»The Startec Frame Fix is a genuine “hidden champion” – once it is installed, it remains entirely invisible. Yet by replacing elaborately packaged and environmentally unsound door installation foams with a mechanical fastener, it makes a not-to-be-underestimated contribution to environmental protection during (re)construction and also reduces packaging waste.«Benedikt Kauertz (on behalf of Andreas Detzel)
Three questions for Ralf Biehl
How did the idea for Startec Frame Fix come about?
During a major project, the use of assembly foam in the installation of timber doorframes caused significant issues for one of the fabricators. The financial cost of this experience encouraged them to look for a solution that is less fraught with risk and which is also more flexible and sustainable. The company Häfele came to us with a prototype and asked us to take their idea to market readiness. The potential of the project was well demonstrated in practice and that was the kick-off point for further development.
What was your personal high point in the development process for Startec Frame Fix? Was there a low point?
While the prototype from the fabricator did include the “clamping” solution, it was made of solid steel and barely fitted into the space between the frame and the wall. Thus, the hope was that the series product would be compact, light, stable, invisible and cost-effective – all at the same time. Ultimately, a steady emphasis on the premise of "Form follows function" led us to success.
Where do you see your project in five years?
Over the next few years, Startec Frame Fix will develop into an established and unique alternative for mounting timber frames in interiors. It goes without saying that it will find its place in the construction-related circular economy, to which it can make an important contribution.
The receipt of the Federal Ecodesign Award serves as a catalyst that will facilitate the hoped-for paradigm shift: not only straightforward assembly but also effortless dismantling and recycling.