The Federal Government as contracting authority
The public contracting authority has a special responsibility; its buildings are very much in the public eye.
The Federal Government acknowledges its obligation to set an example as a client. In addition to meeting functional, safety and cost-effectiveness requirements, the Federal Government's buildings also reflect other important building policy goals, namely:
- the quality and design of the architecture;
- sustainable and energy-efficient construction;
- the use of innovative building materials, techniques and processes;
- the protection of historic buildings;
- ensuring that buildings are carefully scaled to their contexts; and
- the promotion of the art and architecture scheme.
Consequently these buildings contribute to Germany's building culture:
- competitions are run in accordance with GRW 95 for all suitable federal building projects at home and overseas.
- a Sustainable Building guide ensures the correct approach is adopted during planning, building and operation.
- to ensure a high-quality combination of art and architecture, visual artists are engaged in the artistic design of federal buildings depending on the purpose and importance of the building work.
Other documents on important aspects of building can be found in working aids, guides and guidelines.
The responsibility for the Federal Government's civil building work at home and overseas lies with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The Guiding Rules for the Execution of Federal Works Services (RBBau) set out the responsibilities and procedures for federal building work.
The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) is responsible for building matters for the constitutional bodies, the highest federal authorities and civil building matters overseas as well as for buildings in Berlin. The Federal Building Company, Berlin (BBB) manages building matters in the Spreebogen parliament district in Berlin.
All other buildings in the federal territory are dealt with by the building authorities of the federal states by means of administrative agreements between the Federal Government and the federal states (based on fiscal administration law).
A selection of current examples of the wide range of Federal Government building projects is given below: sorted by location, you will find on the right examples from Berlin, the federal states and overseas as well as selected transport facilities from the length and breadth of the Federal Republic.
Federal Capital Berlin
|Federal Chancellery in Berlin|
The townscape of the federal capital, Berlin, has been shaped to a very great extent by federal buildings. The 1991 decision to make Berlin the capital and to move the parliament and government to Berlin has resulted in many new buildings in Berlin being built or older buildings being refurbished. Old buildings have been retained, but modern architecture has also been given a role.
The result is buildings of outstanding quality and charisma that help considerably to shape Germany's image among the public. The Art and Architecture scheme has been promoted to a great extent in these buildings, thus building on Berlin's artistic concept. A brief account of the government's move and the government buildings in Berlin is given here.
|Robert Koch Institute in Wernigerode|
The Federal Government not only commissions building work in Berlin, it also does a great deal in the federal states. This includes not only its "own" construction projects for federal institutions, but also projects for buildings which have been granted substantial financial assistance by the Federal Government (so-called grant-aided building projects) and which are intended to accommodate institutions and organisations.
As a rule, the Federal Government's buildings in the federal states are managed, on behalf of the Federal Government, by the Federal States' Construction Authorities or the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR), in accordance with legal regulations (Guiding Rules for the Execution of Federal Works Services, RBBau).
Here is a selection of building projects currently being carried out for the Federal Government in the federal states.
|German School in Budapest|
The Federal Government builds overseas as well as in Germany. This includes not only construction projects for its "own" buildings, such as embassies, but also for buildings which have been granted extensive financial assistance by the Federal Government (so-called grant-aided building projects) and which are intended to accommodate institutions and organisations.
The Federal Government's overseas buildings (with the exception of buildings coming within the Federal Ministry of Defence's sphere of competence) are managed, on behalf of the Federal Government, by the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) in accordance with legal regulations (Guiding Rules for the Execution of Federal Works Services, RBBau).
Federal buildings overseas make a substantial contribution to Germany's international image and therefore must satisfy high quality standards.
|Rennsteig pedestrian bridge|
A large proportion of the Federal Government's building activity concerns transport facilities - waterways, locks, roads, bridges and the like.
Of these transport facilities, bridges have an important role to play in terms of building culture. Not only are they an expression of engineering achievement and technical progress, they are also socio-political symbols and historical landmarks; frequently, they are the very structures that help to define the identity of towns and regions.
The public's great interest in bridge building has been confirmed once again in impressive fashion by the extraordinarily successful touring exhibition entitled Road Bridges - German Civil Engineering.