BMW Welt (BMW World) in Munich is the epitome of fascinating architecture. The building was designed by the Viennese architectural firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. It is a symbiosis of design and function. The airy design of glass and steel typifies the BMW brand in consummate perfection. Its visual design language is an ideal complement to the adjacent Olympic park.
As impressive as the building itself is, the cooling technology behind it is equally as remarkable. Kelvion supplied 31 Green Line evaporators for the 30 cooling rooms used in BMW Welt’s catering. Beneath the 16,000 square metre “roof cloud” the projecting double cone construction imposes its character on the building and is supported by only twelve pillars – the BMW mark can be touched, smelled, tasted; it can be experienced only fully when all the senses are used. This applies particularly to the catering of the four restaurants, spread over four floors. The exclusive catering partner is “DO & CO” from Vienna which operates more than 20 gourmet franchises in 15 countries. DO & CO has the culinary franchise for Formula 1, was a VIP caterer for the European Football Cup in 2008. “The open architecture of the BMW building presented a challenge for the installation of the required refrigeration engineering,” said Torsten Menzel, the project manager responsible for the Dresdener Kälteanlagenbau GmbH (DKA) company. The first issue was that outside units were not allowed. “The whole roof surface of BMW Welt can be viewed from the top of the Olympic Tower. So that was out of the question,” Menzel added. Thirty cooling rooms are spread over the whole area of eight floors. The specialists from Dresden installed 80 refrigerated storage cabinets. Six kilometres of pipes had to be laid just for them. “The open and lavish design meant that we had to install the engineering in the basement,” said Menzel. Space-saving, water-cooled compressor assemblies were installed for central cooling. The standard cooling chain required 81 KW, the freezer chain manages with only 31 KW despite the long distances between the components. The catering concept has three divisions. In addition to the restaurant sector, there is a catering section and a business area. Each segment has up to six cold rooms, arranged over the floors: Beverages, dairy products, fruits and vegetables and meat are stored separately according to the required refrigeration temperature. “Work began in September 2006 and ended in December 2007. We had up to eight staff members in place at BMW world depending on the construction phase – with “in place” perhaps not being the right choice of words, because we were constantly moving between the eight floors by foot. We passed a considerable distance in total,” Menzel stated.
The consultant had originally specified that they preferred to use evaporators offered by the competition in the call for tenders. However, the specialists from DKA insisted on installing Kelvion Green Line evaporators. “We got our way because the call for tenders was not made public and because we were able to put forward some good arguments for the Kelvion products,” Menzel said. The arguments included the reliability of the high-performance units and the exceptional price to performance ratio. “Above all, our main motivation to go with Kelvion products, was the many years of positive experience we had with the product.” DKA particularly preferred Kelvion evaporators. The DKA refrigeration system engineers installed a total of 31 Kelvion evaporators in various models and technical specifications in 30 cooling rooms in accordance to the required refrigeration and room size. Two evaporators had to be installed in the largest storage room to ensure the required air circulation. The total cooling area amounts to 573.9 square metres. “Since the caterers only joined the process after the planning phase, they more or less had to accept things the way they were. However, we did try to meet their requests whenever technically possible,” Menzel said. For example, one freezer room and three normal cooling rooms for beverages, vegetables and meat were installed on the second floor with a total area of 28 square meters to ensure the smooth running of the kitchen service and to meet the high demands of the diners in the “International Restaurant”, the largest BMW Welt restaurant with 170 seats plus an additional 150 seats on the terrace. A pre-chilling room is located in front of the 11.51 square metre freezer room and can be used as additional storage space at peak times. Dresdener Kühlanlagenbau GmbH, a manufacturer independent supplier and all-around provider of refrigeration and airconditioning equipment, bases its choice of components primarily on quality and a good price/performance ratio. “It is important for us that the components we install meet our quality demands. And we have had only good experience with Kelvion products,” Menzel said.
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