Modular construction with XL flange head screw

The design of the new Parish Centre in Böckten in Switzerland creates space for contemporary communal life. The architect's office Philipparchitekten and the carpenter's workshop Baukunst Philipphaus from Untermünkheim planned and built the new building in a classic modernist style – an interaction of steel, concrete and wooden modular construction. In the process, master carpenter Tobias Herbrich gained new experiences as building in Switzerland has its own very special requirements and it was also the first time he had taken the HECO-TOPIX screw with XL flange head along with him.

The construction of the Parish Centre in Böckten, Switzerland had a few peculiarities in store for the contracted carpenter's workshop. Starting with the logistics at the construction site right through to the use of materials and the architecture of the building. The contracted architect's office Philipparchitekten of Waldenburg near Schwäbisch Hall designed a centre that represented openness and a friendly welcoming culture. The building is made up of a central room and an annexed, U-shaped building section which houses the children's areas and offices. Even on the inside of the building the concept is remarkable: a large glass front forms the entrance area through which the visitors pass into a bright, friendly foyer. And the special part of it all is the sofa corner and coffee counter with which the lobby area invites guests to stay a while, thus satisfying the needs of a modern community culture.

Building in Switzerland
Given that the coordination channels between the parties involved in the project were to be kept as short as possible, the carpenter's workshop belonging to the architect's office was contracted for the construction of the building. The company which specialises in modular construction pre-fabricated the wall and ceiling elements, with lengths of up to 12 metres, in Germany. Thus it was possible to reduce the construction times in Switzerland and the associated costs considerably. However, the major bureaucratic hurdles which had to be navigated as part of the construction project in Switzerland were a new experience for master carpenter Tobias Herbrich: daily construction reports had to be compiled for the local construction supervision authority. They contained individual interventions and even arrival times and break times at the construction site. Due to the import tax which had to be paid, the tools and construction materials which were transported to the construction site had to be defined exactly before crossing the border – not only the 116 tonnes of timber and steel elements were recorded, but also the required quantity of screws. These were provided by HECO-Schrauben of Schramberg and Tobias Herbrich is very familiar with them.

Used for the first time: screw with XL flange head
The material list included wood screws from the HECO-TOPIX product family. Carpenters particularly appreciate their quality and ease of use. Thanks to their high thread pitch the TOPIX screws can be processed quickly and with little driving torque, for example in the parapet and in the wall and ceiling elements. The 16-metre long steel beams used in the roof construction were fitted with wooden filling elements and screwed together. For this purpose, the processors used flange headed screws with dimensions of 8x120 mm (full threaded) and 8x160 mm (part threaded). "When it came to the screw connections for the wooden parapet elements the expert at HECO recommended that we drive the HECO-TOPIX flange head screws into the ceiling beams at an angle of 30 degrees and not vertically", Tobias Herbrich explains. "That way we were able to use the shortest possible screws but still achieved a joint which is compliant with approval requirements". The HECO-TOPIX was also used in various dimensions to connect the wall elements. Tobias Herbrich gained his first experiences with the new HECO-TOPIX XL flange head screw. The part-threaded screw was used with dimensions of 8x160 mm to connect the separate wall modules. "With a head diameter of 22.5 mm, the screw head provides a particularly high contact pressure when it comes to fastening the components", Sebastian Müßigmann, application consultant at HECO, explains. "Thus, in this case, the screw could be used as a time-saving alternative to lag bolts with washers". 

New screw – Multiple options
"There are multiple possible applications for the HECO-TOPIX XL flange head, that's why we will be using it even more in future", says processor Tobias Herbrich. The HECO screw is construction supervision authority-approved and shows its advantages in particular when high loads have to be supported. Thanks to the increased clamping surface of the head, higher loads are supported and transferred meaning the number of screws used can be reduced. The HECO-TOPIX XL flange head is available in 13 different lengths and thus suitable, for instance, for rafter-purlin joints and further applications in roof truss construction.

For Tobias Herbrich the experiences with the XL flange head screw paid off – the same goes for the additional bureaucratic hurdles which the building of the Parish Centre in Switzerland involved. The carpenter's conclusion: he would build in Switzerland again – as long as he has HECO screws with him.

Tobias Herbrich's team of carpenters assem-bled the modules which were pre-fabricated in Germany.

116 tonnes of wood and steel passed the border into Switzerland together with the carpenter's workshop Baukunst Philipphaus.

The new HECO-TOPIX, with its larger plate head, provides higher contact pressure when assembling wooden construction elements.

With the HECO-TOPIX XL flange head part-threaded screw the lasting stability of the wall elements is guaranteed.