Masonry Days 2023

Under the motto “Building must become more sustainable”, the Masonry Days of the Southern German Brick and Tile Industry took place between 2 and 16 February 2023 at several venues in attendance and as an online seminar. A total of 650 participants took part in the three face-to-face and one hybrid event. The organisers of the further training event for civil engineers, architects and building contractors, the initiators of the MasonryAcademy, were very satisfied with the course of events and the response. As a joint platform of Hörl+Hartmann, with the brickworks in Dachau, Gersthofen, Klosterbeuren, Deisendorf, Bönnigheim and Hainburg, as well as the Ziegelwerk Bellenberg, the MasonryAcademy organises not only the Southern German Masonry Days but also a large number of other specialist training courses.

“The relevance of sustainable construction dominates the current discussion in our industry,” says Markus Wiest, Managing Director of the Ziegelwerk Bellenberg. “This Masonry Day showed the different courses of action and perspectives of various players and provided interesting food for thought for all participants.” Wiest is particularly proud of the high professional quality and neutrality.

“Our concept of offering lectures of high professional quality and neutrality is very well received by the experts and is perceived as valuable further training,” says Managing Director Matthias Hörl of Hörl+Hartmann.

From energy efficiency to sustainability

Dipl.-Ing. Architect Stefan Horschler, owner of the Büro für Bauphysik (Hanover), dealt with the amendment to the Building Energy Act (GEG) that has been in force since the beginning of the year. In various calculation examples, he compared the new and old verification methods. With a view to the promotion of climate-friendly new buildings (KFB), which came into force on 1 March 2023, he presented the current sustainability assessment systems, which in his opinion would mean “a lot of administrative work with little sense in some cases” for planners in practical implementation. His appeal was therefore for the necessary introduction of a “significantly simplified federal procedure”, which met with great approval among the participants.

Following this, the President of the Bavarian Chamber of Architects, Prof. AA Dipl. Lydia Haack, devoted an interview to the need for simpler, faster, cheaper and more sustainable building from the point of view of architects. In this context, Haack referred to the building type E initiated by the Bavarian Chamber of Architects. Together with the Bavarian Ministry of Justice, a proposal is being worked on to relieve projects of building type E from standards not required by the Building Code, even under civil law, by allowing them to be contractually agreed upon between the client and the architect.

Grey energy and service life

In his lecture, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Holm, lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and managing director of the FIW (Munich), shed light on the concept of grey energy and its relevance as an important parameter for ecological assessment. He referred to the ambiguous definition of the term and pointed out the still complex determination and the lack of comparability. In his opinion, “the total energy balance over the entire life cycle of a building must always be considered. On the part of the building product manufacturers, LCA data is available in the form of environmental product declarations, for example in Ökobaudat, with high data quality. However, according to Holm, an exclusive consideration of individual components, sometimes combined with scepticism about the benefits of certain building materials, is not expedient. The importance of energy for the production of building products compared to the demand for space heating is increasing. Ultimately, however, the operation of the building is decisive, also with regard to the duration of use.

Material - the new gold

The President of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), Prof. Amandus Samsøe Sattler, saw sustainable building as an opportunity in his lecture. Material is the “new gold”, which is why circular productivity is also gaining in importance. Using various examples, he presented partly visionary projects from his field of activity. With foresighted planning, for example, components of old buildings can be catalogued long before they are scheduled for demolition and can be recycled.

QNG - crippling certification

A clear message on the NH class and the Quality Seal Sustainable Building (QNG) came from the technical building consultant of Ziegelwerk Bellenberg, Thomas Mauer, regarding the required general and special requirements for the ecological, socio-cultural and economic quality of buildings: “Brick construction has already fulfilled all sustainability criteria for many years without any problems. Currently, the elaborate certification of buildings is failing due to the unavailability of auditors.” The current situation is mainly due to a far too short lead time for implementation.

How not to end up in front of the judge

At the end of the Masonry Day, Prof. Jürgen Ulrich, retired presiding judge at the Regional Court of Dortmund and member of the State Judicial Examination Office in the Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia, imparted basic legal knowledge for building contractors and commented in an entertaining way on current judgements, partly with the indication of how legal proceedings could be avoided.


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