27,500 tonnes of steel for Stuttgart’s largest shopping centre Milaneo.

The Stuttgart shopping centre Milaneo, which welcomed visitors for the first time on 9 October, is one of the city’s most prominent building projects. The building posed special challenges not only due to its sheer size and tight construction schedule but also due to its demanding architecture. The general planner ECE and the construction firm Ed. Züblin AG relied on the expertise of the SÜLZLE group for the steel supply of the building. The company provided nearly 27,500 tonnes reinforcement steel for the shopping centre, ensuring that the required material was always “just in time” at the construction site.

The centre offers a superlative shopping experience – with around 43,000 square meters of sales floors, 200 shops on three levels and many additional dining and service establishments, the Milaneo is the largest shopping centre ever established in Stuttgart and one of the city’s most spectacular building projects to boot. The building, which cost around 550 million euros, shot out of the ground within two years only – right in Stuttgart’s downtown area in the vicinity of the central train station. The Milaneo is at the core of the newly evolving “Europaviertel” city district, which will offer a large number of shopping outlets as well as residential and working space for several thousand people and that will sustainably shape and alter the face of the city.

An ambitious construction project

To ensure the secure and long-term implementation of the architecturally complex mammoth project, the implementing construction company, Ed. Züblin AG, relied on high-quality materials by reliable suppliers. For example when it came to steel, Züblin opted for the SÜLZLE group, headquartered in the southern German town of Rosenfeld. With its business units SÜLZLE Stahlpartner, SÜLZLE Nutzeisen, SÜLZLE KOPF and SÜLZLE Klein, the family-run group of companies has a number of different focus areas that nevertheless optimally complement each other. With eleven sites, SÜLZLE Stahlpartner is one of Germany’s largest reinforcement steel dealers and rebar fab shops. The company supplies not only customised reinforced steel cages, threaded couplers and reinforcement steel of all variants, but also provides profile steel, pipes and steel sheets.

27,500 tonnes of steel ensure stability

During the construction of the Milaneo, SÜLZLE Stahlpartner contributed a total of nearly 25,000 tonnes of round bar steel and 2,500 tonnes of drawing mesh for the reinforcement of the building complex. The reinforcement steel is built into the foundations, base plates, walls, supports and ceilings of a building, to allow them to absorb the high static loads such as pull and push forces without problems. “During the planning, a structural engineer determines the required ratio of reinforcement steel,” explained Operations Director Andreas Sülzle, who is in charge of production and operational management of the steel trade and rebar fab shop operations. “The exact calculation of the reinforcement is of key importance to safety. Equally important are the expert and high-quality manufacturing and precise fitting to ensure a fault-free building with a long service life.” In addition, SÜLZLE supplied around 21,000 self-made screwed joints to connect the large reinforcement elements with each other.


Baustelle Milaneo


The greatest challenges for the building contractor Züblin were the tight schedule of the project and the densely developed location in downtown Stuttgart. The exact quantities of building materials had to be at the site at a precise moment. This was the only way to practically implement the process that was planned in great detail. The same applied to the steel, which SÜLZLE had to provide in large quantities “just in time”. “On average, we delivered around 1,000 tonnes of round bar steel to the construction site every month, sometimes even up to 1,800 tonnes,” said Heinrich Sülzle, who is in charge of the strategic planning of the company as well as sales and procurement. Suppliers had to be quite flexible to respond to short notice changes to the planning. Often, the materials had to be available within a very short period of time. “One time we delivered 263 tonnes of steel to the Milaneo on a single day – literally a true show of strength,” recalls Naser Alili, branch office manager of Denkendorf, Germany.

Minimum delivery routes for more sustainability

As sustainability played an important role for the entire district design, the building owner and contractor both focused on working with suppliers from the region, if possible, to avoid unnecessarily long delivery routes. The SÜLZLE group also scored points in this regard: Its sites in Denkendorf, Rosenfeld, Dusslingen, Pforzheim and Dornstetten ensured the geographic proximity to the customer that kept delivery routes to a minimum, while SÜLZLE’s own fleet of vehicles reliably and punctually delivered all materials to the construction site. The SÜLZLE group also provided steel mounting parts and pre-fabricated profile steel such as bracket plates and end brackets for the Milaneo. In this area, another business unit of the group of companies could demonstrate its expertise – SÜLZLE Nutzeisen is mainly specialised in the sale, leasing and repurchasing of new and used profile steel for special heavy construction and bridge construction. Its range of products includes wide flange beams, sheet piling walls, bore pile reinforcement cages, profiles, sheets and tubing. At the same time, SÜLZLE Nutzeisen is a competent and reliable partner for pre-fabrication and construction design as well as the reconditioning and repair of customer materials. Certified steel manufacturing provides fast, reliable pre-finished steel material – for example for the new Stuttgart shopping centre.

“The customers can benefit from our various business units by receiving all solutions from a single source,” explained Heinrich Sülzle. “We are not only a classical steel trading company but a reliable partner for all questions related to steel.” The SÜLZLE group operates 15 sites in Germany with more than 500 employees. “This way, we are always close to our customers and can handle individual projects as expertly as large-scale projects such as the Milaneo.” This approach is rather successful – at the 2013 international real estate show MIPIM in Cannes the shopping centre was awarded in the category “future mega-projects.” This is an important award – also for SÜLZLE as a supplier of the entire steel of the building.