Bundesbank to streamline Central Office construction project

The Bundesbank is recalibrating its plans for the renovation of its Central Office in Frankfurt am Main. After the experience of the pandemic, many employees find the idea of being able to continue working flexibly in terms of location appealing. From June 2023, the Bundesbank will allow its staff to work up to 60% of their working hours from home. That will reduce the need for office space at the Bundesbank by around 40%, explained Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel, who took over acting responsibility for construction activities at the central bank at the beginning of the year. 

The change in tack for the construction project is built on an agreement between the Executive Board and the Main Staff Representation Council on the future shape of work at the Bundesbank. Flexible use of office workstations by more than one employee is set to be gradually introduced as well. 

The sharp surge in construction costs as a result of pandemic-related supply bottlenecks and the further price rises after the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine were additional factors in prompting the modifications to the construction plans. As a public sector institution, the Bundesbank has an especially strong duty to uphold cost-efficiency, Nagel stressed. 

The Bank’s space needs will mainly be covered by the renovation and refurbishment of existing buildings, such as the main building and the north building. The new rules will enable more employees to be accommodated there than previously planned. The only new building to be added will be an office block measuring around 5,000 square metres.

With the construction project having been set up to move forward on a phase-by-phase basis, the Bundesbank is able to respond flexibly to the changes in working arrangements and the recent sharp rise in construction costs. The Bundesbank had already begun work to renovate and modernise the 50-year-old main building, which has since been placed under protection as a historical monument by the regional state authorities, in early 2022. Work on the new builds was not due to get under way until 2024, according to the plans. 

Further details will be elaborated in the coming months.