Fabrication of complex products requires lots of energy; as does product destruction and the sorting into recyclable components. Energy-saving approaches do not start from scratch but give advanced intermediates a second life.
In Vienna the pilot project “BauKarussell” (“construction carrousel”) - coordinated and communicated by the ecology- institute “Pulswerk GmbH“ (http://www.pulswerk.at/) and the eco-network “RepaNet”, respectively - saved 450 tons of demolition waste by reusing whole building elements. Manual demolition takes its time but is a worthwhile investment. Through innovative concepts doors get a second function in outer insulation, and old radiators turn into stylish inner walls. Concurrently, building rubble generation and associated health risks are avoided. Besides environmental and health benefits, strong potential exists for generating new jobs. Social integration/charitable institutions can provide the respective teaching and prepare socially disadvantaged people for employment in building dismantling, renovation etc.
In its recently completed feasibility study “RepaNet” assembled the respective know-how and set guidelines for adapting construction material regulations.
In collaboration, “Pulswerk GmbH“ and “RepaNet” made first estimations on material volumes, identified relevant stakeholders and summarized expert opinions from diverse European projects and publications. Given that e.g. in Vienna alone 400 buildings are torn down each year, the untapped potential for material and employment market is considerable.
RepaNet, Pulswerk and the Ecology Institute engage in diverse re-use and repair projects. “BauKarussell” and other successfully completed pilot projects seem mature for adaptation and implementation also in other countries of the Danube region. The overall energy- and resource-saving potential is growing accordingly.