The idea of voided flat plate slabs already existed in ancient times. Even then, it was clear to the designers, that solid constructions exerted too much of a load, making large spaces impossible.
One of the earliest examples of a building that was not solid, is the Pantheon in Rome; “Cassettes” in the slab construction reduced the overall weight – the ceilings could be designed to span more generous expanses. For larger buildings, this voided principle was used into the middle ages, and it is still used today.
In the mid-1990s, the idea of voided flat plate slabs was reinvented – by making use of plastic void formers, “genuine” void former building became possible.
The Institute of Solid Building at the Technical University, Darmstadt, under the guidance of Gottfried Hofmann / BubbleDeck AG, has shown particular interest in this new option. One of the former doctorate students (Karsten Pfeffer, Managing Director at Heinze Cobiax Deutschland today) did his doctorate on this subject at the end of the 90s. Since then, he has been developing applications for this construction philosophy, for serial production.
2000 – 2004
The first pilot projects document the feasibility and sustainability of the technology in the practice. The products are further developed, continuously.
Technologies and products are given their current brand names. Cobiax becomes a symbol of superior voided flat plate slab technology.
The first serial products are ready for the market: Pro-Line and Eco-Line. The voided modules are geometric spheres from recycled plastic.
The second product line comes onto the international markets: Cobiax Slim-Line. The modules are elliptical ("slim"). They are suitable for slimmer slab constructions.
Cobiax Eco-Line is awarded DIBT certification.
Cobiax receives the Swiss Environmental Prize for the Reduction of CO2 emissions, through considerable reduction of the volume of concrete needed for construction. (The Swiss Environmental Prize is only awarded every two years. Projects that represent new technologies, processes or product-oriented novelties in the area of the environment are acknowledged.)
The Slim-Line products are optimised within the framework of a ZIM research project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology, on the basis of a resolution passed by the German parliament.
Cobiax Eco-Line is awarded DIBT certification. Cobiax receives the Research Prize for Sustainable Developments from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (Top 3).
The Heinze Gruppe takes over Cobiax.
The Slim-Line Click supplements the Cobiax range. This version facilitates the installation of the elements and the reinforcing, thereby increasing the safety and reducing the examination costs.
The product line receives Bronze at the Architects Darling Awards.