Innovative Recycling of Construction Waste

January 2019

Germany is enjoying a construction boom, but this also has its downsides. For example, each year, roughly 5 million metric tons of fine-grained building rubble is left behind during construction work in the country, which usually ends up in landfills or roads.

Over the past three years, four Fraunhofer institutes have been working together as part of a EUR 3.3 million project to find innovative ways to recycle waste construction material while also responding to shortages in construction materials.

The project has developed a so-called BauCycle process, which meticulously sorts the waste materials and then upcycles them into high-quality building materials, such as aerated concrete with good thermal insulation properties, geopolymers that can be used as an eco-friendly concrete substitute, and sound-absorbing panels. The project also aims to set up a dynamic market platform on which the sorted raw materials can be traded as commodities.

All the project’s findings were on display at the BAU 2019 trade fair, which was held in Munich from January 14-19.

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