Practical seminar on earth building | 2011–2013

The NatureInfoCenter is part of a series of earthen building projects, which were developed and designed by the "Competence Center Earthen Building" at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences.

According to its function, the NatureInfoCenter "Casa Mellifera" (House of the Honey Bee) is located in a special spatial environment, in the green area at the Hungerberg in Ludwigsburg, a renaturalised quarry and species-rich habitat for endangered animals and plants.

The center is used by the Ludwigsburg District Beekeepers' Association for beekeeping training and for teaching new beekeepers at training apiaries. In its function as an educational center, environmental topics and the responsible use of nature are communicated in a tangible way at events and training courses, such as extracurricular environmental education, information and exhibitions on the Neckar and landscape projects and innovative energy.

The basis for the design was a practical clay building seminar with 20 students from the HFT Stuttgart under the direction of Professor Andreas Löffler. This theoretical part focused on building with natural materials and sensitive integration into an existing green space. A design was selected and formed the basis for a subsequent group-based elaboration in design, works planning and energy technology.

The materials used are as far as possible natural, reusable or returnable to the natural cycle without environmental impact. The roof consists of a 24–32 cm thick solid wooden ceiling (board stack ceiling) on the underside, above which are cantilevered wooden beams, for the construction of the roof overhang, and soft wood fiber boards as natural thermal insulation between the roof beams. The north façade consists of a wooden post and beam construction, also naturally insulated and covered on the outside with wooden boarding, which is given a natural wood protection by flaming according to an old method. The floor is made of a robust and durable mastic asphalt, which was only milled and sealed on the surface. The building owners were intensively integrated into the planning process and the planning decisions, which created a high degree of realism, especially for the students. The project was largely realised by the students and the clients under the guidance of Hubert Heinrichs and Albert Stöcker.

The project was supervised in all phases by Professor Andreas Löffler.