24. May 2024 Berlin, Siemensstadt Square

New life for old building materials

Tens of thousands of bricks are being salvaged from the facades of demolished buildings in Siemensstadt for reuse: the pilot project is a blueprint for sustainable construction in the city of the future!

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When the buildings in Siemensstadt Square are demolished, important building materials - such as bricks - can be preserved.

Construction work is currently in full swing in the future entrance area of Siemensstadt Square. We are demolishing some existing buildings and the former car park area behind the administration building to make room for something new. We are giving valuable building materials a ‘second life’.
The first pilot project involves the striking bricks that are used in some of the building façades in Siemensstadt Square. Together with the renowned brick manufacturer Wienerberger, the project team has initiated a sustainable material cycle for the bricks. They are carefully salvaged and recycled during demolition so that they can be used again in other buildings, for example in the new buildings at the future entrance square. This is an example of the Zukunftsort actively promoting a more circular economy in the construction industry.

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Have you ever wondered how buildings are made? Well, I'm here to tell you that some of the façades of Siemensstadt Square are made of tens of thousands of bricks!

Protecting the climate by reusing building materials

When it comes to conventional demolition, the bricks are usually broken up and used as filling material in road construction. This is a great way to reuse them, but it does mean that the quality of the bricks is lost a bit. In our pilot project, we salvaged the bricks as a whole and reused them in other buildings. This is a fantastic reuse, rather than just recycling them!

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Manual labour: It's a bit of a pain, but to reuse the bricks, they have to be removed from the façade one by one and then processed. Photo: Wienerberger

It's so great that we can reuse materials! This means that we don't have to create any more CO2 in the production of building materials. It also helps to reduce the amount of waste that we produce, as Alyssa Weskamp, our lovely sustainability expert in the Siemensstadt Square team, explains:
We recently had the pleasure of dismantling a warehouse on the future entrance site. Normally, this would have meant that we’d have had to throw away broken bricks in several containers. Brick recycling made all the difference! It was barely half a container, which is amazing.

The video shows the demolition of the gatehouse on Rohrdamm, which has now been completed. It's been a long road, but it's finally over! We're so excited to announce that the bricks from the façade will soon be used in a new building. Video: Wienerberger

The team has already done a fantastic job of recovering around 50,000 bricks during the current dismantling phase at the future entrance square. Some of them will soon be used again at the future site itself, which is really exciting! The bricks from the Rohrdamm gatehouse, for example, will be used in the new atrium building at the entrance square.