Interview with Brother Andreas Schmidt, OSB, project manager and representative of the builder "Benedictine Abbey Plankstetten"
You needed 300 m3 of straw for the new building. Did this come entirely from your farm?
Yes, it was important for us to use our own straw as a building material. That way we ensured organic quality and benefited from short procurement channels. With the mobile pressing machine of the Austrian company Sonnenklee GmbH we produced over 2000 small straw bales on site from our big bales and had them designated as building material by Baustroh GmbH. The finished bales were temporarily stored in our barns.
Where do the 400 m3 of construction timber come from and what kind of wood did you use?
For both the shell of the building and the interior, we only use spruce wood, which comes 100% from our own monastery forest. Around 500 trees were carefully selected for this purpose.
Was it difficult to obtain the building permit for St. Wunibald?
No. However, it was helpful to coordinate with those involved in the construction process and with the relevant authorities before the official building application was submitted.
How did the public procurement process proceed?
Due to the budget size and the fact that subsidies make up a large part of the budget, a public procurement procedure had to be carried out according to European rules. The awarding procedure for the planning team was initiated in 2012 by a specialist in accordance with the awarding regulation. Contracts were awarded for planning, sector planning, construction management and building construction. The EU-wide tender was published on www.aumass.de.
Most of the companies awarded are regional business. What was the reason for this?
Due to the current boom in the construction industry, it was difficult to get enough offers at all. About 70% of the construction contracts were finally awarded to companies within a radius of 30 km. This turns out to be advantageous for the construction project and the regional construction companies also benefit from the fact that they have short distances to the construction site, for example. In addition, the new St. Wunibald building is a prestige project for the contracted companies. In order to rule out the possibility of certain companies being favoured in the tendering process, the procedure was highly transparent. One measure to ensure this was to link the Internet platform for EU-wide tenders to the monastery website. This way every website visitor could find out about the trades being tendered for.
Read the full interview on Benediktine Abbey Plankstetten | Interreg NWE (nweurope.eu)