In our project “Resource-efficient urban districts”, we are developing knowledge and information bases as well as practical instruments for district-based material flow management. A lack of information about buildings, heterogeneous building structures, complex owner compositions and legal limitations require a strategy to ensure circular economy in the building sector.
With three departments of the TU Darmstadt and our project partners, the company UMGIS, the Fraunhofer IWKS and the Science City Darmstadt, we visited the Südhessische Werkstoffrückgewinnungs GmbH in Messel (Hesse) to talk about current developments, challenges and also political hurdles.
As part of the project, we conducted more than 30 expert interviews with other recycling yards, companies and various city and municipal offices.Among other things, they made it clear that energy-efficient construction can only work if the building materials used were also produced or recycled sustainably and, above all, can be separated and recycled again after the life cycle without high energy expenditure. However, currently used building materials, which are often glued together, will lead to problems when they are dismantled in the future. Legal instruments at the municipal level are severely limited, so that a steering effect can hardly be achieved. As a result, overarching framework conditions and legal certainty must be created for cities and municipalities.
Our task in the project is to document and inform about the results. Now it is the task of politics to use the knowledge and realise the necessary legal framework for consistent action (circular economy).