Sustainable housebuilding: the Sprinter in operation.

Founded in 1896, over the course of the last decades, Baufritz has turned its focus towards specialising in ecological building. Their speciality: houses which don't just look good, but which are also good for mankind and nature.

From ill fate to a company philosophy.

In order to understand the starting point of the Baufritz mentality, you have to go back almost four decades. In 1981, the Fritz family was hit by a stroke of ill fate: mother Gerti Fritz was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. In searching for the cause, the family starting looking closely at their own surroundings and in particular at their own four walls. As part of this, they discovered that vapours and dusts from building materials, as well as electromagnetic radiation and other environmental factors were all possible factors which could have led to the illness. Shortly afterwards, the first Baufritz house was produced using natural materials which were tested for harmful substances and which were free of substances harmful to health. To the present day, around 3500 houses have been built in accordance with the principle of being "Good for mankind and nature". "This experience is the motivation for our daily work in protecting the health of our customers."

"We build for your health"

This slogan is written on the Baufritz flag.

The art of healthy building.

A sustainable method in housebuilding is an important factor for both durability and ecological reasons. "On average, a Baufritz house reduces CO2 by 40 tonnes in the long term." When materials are delivered, they are first analysed to see whether they correspond to the company's own biologically-safe building standards. This approach is taken in all areas of the firm. From varnishes and paints to mineral-based plaster – everything which they install corresponds to the high standards which the company has introduced for biological building. "Here, we only use natural materials which were tested for harmful substances – they're free of chemical glues or additives." This has led Baufritz to develop their own natural insulating material called "HOIZ": sawdust from the production is mixed with whey and natron. The natron ensures that the wood is resistant to fungi and that mould thus cannot develop. Meanwhile the whey ensures that the required fire safety standards are achieved. "It means we have an insulating material which contains neither synthetic or artificial materials."

En route to a Baufritz house in a Sprinter.

For the installation of the individual building elements and for repairs, Baufritz uses a fleet of Sprinter vans. The vehicles are capable of transporting the tools which are required on the building site. When it came to the interior equipment of the vehicles, Baufritz opted for a system from Sortimo. "We try to make the work for our mobile fitters and customer service colleagues as simple and as efficient as possible. We're especially keen on guaranteeing safety." Over the years, they have adapted the Sortimo system individually to their own requirements for everything from building site operations to customer service visits. "Baufritz and Mercedes-Benz are very similar on a number of fronts. For example the high quality, the respect of tradition and the ability to think outside of the box. Guessing what customers might want in order to add this to the products."

How an individually planned Baufritz house is created.

The company doesn't do off-the-peg houses: "Here, every single house is individually planned by an architect." Customer wishes are implemented in accordance with ecological standards.
1. The architects sit down with the customer and discuss what is important to them in their new house. The piece of land also plays a decisive role here too.
2. In the next stage, the architects produce some initial sketches. At the same time, the house and cost planning starts and a planning permission application is submitted.
3. Now everyone gets down to business: the workshop plans are created as part of this important step for the future owner of the property. Step-by-step, all details of the house are discussed. On which side should the doors open? What should the façade look like? Which floors should be fitted in the house? And what fixtures are desired?
4. In the meantime, several engineers have already been integrated into the construction project to look after the structural elements and the feasibility of the building. Lots of time is invested in advance of the build for planning, preparation and logistics to ensure that the manufacture and build of the house can take place as soon as possible.
5. In the next step, the theory is put into practice: the individual elements of the house are manufactured in the company's own production facility.
6. Bundles of individual components are transported to the building site where the house is assembled on-location.
7. As soon as the house is built, work on the interior begins.

Sustainability for the future.

And what's next? "We're glad to see that the topics of ecology and sustainability are enjoying a massive upswing at the moment." In times when such topics didn't enjoy the same social relevance as they do today, Baufritz had already started thinking about how to work ecologically with the resources available to us. "This has given us a little head start upon which we will continue to build in the future." In the future it will become increasingly important to build in a more compact way. "In urban areas where space is of a premium, we'll have to look at how we can design homes more efficiently. We're intensively looking at this topic and that will surely also become a more important aspect over the coming years."

After the planning phase is complete: 

The individual components are produced in-house by Baufritz.

A tidy house, a tidy mind.

The Sortimo system ensures that everything can be tidily and safely stowed away inside the Sprinter. 

The "Wooden Head".

This is where the creative and ecological houses of Baufritz are designed.

All-round feel-good factor.

Healthy house-building forms the basis for physical and mental well-being.

Photos:

Louis Cieplik

More links to discover:

Baufritz - www.baufritz.de, @Facebook, @Instagram

The conversions shown were made by independent third-party providers. The providers and the conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. The photos in no way serve as an evaluation by Mercedes-Benz of the provider and/or conversions in question.

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