Raw material instead of building rubble

Wienerberger’s Kirchkimmen brick plant firing clay for new building project

In Werdersee Garden City, one of the most extensive construction projects in Bremen, Germany, the property developers PGW (Projektgesellschaft Gartenstadt Werdersee) and GEWOBA are pursuing an integrated sustainability concept. KfW-Standard 55, forward-looking options for mobility and independent energy supply guarantee environmentally friendly homes and living in this new residential estate with its 590 houses and flats under construction.

Raw material from the foundation pit

When large volumes of clay were exposed on the construction site, Uwe Schierloh, Managing Director of PGW, created together with the clay building materials producer Wienerberger a sustainable win-win situation: The extracted clay is returned to the site in the form of fired bricks. “Simply disposing of the actually valuable material as part of earth removal was out of the question for us,” says Uwe Schierloh. “That couldn’t be reconciled with the sustainability concept of the Garden City. And so, we simply focussed on the clay’s strengths: In the foundations, the clay isn’t in the right place. It isn’t suitable as building ground as it doesn’t provide the necessary stability. As a resource for the facades of the residential homes built here, on the other hand, it is ideal.”

Clay in a sustainable cycle

Wienerberger’s Kirchkimmen brick plant is located just under 35 kilometres away. Here the 40 000 t extracted clay is fired to facing bricks and brick slips. After production, the clay finds its way back to its place of origin and is used in the facades of the Garden City. These form a durable building envelope made of pure natural material. The clay forms living space on the land from which it comes. This closes the sustainable cycle of far-sighted resource extraction, short transportation routes, regional use and long refurbishment cycles.

What can’t be used in Kirchkimmen is used by the Bremer Deichverband (Bremen’s Dyke Association) for drainage projects.

Wienerberger GmbH


Related articles:

Issue 12/2013 Pritzker architecture prize-winner Wang Shu stresses the sustainability of clay brick

Wienerberger Brick Award jury shortlists 50 projects

To this year’s Brick Award competition, a total of 300 projects were submitted from all over the world. The prestigious architecture prize is awarded to outstanding architectural solutions using...

Issue 4/2016 Interview with visiting professor Armin Behles, TU Darmstadt, Germany

Building with brick means thinking in brick

Professor Behles, how did you come up with the design idea for these high-rise homes? The Berlin-based architecture researcher Tobias Engelschall told me about the WBM housing association’s plan to...

Issue 4/2018

Wienerberger Brick Award 2018 – A tribute to high-quality brick architecture

In Vienna at the end of May, the Wienerberger Brick Award was presented for the eighth time. This year, the award again recognizes outstanding brick architecture and shows the diverse ways in which...

Issue 12/2013 austrian brick and roof award 13/14 presented

High-calibre clay brick and roof architecture in Austria

In a total of four categories the “austrian brick and roof award 13/14” was presented by the Association of Austrian Clay Brick and Roofing Tile Producers (VÖZ) in cooperation with Tondach...

Issue 5/2018

Wienerberger withdraws its takeover bid for Romanian brick producer Brikston

Wienerberger AG, one of the leading building material producers in Central and Eastern Europe, steps up the pace of its growth course in Romania by expanding its current business and investing in...