“If it works for a door, it will also work for a roof.”
The Botanical Garden in Karlsruhe is a “green oasis” in the heart of the city and very popular with tourists and locals alike. Situated right next to the castle garden, but tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Botanical Garden provides a small paradise where you can relax and unwind – either whilst taking a pleasant stroll or wandering around the historic greenhouses dating from the late 19th century with their collections of tropical and exotic plants. Nevertheless, what most visitors are unaware of is that the Botanical Garden boasts a further attraction which is not located inside the Palm House but on its glass roof structure: the listed and protected shading panels. These precisely dimensioned wooden panels ensure the exotic plants are never overexposed to sunlight. And there is a good reason for this as Karlsruhe is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in Germany with roughly 1,800 hours of sunshine each year. And although this mild climate proves popular with local residents and guests to the south-western German city, still to ensure adequate sun protection at the Botanical Garden is a real challenge, especially as the best sun protection has to be maintained from time to time. So when it came to replacing a section of the existing shading panels based on the original design, experienced specialists were needed. The Botanical Garden also expressed its wish to exchange the simple sun protection control system for a concealed and unobtrusive state-of-the-art automation solution. The local family-run business Rollladen Klinger that was commissioned with this project put their trust in the extensive experience and the proven expertise of Becker-Antriebe GmbH. Becker, who is a specialist for drives and control units, has also made a name for itself in the field of maintaining historic projects.
Suitable for both doors and roofs
The advantage of wooden shading panels is that they provide the best shading values. The wooden panels are interlinked with stainless steel chains and limit, as far as possible, the unwanted build-up of heat within the greenhouses, while still allowing sufficient sunlight to reach the plants. A total of 18 roll-out shading panels ensure perfect light and temperature levels during the summer months inside the Botanical Garden. The aim of the project was to replace three of these panels – each measuring approx. 39 m² and weighing roughly 250 kg. As the shading panels are being controlled in groups of three, the drive must be able to cope with an enormous weight of more than 700 kg.
These are dimensions that will even push such powerful tubular drives, which are employed in the field of sun protection, to their limits. Becker therefore suggested a solution that is just as exceptional as it is effective: to use a direct mount drive, which is normally implemented in industrial applications in order to open and close roller doors quickly and efficiently. “Our roller door drives are characterised by their outstanding robustness and are equipped with a high-performance worm gear motor,” explains Norbert Kaufmes, the responsible project manager by Becker. “Thanks to their compact design, our Becker drives require very little space and can be freely positioned. It was therefore quite obvious that if it works for a door, it will also work for a roof.”
Prepared for every type of weather
The “repurposed” door drive is controlled simply using a manual switch. When rolled up, the compact shading panels rest like a beam on the gable of the Palm House. An installed metal cover reliably protects the valuable wooden structure against rain and snow. The Becker drive is also extremely robust and resilient to bad weather: its special light alloy prevents corrosion and ensures operational reliability. “We have been cooperating with Becker for many years. Therefore, we knew from the word go that we would also master this challenge together,” claimed Thorsten Klingler, the second-generation manager of Rollladen Klinger, after successfully completing the project. So if you ever get the chance to visit the Botanical Garden in Karlsruhe, it really is worth taking a closer look at the technical marvel installed on the roof of the Palm House.