Kiel Juridicum – clean and barrier-free

In educational facilities such as schools, universities and kindergartens, clean-off systems have many different tasks which are specific to the building. In addition to dirt uptake, they reduce walking noise and contribute to a quieter ambience in the midst of hectic activity. The entrance mats should be just as hard-wearing as the indoor floor coverings – it is worth investing here as direct dirt uptake in the entrance area saves on cleaning and maintenance costs. emco was the preferred partner for the Juridicum building in Kiel, primarily for reasons of barrier-free access.

The law faculty at the Christian-Albrecht-University of Kiel (CAU) has a history that goes back over 350-years. However, while knowledge has been accumulating, time has been taking its toll on the facilities. A barrier-free renovation was required and emco provided the solution in Kiel with a tactile guidance system. The new faculty building opened in October 2020.

The  Juridicum is a research and teaching facility and a key element of an extensive scheme to modernise the Kiel campus. The state charged the building management company Gebäudemanagement Schleswig-Holstein AöR (GMSH) with the implementation of this project. The building comprises a compact plinth zone with two interlocking wings above. The foyer, service areas and seminar rooms are located in the plinth while the institute rooms of the faculty are above. Once the building work was complete, 161 staff and 12,000 metres of books were installed over a floor space of 7,200 square metres, on five floors. The service area in the foyer, including a bakery, print shop, ice-cream parlour and cycle shop, adds to the facilities offered on campus. The state-of-the-art Juridicum offers all the best options for working and socialising. 
Bild: © GMSH. Fotografin: Birgit Schewe
Bild: © GMSH. Fotografin: Birgit Schewe

The low-emission clean off zones provide both dirt and moisture reduction and sound absorbing insulation for the 21 metre wide and 91 metre long building. In addition to this, they solve a frequently occurring problem: there is often a gap in the guidance system for the visually impaired in the transition from street to building which can be dangerous.

“When planning this public building, it was also important to make sure it was as safe as possible for everyone. Ensuring the latest measures are in place for people to move safely around a building is becoming an increasingly important consideration for planners and architects. Certified fire behaviour, low-emission manufacture, managing walking noise, and cleaning intervals all have a part to play,” explains Tim Lüdrichsen, Head of Building Work at CAU.

The emco Diplomat TLS entrance mats in the Juridicum ensure the typical trip hazards at the transition into a building, such as unexpected edges, a change in floor covering, or insufficiently tactile substrates, are a thing of the past. A guidance system with different heights is integrated into the clean off zone, which can be designed as required. These are easily identified through the soles of the feet or with a cane. The high-contrast colouring provides further assistance, providing safe guidance into the interior of the building. It makes it easier to locate, for example, doors, stairs or lifts, and points out hazards or obstructions.

A further benefit of the tactile guidance system is that it can be combined in many different ways with existing floor coverings to provide a reliable continuation of the floor guidance systems already in place. The tread surface comprises robust, recessed, weather-proof ribbed carpet strips and rigid aluminium profiles with sound insulation underlay.