Ministers Schulze and Wanka kick off construction of the new DZNE building

More than 500 staff will work in three connected buildings by the end of 2015.

The DZNE was founded in Bonn almost exactly four years ago. Its task is to investigate the causes of diseases of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and to develop prevention, treatment and nursing strategies. Around 700 personnel are employed at its nine sites throughout Germany, 330 in Bonn alone.

The DZNE has already attracted top national and international researchers to work in Bonn, about a third of whom come from abroad. At the ground breaking ceremony, NRW Minister for Science Svenja Schulze emphasized: “The DZNE has developed into an outstanding institution at the cutting edge of international research. Neurodegenerative diseases confront society with challenging tasks. The research performed at the DZNE has great potential for dealing with these challenges efficiently.”

The DZNE clearly focuses on putting research findings to practical use as quickly as possible and consequently on developing new approaches to prevention and treatment. For this, it cooperates closely with universities and university clinics throughout Germany. By joint appointments of scientists and the establishment of a state of the art research infrastructure the DZNE complements existing resources at the universities. It has already significantly increased scientific capacity for research on neurodegenerative diseases. “We can only confront the major endemic diseases successfully if non-university and university facilities work hand in hand. The DZNE shows how this cooperation is possible. This makes it one of our flagships in the field of health research,” said Federal Minister of Research Johanna Wanka at the ground breaking ceremony.

The new DZNE facility will offer optimum conditions for this close partnership. There will be a direct link between the entrance building, which will house the DZNE’s clinical research department, and the university clinic’s new facility for neurology, psychiatry and palliative medicine (NPP). The memory outpatient clinic operated jointly by the DZNE and the university clinic will be housed on the ground floor of the NPP building. The NPP facility is to be built and completed at the same time as the DZNE building. The close interaction of fundamental research, clinical research and population studies is essential to health research. The new DZNE building will link these research areas via corridors containing special communication corners.

Special attention will be paid to sustainability and energy efficiency during construction. The architects aim to achieve a high level of certification in the area of sustainable building (BNB – sustainable building assessment system for federal buildings). Geothermal energy will be used to some extent and heat recovery implemented in all areas where this is possible. The building concept requires high standards of quality including solutions for the laboratory tracts, economic design and production/operation planning. The aim was to develop an integrated solution for all of these areas. “wulf architekten GmbH” from Stuttgart won the interdisciplinary competition in September 2011; the project controllers are Drees & Sommer from Cologne.

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