Replacement of the electrical systems in Ulm Muenster


The Muenster in Ulm is the largest Protestant church in Germany. Construction of the Muenster was started in 1377. Originally intended as a church with a nave and side aisles of equal height it was soon decided to build a much higher nave. Construction was halted from 1543 until 1844. In the year 1890 the West Tower completed. Thus after 513 years the construction of the Muenster was finally completed.

Task: In the last century the technical systems have been altered and extended over and over again. This has resulted in a complicated system which is hardly documented. Now the Muensterbauamt Ulm has decided to replace the electrical systems. The engineering firm Walter Bamberger took over this project and redid the building services engineering of a predecessor. Engineering firm Walter Bamberger managed to reduce the impact on the historic building to a huge extent. Erfgoed Installaties was asked to assist in the process of advising the Muensterbauamt and devise a plan with which the church could continue to serve as a place of worship and as a place for tourists to visit during the replacement of the electrical systems.

Approach: A thorough survey of the electrical systems has been carried out. This was done in close collaboration with the contractor that has been maintaining the electrical systems in the Muenster for the past decades. His memory and knowledge proved to be essential for this job. The results of the survey were very much needed in order to determine the sequence in which various part of the electrical system could be switched off for replacement. Knowledge of the present system is also necessary for minimizing the risks of running into problems whilst replacing parts of the electrical system.

Results: Several design layouts an d costs estimates have been delivered and presented to the board of the Muenster. The results of the survey have been documented in three different ways because of its complicatedness. Based upon the results of the survey a plan has been devised with which the church can continue to serve both its functions during the replacement of the electrical systems. Also the design layout has been be optimized because new routes for the wiring have been discovered.

Client: Engineering firm Walter Bamberger

Completion: 2011