Schleuse Lüneburg
© WSV, Neubauamt Hannover

Replacement of Lüneburg Lock

BIM Planning and Processing

Securing the Efficiency of the German Waterway Network

In the Elbe side canal near Scharnebeck, the world's highest thrift lock is being built on behalf of the WSV, Hanover Development Agency. The new construction will replace the previous boat lift built in 1976. The boat lift overcomes a height difference of 38 m but its dimensions increasingly represent a bottleneck for modern freight shipping. As the central hinterland connection of the Port of Hamburg, the Elbe Seitenkanal (side canal) is of great importance for the trans-European water transport network. The new construction is an important contribution to the efficiency of the entire German inland waterway network.

Design and Processing with BIM

As part of an engineering consortium, Schüßler-Plan was commissioned with the structural engineering of the 260 m long and 38 m high thrift lock. The thrift lock was fully designed in BIM as a frame construction. In addition to BIM coordination in a CDE, preparation of the BIM execution plan, 3D modelling and 3D reinforcement design, this includes model-based quantity surveying, cost derivation and the performance specifications for awarding contracts from the model.

The size of the components is a great challenge for the supporting structure. The dominant factor is the approximately 42 m high water filling which pushes the chamber apart horizontally when the lock is closed to headwater level and these loads must be transferred vertically into the subsoil. These cyclical loads must be absorbed by the load-bearing structure in the almost free-standing construction due to the lack of earth fill with almost no lateral bedding.

The construction of the new lock may not impair operations of the boat lift. Based on the calculated limits for lift deformations, the defined distance between the two structures is 60 m. Construction work on the lock is expected to start in the mid-2020s.

Project Data


WSV, Development Agency for the Extensive of the Mittelland Canal in Hanover


Elbe Side Canal at Scharnebeck

Technical Specifications

Length: approx. 260 m
Width: approx. 50 m
Chamber width: 12.5 m
Drop height: 38 m

Services Schüßler-Plan

Building Construction and Structural Design

  • Building construction and structural design (civil engineering and traffic facilities)


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