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Berlin is knorke: Making construction more climate-friendly

30. May 2023 – The construction industry is responsible for around 38% of CO2 emissions worldwide (Status 2021). It is not only construction itself that causes problems; greenhouse gas emissions are also produced during the production and processing of building materials. In this regard, the building sector has enormous savings potential and is facing a comprehensive transformation in the long term.

On the way to climate-friendly construction, the concept ofthe Circular Economy is taking hold, which has been finding its way into the construction industry for several years. This means, among other things, that existing buildings are better used and material cycles are closed in order to relieve the burden on the environment. For example, raw materials for products and buildings can be planned, designed and used in such a way that they can either be maintained in the same quality and reused, i.e. fed into a technical cycle, or completely degraded and returned to the biological cycle.

Circular design is particularly important here, as in this case, during the manufacture and design of a product, consideration is already given to how it can best be recycled, dismantled or reused in the end. The life cycle of raw materials is included from the start.

Using building materials forever without turning them into waste sounds challenging. And yet that is exactly the goal of a new trend in sustainable construction. This is where the Berlin-based startup Concular comes in, showing how construction can be made more climate-friendly and resource-efficient.

Launched in 2012 as an online marketplace for reusable building materials, today construction and demolition measures can be calculated, planned and carried out thanks to its own software. The company digitises buildings by means of material and product passports. Using the information from the material passports, an automated matchmaking process compares the supply from the inventory with the material requirements for new construction and conversions. In this way, buildings can be preserved and materials can be brought back into the cycle. Concular not only wants to reuse the building materials, but also to tell the story behind the materials, buildings and people and to conserve a piece of building history with each reused material and give new buildings an invigorating identity.

If Concular is involved at an early stage before the demolition of a building, the startup documents the building materials in stock and creates a material database. In the best case, all components can then be sold on beforehand. In addition, the company balances for building owners and cities how many tonnes of CO2, resources and waste are saved through reuse, or how recyclable the materials in a building are.



The Berlin-based company Madaster and the capital city branch of Loopfront,, which have developed platforms to enable circular construction, also work in a similar way. With Madaster a digital twin or digital copy of a building or other architectural object can be created, giving an overview of the components and materials used in the building, their CO2 content and their reusability. A digital material passport is also created at Loopfront to identify which materials can be reused. In this case, apart from building materials, furniture and furnishings are also considered.

In order to promote the capital as a location for a sustainable economy, Berlin Partner has been supporting companies for over a year with its Sustainability Service in responding to the changing requirements and developing new business areas in order to remain internationally competitive. The offer focuses on climate protection, resource efficiency and circular economy as well as sustainable supply chains.



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