Resource efficiency in the building sector indispensable

Published 1/7, 2015 at 15:49

Resource efficiency targets were in the centre of attention at the Construction Material Recycling in Europe congress (EQAR) held on 8 May 2015 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. EU Commission DG Environment representative Josefina Lindblom said in her report that the EU Commission pursues the aim to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings throughout their life cycles. For this aim European assessment tools and guidelines have to be developed and applied. Furthermore an increase in using recycled construction materials in the construction and maintenance of buildings is recommended. This will contribute to improving functioning of the market for recycling, construction and demolition wastes.

In further reports and papers from the member states it became apparent that the state and the general conditions for construction material recycling differ in the individual EU member states. This is also reflected in the discussions held in the European Standardization Committee CEN/TC 351 ‘Construction Products – Assessment of Release of Dangerous Substances’ where the test methods for the release of dangerous substances from granulates and the differing Dutch and German views complicated agreement on a uniform European column test. Nevertheless a European test standard for granulates shall be adopted this year.

EQAR vice president Guenter Gretzmacher from Austria emphasized the necessity of creating uniform general conditions for construction material recycling.

Though granulates are construction mass materials marketed regionally, traffic crossing internal EU borders is of high importance for implementing an internal European market for construction products. Gretzmacher demands uniform European targets for the end-of-waste and the product recognition of quality-assured recycled construction materials. EQAR may pay a contribution to it by its European quality assurance system.

For the first time the EQAR Award was granted at the EQAR Congress. It was granted to the company Waermekombinat from Germany for innovative floor heat accumulators made of recycled bricks. In addition recognition prizes were awarded to CDE Global, Ireland, for an innovative wet processing system, to the company Prospect, Slovak Republic for making a contribution to high-quality construction material recycling and to the Institute of Archtitecture Technology of the Graz University of Technology, Austria and to Sto, Germany for the joint development of a recyclable heat insulation composite system based on velcro fasteners.

In his speech technical committee chairman Martin Car from Austria emphasized how difficult it was for the jury to take the decision as all prize-winners paid an outstanding contribution to further developing construction material recycling in Europe.

Join our Newsletter