Social enterprises in Austria launch project to help re-use construction materials

11th November 2016 | News

Following the introduction of new regulations in Austria to promote re-use of construction and demolition materials, the Austrian social enterprise sector umbrella Repanet has launched project Baukarussell, a pilot initiative to help develop a market for the goods.

The main challenges for Repanet, and five other national partner organisations, will be to match the available components with demand, ideally without a need for intermediate storage in a model known as ‘Building to Building (B2B)’. The project consortium in Vienna aims to encourage large building owners to include re-use in their construction and deconstruction measures.

As one of the pioneers in Europe, Austria introduced a regulation supporting re-use of C&D components in January 2016. The Recycled Construction Materials Regulation introduced requirements for construction and demolition procedures promoting re-use and recycling of C&D materials such as recovery-oriented demolition and obligatory selective dismantling of re-usable components prior to demolition. The new regulation also adds clarity to the end-of-waste criteria of C&D materials. Austria was recently mentioned as a best practice example in the new guidelines for recycling and re-using of construction and demolition waste from the European Commission.

RREUSE advocates for a similar requirement supporting pre-demolition audits and selective demolition to be included in the Waste Framework Directive as around one quarter of waste generated is from this category of material.