STRABAG Environmental Technology lays foundation for circular construction of the future with pilot project in Bremen
Nov 24, 2022
Symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for Circular Construction & Technology Center (C3) at Bremen’s former oil port; Competence centre to establish a regional circular economy that preserves resources and avoids carbon emissions; Comprehensive sustainability concept for soil remediation, construction and operation
Over the next two years, however, STRABAG Environmental Technology must first comprehensively and sustainably clean up the site of the former refinery tank farm, which was heavily contaminated with mineral oil. The step-by-step construction of the buildings and of the plant technology will begin in 2024; the facilities for recycling construction waste are also scheduled to go into operation that same year.
"A great asset for Bremen"
“This project marks the start of a groundbreaking usage concept. As soon as the contaminated area has been remediated and the mineral oil has been cleaned up, a technology and research facility will be created on the former oil port site. The competence centre, which will be focused on resource reprocessing, will be energy self-sufficient and climate neutral – a great asset for Bremen in terms of economic, labour and, of course, environmental policy. I am pleased that with today’s groundbreaking ceremony we can kick off this future-oriented project,” said Dr. Maike Schaefer, Bremen’s Senator for Climate Protection, Environment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing.
“It is our aspiration as the STRABAG Group to play a leading role in driving forward the development of sustainable and resource-saving construction processes and products. The extraction of valuable secondary raw materials is an important building block for our goal of becoming climate neutral across our entire value chain by 2040. We are pleased to be able to develop STRABAG Environmental Technology’s first recycling centre here in Bremen and to be able to contribute the full range of our expertise – initially in remediation and later in the recycling of building materials,” says Dirk Brozio, managing director of STRABAG Environmental Technology.
Resource-saving, sustainable remediation
The redevelopment concept for the 13-hectare site foresees a complete relocation and encapsulation of the existing soil stockpiles at the site. Prior to this, the contaminated sites are surveyed and any recyclable building materials that can be used later as a base layer, for example, in the construction of the site, are identified. The site is cleared of explosive ordnance, and measurements to determine the concentration of hazardous substances in the soil are carried out before the soil is excavated and separated according to its mechanical properties and further processed, if necessary. Only waste that cannot remain on site for environmental and groundwater protection reasons is disposed of. The next step is to relocate the existing stockpiles, which largely eliminates the need for truck transport and the associated carbon emissions.
Climate-neutral and energy-autonomous operation
The STRABAG Circular Construction & Technology Center is being built using sustainable methods of construction and with primarily climate-friendly building materials such as wood and recycled concrete. Following completion, the facility will be operated in an energy self-sufficient and climate neutral capacity. Power is to be generated by photovoltaics, with heat coming from a heat pump in combination with ground-level geothermal energy. Electricity storage units help absorb any peak loads. A rainwater collection system will allow the construction waste processing and the sanitary facilities to be operated without additional water consumption. Green roofs with retention chambers for water storage and moss walls to reduce noise and particulate matter (STRABAG ClAir® Elements) serve as biohabitats.
Technology and research
Approximately 130 people from various STRABAG Group entities will be employed at the new centre for urban mining and construction waste processing. The goal is ambitious: Debris materials are to be separated and recycled as secondary raw materials down to the finest, high-quality particle sizes for use as equivalent substitutes for primary raw materials, e.g. in asphalt and concrete production. For the continuous optimisation and further development of the technical processes, STRABAG will expand the centre into a technology and research facility with a start-up campus for construction waste recycling and other environmental technology business fields. Collaborating with universities, testing laboratories and specialist institutes, the facility will research and develop new recycling options for the circular economy of tomorrow.
The C3 project in Bremen is the STRABAG Group’s first competence centre for sustainable circularity. STRABAG Environmental Technology plans to establish and operate additional Circular Construction Centres at other locations in Europe in the future.
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