"The Golden Bears" Apartment Complex

The History of the Building

"The Golden Bears" Grade II listed building situated on 28 Church Lane, 1070 Vienna, was built in the early 19th century on the ruins of a previous baroque building. The house has been expanded several times and during the recent years it has been used as a residential apartment complex.

The building has been declared a historical monument and it was in a great need for refurbishments. The Federal Monuments Office demanded that the original building structure and style of the Biedermeier era apartment building should be preserved.

Description of the Building - Initial Situation

The prime concern was how to dry the wet masonry without interfering with the building structure, as stipulated by the Federal Monuments Office. The walls in the cellar and the ground floor were wet due to rising moisture. A musty odour, the formation of mould, and flaking plaster were the typical symptoms of buildings exposed to the forces of water for a long time. Christian Mategka, manager of the property, recalls the "shocking" condition of the building. To quote him: "Nobody would have wanted to live there."

The problem was aggravated by bad experiences in dealing with conventional drying out procedures. Known procedures such as the cutting of walls or chemical injections and active osmosis systems had been unsuccessfully attempted by the property management in other buildings.

"I have never been very favourably inclined towards interfering with the static structure of a building, subjecting walls permanently to electric current, or filling them with additional chemical agents," said the manager Christian Mategka, while telling us about his quest for a better solution. He finally encountered the Aquapol system.

According to his experienced renovation expert, a reputable company should carry out its masonry diagnostics according to standardised methods, and the drying out procedure should be fully documented with the aid of those methods. Furthermore, he expected a list of accompanying measures that might be needed to guarantee the drying out. The Aquapol procedure fulfilled all of these requirements.

Draining aim

The building had to be dried out then extensively renovated to obtain well lit, high quality contemporary residential units. It wasn't only a simple preservation work aimed to maintain the historic character of the building. Some structural adaptations inside the building were needed and the habitable space had to be expanded by attic conversions. Some apartments were equipped with balconies and outdoor areas which needed to be completely redone.

All new components had to be adapted to the appearance of the building keeping in mind the requirements of monument protection, and manufactured to comply with all current standards, building regulations and technical requirements.

Draining procedure and results

The drainage of the building was carried out by AQUAPOL without chemicals and without structural alterations to the building. The average masonry moisture, which was about 8.5 percent by weight at the beginning, was reduced to less than one third (2.6 percent by weight) - which meant that the building had been dried out in just one year.

Upon completion, the project has been awarded 2nd place during the 21st Annual Urban Redevelopment Awards, in 2006. The award ceremony took place on the 12 June 2006 at the headquarters of the National Guild for Construction, Vienna.

Picture Gallery

Customer Interview

"The Golden Bears" of the Bruckner Property Management was successfully drained with the Aquapol technology. In the following interview Executive director Christian Mategka shares his experience with the AQUAPOL device as well as the results witnessed.

Aquapol: "Mr. Mategka how old is this building?"

Mategka: "It is a typical building representing the era between 1770 and the mid-19th Century, predominantly characterised by buildings without horizontal or vertical insulation. "

Aquapol: "How was the condition of the building before it was renovated?"

Mategka: "It was frightening, just look at the pictures. No one would really want to live there. "

Aquapol: "What was the opinion of the Austrian Federal Monuments Office about that?"

Mategka: "The Federal Monuments Office said that the house should be preserved in its original structure and placed under monument protection. In our comprehensive restructuring plan, therefore, we had to put a very strong emphasis on maintaining the original architectural style of the building.

Especially, since the masonry drainage gave us some headaches, because up until then known measures consisted of wall cutting, chemical injections, osmosis and active systems. We have already tried these methods without success in other buildings. Also, I am not very keen in interfering with the statics of a building or subjecting them to a constant current or additional chemicals. For this reason I turned my attention to the AQUAPOL process first. "

Aquapol: "Were you not skeptical towards a method that claims to work without chemicals and wall cutting, but instead reverses the polarity of the rising water molecules based on gravo-magnetic vibrations and returns them to the earth?"

Mategka: "Oh, I was more than skeptical. But references like the Haydn Museum in Eisenstadt, the Budapest Parliament or the Klosterneuburg monastery cellar finally persuaded me to give this method a chance. And as I already mentioned, I have been disappointed by the conventional methods. It simply fascinated me the thought of being able to get the job done without intervention to the wall and without chemicals, with a simple installation of a device, which on top of that requires no maintenance and no power."

Aquapol: "Aquapol is not a conventional system, hence did you encounter any trouble?"

Mategka: "No, as the working guideline for any reputable company performing wall diagnosis should be to follow specific measurement methods. Each step achieved during the drainage process should be measured according to standardized methods and drying process should be documented all the way. Furthermore, one expects a list of all those accompanying measures that may be necessary to ensure the complete dehydration, such as the removal of old plaster etc. The Aquapol system meets all these requirements.

The average moisture content ​​of the individual drilled samples were initially at 8.59%, which during the first year fell to 2.63%. So there was a more than a two-third reduction in the moisture content during a period of less than a year! "

Aquapol: "How is your initial skepticism now?"

Mategka: "That has evaporated, just like the moisture in our building. We are completely convinced of your system. You can see that it works. Your employees are characterized by competence, friendliness and simplicity. When I found particularly pleasing that in the ongoing follow-on also includes a drainage beyond restructuring advice to the benefit package of Aquapol. We are pleased to have found you as a partner. "

Aquapol: "Would you then recommend AQUAPOL to others?"

Mategka: "Of course. The best proof is that we have decided to use Aquapol in seven other houses in our care. "

Aquapol: "Mr. Mategka, thank you very much for this interview."

Project at a Glance

Customer

Bruckner Property Management

Supervising Institution

Architektbüro Köhler
Architect
Prof. DI Rüdiger Köhler

Builder

Universal Builder Vienna, branch of Alpine Mayreder Builder GmbH

Start Date

2005

End Date: Building Dry

2006 (about 1 year)

System of Moisture Measurement

DARR Method