The Weimar IFF Building Materials Forum meets the challenge “Recycling”

On 1. March 2012 experts from various branches presented their results and ideas on the topic “The challenge of recycling – materials, technologies, products” at the Institut für Angewandte Bauforschung Weimar gGmbH (Institute of Applied Construction Research). The host Hartmut Solas welcomed about 70 participants. The focus of the event was on the technology of processing and utilization of mineral construction waste.

At the beginning he informed participants about the changed name of the IFF – Institut für Fertigteiltechnik und Fertigbau. Due to the fusion with the FITR – Forschungsinstitut für Tief- und Rohrleitunsbau Weimar e.V., the institution acts as Institut für Angewandte Bauforschung Weimar gGmbH (IAB) with effect from 1. January 2012.


Dr. Kora Kristof of the Federal Environmental Office gave the introductory lecture on the topic “Resource efficiency as the central answer to the question concerning resources”. She said that Germany is on the way to resource efficiency. Three crucial approaches were explained, i.e. the product life cycle, the value chain and, not least, a change of mind. She underlined that the building materials industry plays an important role in this regard and that recycled building materials are important on the way to more resource efficiency. The participants discussed very critically the topic “Primary building materials tax” according to the English example. Kristof also said that promotion programs regarding this topic have to be further extended.


Other topics dealt with the development and manufacture of recycling concrete and the recycling of mineral residual materials in concrete.


Dr.-Ing. Jörg Demmich from Knauf Gips KG presented new general conditions and concepts for gypsum recycling in Germany. By 2020 the EU will develop into a recycling society. Then 70 wt.-% of the construction and demolition waste will be reused. Demmich also presented the possibilities for recycling of gypsum boards. To some extent the fields of responsibility still have to be clarified, such as collection, sorting, supply and processing.


The main topic of Mirko Landmann from IAB Weimar gGmbH was “Masonry construction vs. recycling”. He gave a survey of the development of wall structures from the monolithic brick wall of the period of industrial expansion in Germany from 1871 up to the heat insulation composite systems of today. One research project deals with the recovery of valuable materials after demolition in more detail. 12 test walls of four main types of building materials will be investigated.


Gerhard Koch, Wienerberger AG, presented information about a research project of the company in a Belgian factory: “Raw material reduction in building materials production – use of recycled materials in the brick industry”. The goal was the reuse of building material waste so as to reduce waste and save primary raw materials as well as energy. External partners prepared the spall and investigated its possible admixture quantities to the production. Up to 20 % could be used without any deterioration of the product properties. Koch said that one of the most important tasks is to meet the logistic challenges.


In her final lecture “I have a dream – recycling visions”, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Habil Anette Müller, IAB Weimar gGmbH, presented various sorting technologies and strategies of future recycling. The “recycling factory” of the future will make use of the existing buildings as source of raw materials and energy.


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