25 Years of Building Material Recycling in Austria

It has only been 25 years that in Austria, controlled recycling of such materials in a modern sense is carried out by specialized companies. An anniversarie event on this occasion organized by the Austrian Association for Building Material Recycling (ÖBRV) will take place in Vienna on March 26, 2015. The great number of new developments which are in the focus of recycling management in 2015 will be the topics of an exciting specialists’ convention which also enjoys international attention.

It’s been more than 20 years now that the BRV demands the end-of-waste-status for quality-assured recycled building materials. The respective foundation was already laid in 1990 by the Guidelines for Recycled Building Materials, which in coordination with the former Ministry for the Environment uniformly established the construction and environmental technology on a national level. Meanwhile this guideline has been upgraded eight times and recommended in many regulations such as ÖNORMEN, RVS, guidelines and standardized technical specifications or has been bindingly defined as state-of-the-art. On the part of the neighboring countries and other states, the Austrian approach has often been denominated as “best case”, since on the one hand, it is nationwide applicable and, on the other hand, it deals with environment and construction engineering - all in one.

At the end of 2014 the BMLFUW presented the first official draft regulation which shall promote the recycling of building materials with the help of a legally improved basis. In order to improve the quality, a more rigorous approach to demolition in the form of selective dismantling is demanded. As of December 1, 2014 a demolition standard was published providing a pollutant analysis for each building project (except for smallest objects) initiated by the constructor. Furthermore, extraneous materials, such as gypsum, non-mineral components or glass must be separated from mineral building residues. In future, this material shall enable the recycling company to further increase its quality in addition to the already existing production steps. Soon, a new standard for recyclates will be evaluated which, together with a draft regulation, provides the possibility to reach the end-of-waste-status for recyclable building materials. This regulation will then be discussed and could come into effect by 2016.

On March 26, the BRV offers a specialist conference, which will present the new demolition standard, the status of the recycled building materials regulation, news about AISAG as well as liabilities of builders and constructors. Furthermore, the future procedure shall be discussed with representatives of infrastructure operators and builders within the context of a panel discussion. Moreover, representatives from Germany and the Netherlands will contribute their international point of view.


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