ThinKing October 2018 – New prefabricated garages are 30 percent lighter and require half as many truck deliveries



The new type of garage is a world premiere.

A normal prefabricated garage weighs around 14 to 16 tons, but a truck trailer can only carry a maximum load of about 23 tons. There has to be room for improvement, right? Here came the designers at solidian and Beton Kemmler into play: They built the world’s first prefabricated garage that uses textile reinforced concrete to reduce the weight of the structure by about 30 percent. This not only cuts back the use of required materials and resources, but is also able to reduce traffic: A single truck can now carry two garages without exceeding the total gross vehicle weight of 40 tons. Garage owners also have more space inside thanks to the thinner walls and the glass fibers in the concrete do not rust in comparison to steel reinforcement.

The Development Agency for Lightweighting Baden-Württemberg is presenting this innovation as its ThinKing for October 2018. Leichtbau BW GmbH awards this distinction each month to offer a platform to innovative products and services in the Baden-Württemberg lightweighting sector.

One of the “challenges” facing normal garages is the issue of corrosion. In order to protect the steel inside the wall material, a thick layer of concrete is required to protect the steel core from the elements. That’s the reason that makes the garage heavier. With a weight of usually 14 to 16 tons, a normal truck can only transport a single garage. But there would be plenty of space on the trailer for a second garage if weight were not an issue.

A normal single truck can only be loaded with a maximum of 23 tons. This “transportation problem” was a key focus for the specialists for glass fiber reinforcement at solidian and together with the prefabricated structure experts at Beton Kemmler the wanted to solve this problem and develop a much lighter garage. Their aim wass to cut back enough weight to allow the transportation of two garages while keeping the total gross vehicle weight under the magical number of 40 tons.

Glass fiber reinforcement inside the material ensures stability
The “heart” of the garage construction is a new material combination of epoxy saturated fiberglass cores as well as the fiberglass poles by solidian. “This enables us the production of flexible individual garage modules that can be used for double size or larger garage structures for different customer groups and usage cases,” explains Martin Heimrich, managing director of Beton Kemmler GmbH. “The elements are created out of a mold so that the walls and ceilings can be fused together into one piece,” says Heimrich. The total weight reduction is incredible. The garage made out of textile reinforced concrete weighs between 10 and 11.5 tons and is therefore about 30 percent lighter than the same model made out of typical steel reinforced concrete.

No rust and more usable space
The new generation of prefabricated garages offers more advantages than only less weight: The textile reinforcement does not corrode which results in thinner walls. “This expands the usable space and reduces the amount of required concrete. Renovation of potential corrosion damage is not necessary,” notes Dr. Christian Kulas, managing director of solidian. Compared to conventional steel reinforced concrete, the non-metallic reinforcement has six times more tensile strength as analyses by the Institute of Structural Concrete at the RWTH Aachen University indicate. “They show that large form structures with complex load bearing performance and high safety requirements can be produced with textile reinforced concrete,” explains Kulas. A selection of textile reinforced garages was granted the German general building inspectorate approval in May.

A huge environmental benefit
The new garages use significantly fewer resources. By transporting less mass – or accordingly using the transport vehicles more efficiently – the fuel requirement and CO2 output of the transport trucks is reduced. “We took care to design the production process to be very efficient since the individual reinforcement meshes are formed and cut to size during the textile production phase,” notes Kulas. The complete mesh form can be placed in the formwork and the concrete poured in a short timeframe.

About solidian
solidian based in Albstadt is specialized in the production on non-metallic concrete reinforcements made of  carbon and glass fibers. The reinforcements are used primarily in construction with textile reinforced concrete not only in architecture, but in furniture as well. solidian’s expertise can be seen in the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul. From the development and manufacture of reinforcement mesh to planning consultation and building component calculation, solidian offers its customers a wide range of reinforcement services. More information is available at:

About Beton Kemmler
Beton Kemmler based in Tübingen-Hirschau runs one of Europe’s most modern prefabricated production lines and is one of the industry’s trendsetters. As a family owned company in the fifth generation, Beton Kemmler produces shell pieces and assembled units for roofs, walls and stairs in custom designs for rapid building projects as well as pipes and shaft systems and prefabricated garages.