Test and Technology Center Immendingen: Comprehensively sustainable: in harmony with nature
During the extensive construction activities the company worked together closely with nature conservation and environmental protection organisations, conducting a constructive and critical dialogue. The objective was to make technological progress possible in harmony with nature. For example, habitats for plants and animals with wooded and green areas were created on the Immendingen site, and a game corridor crosses the area. All in all, Daimler implemented compensatory and replacement nature conservation measures covering an area of 625 hectares.
Long before the construction work began on this former military site in February 2015, an intensive dialogue was conducted with local citizens, the municipality, associations and politicians. As well as the changeover from a military to an innovation location, the main focus was on strengthening the regional economy, the interests of local inhabitants and the involvement of nature conservation associations. It is partly because of this open and transparent dialogue that the Test and Technology Center is seen as a role model for major construction projects in Germany.
Even before the digging commenced, Mercedes-Benz worked together with experts from the various nature conservation associations, toured the site with them and asked them what they considered particularly important and worth protecting. In Immendingen this included protected wild orchids, for example. To ensure that the vulnerable Lady's Slipper can continue to thrive, its biotope is given corresponding care.
The general plan of animal trails put together by specialists was also taken into account during the planning. This plan forecasts the movement patterns of large game that is not yet indigenous to southern Germany, but is expected in the future. The result is the game corridor that crosses the site and was excluded from the construction work. In early September 2019, a microchipped lynx was observed using the corridor.
Other nature conservation measures? The earth excavated during the construction work has remained on the site. A total of around 3.4 million cubic metres of earth was excavated and later replaced. The local bat and beetle population was also taken into consideration where areas needed to be cleared. In these special cases replacement nest sites were built. A newly planted riverside woodland has created a habitat for the beaver, who can now build its dams undisturbed.
Thanks to these compensatory measures, a mixed forest is growing outside the site, and woodland is also being planted on the test site itself. Beech trees and silver firs now grow where there were once fast-growing spruces. In three generations they will be magnificent beech forests.
Noise-emitting test stretches such as the handling stretch are located in such a way that there are natural sound barriers to protect the residential areas of Immendingen.
Facts & figures on environmental and nature conservation:
- Excavated earth (3.4 million cubic metres) has remained on the site
- Timber transport mainly by rail
- Around 5000 working hours for mapping as a basis for the protection of flora and fauna,
- Deadwood zones, flower and pasture meadows, natural mowing concept using grazing animals
- Ecological construction principles and extensive monitoring concept (10 to 25 years)
- Construction of a game overpass (37 metres wide) and a game corridor (area around 33 hectares)
- Sustainable construction techniques (materials, use of space)
- Operation of the site: e.g. conversion of the combined heating and power plant to pellets, collection of surface water in rain overflow basins and use as domestic water.