Gym and health studio

The gym and health studio ‚Friends‘ in the Middle Franconian community of Eckenthal offers fitness and health training for especially aspiring customers. As one of the few gyms in Germany, the health area at ‚Friends‘ has been certified and was awarded the highest mark for ‚Best Ager Care‘, the senior citizens award in 2012. After around ten years of successful work the proprietors were able to purchase a large building last year, in which there used to be a supermarket. On more than 1,000 square metres they have created a top quality gym. The last step was the creation of an outdoor area for the newly made sauna landscape, with a 60 square metre patio. The owners chose ‚POPULAR massive‘ from Franconian producer NATURinFORM’s range of products. The decks made of wood composite material have been awarded the general construction supervision approval (AbZ) by the German Institute for Construction Technology (Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik) in Berlin (DIBt), and can therefore be used without any limitation as a load-carrying flooring in outdoor areas – even in public buildings.

Patio decks
Popular massive in grey massive deck

Type of construction
Patio Construction on a elevated surface

Construction year

Fitness- & Gesundheitsstudio FRIENDS, Forther Hauptstr. 61a, 90542 Eckental

The studio owners‘ decision to use this material was consistent. ‘As we had already experienced this wonderful flooring surface on the patio of our own house, it was easy to decide on this product,‘ Heike Nummer-Roth, qualified office communication clerk, explains. At ‘Friends‘ she is responsible both for management, as well as accurate training planning. ‘The wood composite material has proven extremely suitable and we are very happy with it. The floor requires no maintenance at all, it looks really good and exudes a cosy atmosphere. In the summer it is not nearly as hot as ceramic tiles and it is much more durable than wood. And best of all: it doesn’t splinter,‘ she talks about her positive experience with Naturinform’s flooring surface. ‘That is why we very quickly decided to use this surface on our new patio next to the sauna area,‘ says the fitness trainer, who runs the studio together with her husband and son.

Special building situation required a steel construction

When building the patio there was a special situation due to the existing construction: The new outdoor area was to be built on a steel construction over the ramp, to which lorries used to drive to deliver goods to the supermarket. It would have been possible to fill up this area with earth, but as important cables ran through the surface area, an airy construction was decided upon. The ‘Stahl in Form‘ team from Baiersdorf first made the framework to carry the patio. Then hardwood squared timber was screwed on to this, as an underlying construction for the patio decks.

Then the ‘Popular-massive‘ decks were screwed onto the underlying wooden construction. It was a welcome advantage for the processor that the deck surface has received general construction approval (AbZ) by the German Institute for Construction Technology in Berlin (DIBt) and can therefore be used without any limitation as a load-carrying floor in outdoor areas, even in public buildings. It is mandatory to adhere to the minimum support width for the end and middle supports, as well as the minimum amount of screws per support which must be kept. In a laying maunual, provided by Naturinform within the delivery scope, processing is described accurately. The load-bearing wooden underlying construction is not part of the general construction approval.

Deck with construction authorities‘ approval reduces time and cost expense for processors

Founded in 2008 by Daniel Schmidt, the young company ‘Stahl in Form‘ has been growing steadily. Today the expert metal worker employs, as he calls them, a ‘creative bunch‘ of 14 qualified employees, two of which are apprentices. With his motivated ‘manpower‘ and first class equipment, Schmidt makes ‘dreams of metal‘ come true. His range covers carports, balconies, stairs, balustrades, canopies, fences, and gates. For eight years now the team has been working with Naturinform products to create balconies, stairs and patios. ‘If you stick strictly to the clear and well-prepared laying manuals by Naturinform, processing is very easy and simple,‘ says Daniel Schmidt. After processing surfaces made of wood, he sometimes receives complaints from clients, – ‘the material splinters or tears‘ – he has never had to repair any of the wood composite materials. He appreciates the robust and weather resistant surface, as it guarantees him safety regarding customer complaints. ‘And the customer benefits, too, as he needs neither to oil, nor sand, nor even change the surface after ten years,‘ says Schmidt.

What has also really helped Schmidt’s work with elevated balconies, patios, and outer stairs for a while now is the fact that ‘Popular-massive‘ is a deck surface that has been awarded construction authority approval. This means he can lay load-carrying floors outdoors without having to take any additional measures, which in the past meant an increased time effort and further costs for him and his customers.

Architects, processors, and building owners ‘on the safe side‘

The specialist for wood composite systems was awarded general construction authority approval for ‘Popular-massive‘ (AbZ). The German Institute for Construction Technology in Berlin (DIBt) awarded the approval to a patio deck made of wood composite material – generally described as WPC – for the first time ever, without reference to a laid surface. This means that it can be laid without limitation as a load-carrying flooring in outdoor areas, even in public buildings. ‘This means a great deal of planning safety for our customers and expands the application areas to balconies, roof patios, loggias, stairs, and landings, without additional measures being required to prevent falling through,‘ Naturinform Managing Director Horst Walter comments on this approval by the DIBt; this refers to the utilisation of the approved product in regard to the constructional requirements and is valid in all federal states.

‘Popular-massive‘ is now officially a regulated construction product according to state building law. Separate approval for private or public areas is now therefore no longer necessary. Contrary to floor-level patios, balconies, and patios above 60 centimetres usually count as ‘elevated‘ in state building regulations, and therefore must be planned and executed as load-bearing constructions. For this it is only possible to use construction products with construction authority approval, or time and cost intensive individual approval steps have to be taken. ‘Popular-massive‘ is laid with multi-field support (at least two-field support), is constructed visibly and can be replaced at any time. Assembly must be performed according to the requirements in the approval. The decks must be screwed onto the underlying wooden construction. The minimum support width and the minimum amount of screws according to the DIBt requirements must also be adhered to. With this patio deck – as a regulated and approved construction product – architects, building owners, and processors are on the safe side when planning and implementing projects with a load-bearing construction in outdoor areas.

The ‘classic‘ product on patios and balconies

Since being introduced to the market, ‘Popular-massive‘ has proven a great choice for patios and balconies. The massive patio deck’s surface with  a height of 25 millimetres and a width of 138 millimetres (system width ca. 146 mm) lets you choose between a finely or a widely striated side; both brushed surfaces were awarded high slip resistance R12 and R13 by the TÜV Rheinland. Customers can purchase brown, grey, and anthracite. Apart from the standard lengths of four and six metres, other lengths can be tailormade upon request. The material consists, as all of the Bavarian producer’s products, of an innovative, robust wood composite material that is made at a ratio of 70 to 30 of wood fibres from domestic, PEFC-certified wood, and an environmentally-friendly, pure polymere. No additional trees are felled, as the wood fibres are a by-product of the woodworking industry. This makes the material an extremely environmentally- and climate-friendly product that can also be recycled 100 percent. After the decks have been used they are accepted back by the company and re-fed into the production process.

Naturinform is specialised in intelligent solutions for outdoor surfaces and profiles. The material ‘made in Germany‘ is produced exclusively on site in Upper Franconian Redwitz an der Rodach: a material that combines the optical characteristics of traditional construction timber with the durability of a technical polymere. In a test by the TÜV Rheinland, the decks achieved the highest slip resistance level R13 according to DIN 51130 and Class C according to DIN 51097. During production the wooden fibres are combined with the thermoplastic polymere in such a way, that it covers each individual fibre like a protective coating. Because the polymere itself is absolutely water repellent, it is not possible for water to penetrate the finished deck – but it retains the optical and thermic characteristics of wood.

Download: Press release
Product information: Popular