Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure

Brief description of organization: Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure is a young architectural and engineering SME with one main focus on earthen buildings. The activities of Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure encompasses the complete spectrum of architectural services from determining the task at hand, design development and planning permission to works planning, realisation of the project and documentation of the finished results. For the planning and realisation of a new two-storey school building in Rudrapur, Bangladesh in 2005/06, with the ground floor built in earth using a cob-like technique the firm received the AGA KHAN AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE.

Brief description of tasks attributed: Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure will be involved in WP 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10 and contribute its expertise concerning the structural behaviour of earthen structures under earthquake load. A crucial contribution is therefore expected in WP 3 dealing with the pathology of earthquake damage and the role of the pre-existing condition of a building concerning its performance in earthquakes. In WP 9 ZRS will provide a case study in collaboration with the local heritage authority. The SME will also contribute to the dissemination of the results since one of the members is guest lecturer at a university of applied science and leading courses in earth constructions for practitioners.

Previous experience relevant to tasks attributed: In the design, conservation and optimisation of historical and contemporary earthen structures Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure dedicates sustainability a high importance, weighing up individual aspects appropriately according to the project requirements. The search for the best possible harmony of structure and design offers great creative potential. The attraction of the design task is therefore independent of its size. Wherever possible, the planning of a structure encompasses the design of the construction as well as detail and workshop drawings. The proofs for the thermal and mechanical properties of building structures (building physics), fire safety and noise insulation are for us an integral part of the planning process. The design and proof of wide-span civil engineering structures, shallow and deep foundations, crane runways and supporting frameworks for bridge and monolithic constructions present a welcome engineering challenge. For load-bearing monolithic constructions, in particular rammed earth constructions, we develop optimised structures whose characteristics in some cases exceed the requirements of existing regulations and building codes. For these we develop appropriate solutions in conjunction with the respective building inspectorate and planning authorities. Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure is not only active on a national level but has projects concerning earthen architecture in many countries around the world.

Short profile of staff members:

 Christof Ziegert is Ph.D. in civil engineering (earth constructions). Educated as brick layer with successive study of civil engineering and Ph.D. study with the topic on the preservation of historical earthen structures in Germany. Since then he has been working on many projects dealing with historical and contemporary earth constructions. He is a board member of the German Association for Building with Earth (Dachverband Lehm e.V.) and one of the authors of the German guidelines for earthen materials published by 'Dachverband Lehm'. Also accredited expert for damage analysis of earth constructions and lecturer at the university of applied sciences of Potsdam. He works part time in the earthen materials group at BAM.

 Chiara Perrone. After completing an MEng degree in Structural Engineering with Architecture at the University of Edinburgh in 2006, she worked for Buro Happold UK and Buro Happold Denmark, who had sponsored her final year of studies through the Happold Trust, to work on projects such as the New Museum of Liverpool and the Children´s Discovery Center in Damascus. In 2007, thanks to the Intitution of Structural Engineers Pai Lin Li Travel Award, she started studying earthen buildings. After moving to Berlin, she has been working for earth building specialists Ziegert Seiler Ingenieure, co-partners in the NIKER project, where she is focusing on the protection of earthen cultural heritage from earthquake-induced risk.