The sensor and automation specialist Balluff is building a new office and administration building with 530 workplaces in Neuhausen a. d. F..
Balluff is building anew: The Balluff management met today, Wednesday, with representatives of the leading architectural firm Grüntuch Ernst Architekten from Berlin, the shell construction company Gottlob Rommel from Stuttgart and with the mayor of Neuhausen Ingo Hacker in a small circle for the symbolic ground-breaking ceremony for the new office and administration building.
"We are very pleased that the construction work is now starting," said Balluff Managing Director Katrin Stegmaier-Hermle. "The new building is a clear commitment to the Neuhausen location and our 100-year history, which connects us with the community. We are proud of what our company has achieved over the past century. The new building is another important milestone in our company history."
The planned new building on the existing company premises between Zabergäustrasse and Schurwaldstrasse will provide office workplaces for more than 530 people as well as a company restaurant with more than 280 seats. If everything goes according to plan, the shell will be completed by July 2022 and the building should be ready for occupancy the following summer. With an investment volume of almost 60 million euros, the building project is one of the largest single investments in Balluff's history.
Multifunctional office and administration building
In the future, the new building will bundle the office space, which is currently distributed at several, partly rented locations in Neuhausen, at one central location. Together with the building complex on Schurwaldstraße, which was built in the 1980s, the new multifunctional office and administration building with a floor space of 24100 square metres forms the new campus. "We are consistently developing our location in Neuhausen into an innovation and competence centre for software and IIoT solutions, opto- and (magneto-) inductive sensor technology as well as RFID," explains Balluff CEO Frank Nonnenmann. "Our new location concept with the new building and modern working environments makes an important contribution to this. It contributes to our future and competitiveness at the location and helps us to be perceived as a modern employer in the region."
Modern working environments
The building, which is up to twelve metres high, is regularly interrupted by green atriums that provide natural lighting for the areas below. Each atrium is designed differently. This creates a variety of views and exits for the staff. The exterior façade consists of a metallic curtain, whose slight movement makes the building appear alive.
A wide lobby, which cuts through the building in a T-shape and serves as an inner street, open communication zones and the new company restaurant provide central meeting spaces for Balluff employees. "This concept ideally reflects our growth plans and our future orientation: flexible, open working worlds that promote communication and collaboration in projects and provide space for innovative work," explains Stegmaier-Hermle.
A new way of working together
Simultaneously with the start of construction of the new office and administration building, Balluff is also developing a new concept for the way work will be done together at the site in the future and after the pandemic has been overcome. The majority of the Balluff workforce from the indirect areas has been working on a mobile basis since March 2020. "We thought about how we would like to work together in the future at an early stage," says Stegmaier-Hermle. "The pandemic has further accelerated this process. We are certain that a return to the time before Corona is not sustainable and want to enable our workforce to work much more flexibly at the site, but also on the road or from home."
Test run for new working model
Balluff has set up a so-called New Work Area. The new working model is to be tested there. Week by week, different teams will try out the newly set-up office. "It is important to us not to simply impose a concept on our employees," explains Stegmaier-Hermle. "That's why we're relying on the feedback from the test phase and additionally incorporating the experiences from mobile working to develop an optimal solution for the location."
Modern workplace concept
The 360 square metres are designed for about 22 people and equipped with the latest technology: Height-adjustable workstations with two monitors, universal connections for laptops, personal lockers or flexibly usable moderation media such as whiteboards. In addition to the workplaces in the open office, there is also the possibility to withdraw. Either in one of the so-called telephone booths or in specially designed quiet zones. At the same time, employees can flexibly choose their workplace depending on the task at hand.
"We have paid special attention to the design of the meeting rooms. Hybrid meetings - i.e. meetings in which participants are connected on site and via video - are just as much a part of the concept as meetings in which the focus is on creative exchange," says Managing Director Florian Hermle. "In this way, we create the possibility for an open and flexible exchange in project work."