Ware houses for road salt are usually standardized timber constructions. To enable the economical filling of increasingly large storages new constructions are currently evolving: they have to provide a clearance height of 10 m (33 ft.) for articulated lorries with tilted dump trailers to pass through and typically require a filling height of 5,00 to 7,00 m (16 to 24 ft.). Constructions have to take the high horizontal forces at the walls while also resisting the salt’s aggressive chemical properties.
The new salt storage for the road maintenance depot in Geislingen consists of a “storage skip” covered by a “weather protection envelope”. The construction materials timber and reinforced concrete are used wherever they meet the requirements on construction and statics best. For instance, all components in direct contact to the salt on the inside are constructed of laminated construction timber since salt has a conserving effect on wood. The strong torque resulting from the walls’ horizontal forces and the building’s bracing are taken by external, concrete pilaster strips. Their triangular form follows the course of the torque and by directing some of the storage forces vertically directly to the foundations reduces the resulting momentum and allows the amount of reinforcement bars to be minimized. These pilasters also give an unusual form to the building’s façades, making the special purpose visible from the nearby main road.
The most common problem of salt storages is damage caused by salt getting into cavities and destroying the construction. All parts of the new storage are therefore constructed cavity-free. Salt can be removed easily and any damage by salt can be discovered and repaired at an early stage.
Since eventually salt even causes corrosion of stainless steel, the chosen construction is aiming at minimizing the number of metal joints. Laminated columns and concrete pilaster strips are simply joined with two stainless steel bolts that can be renewed easily when necessary.
The building envelope serves only as protection against weather and pollution. Openings in the façade’s connections and in the gates provide ample ventilation and prevent condensation. Salt-resistant, transparent corrugated plastic sheets provide natural lighting and protect the timber constructions which apart from that have direct contact with the outside air.