regards itself as both partner and adviser of the customer, creating solutions that exactly fit individual requirements.

i.volution® – complete service package for customers
The Bilfinger Berger Multi Service Group has concentrated its building services under the brand name i.volution©. This all-round advisory, construction and service package always considers the entire life cycle of a building from development and design, construction and operation, through to revitalisation, offering the customer a choice of single services or the whole range.

Further details:

** Gemeinsamer Ausschuss Elektronik im Bauwesen, which is a joint committee in Germany for information technology in building and construction 

Industries>Architecture, Engineering & Construction>Contractors>Bilfinger Berger Hochbau

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