64th BetonTage extends its program

The BetonTage will again take place, from 18 to 21 February 2020 in Neu-Ulm, Germany. With an additional, fourth, congress day, the 64th edition of the lead event of the European concrete and precast concrete industry is taking another step towards becoming an educational platform which mirrors the complete construction process involved in building with precast concrete elements. With new partners, contents and formats, it opens its offerings to new target groups, integrating in this way into the program, for the first time, all participants in the value-added chain.

Research institutes, manufacturers, suppliers, planners, architects and suppliers of the construction industry will engage in dialog. “Concrete Construction of the Future – Lightweight, Resource-Efficient & CO2 Neutral” is the motto of the event. How can we build resource-saving? What does the concrete and cement industry contribute to it already now? What are the current insights of research in this sector? Where are the future trends leading? BetonTage would like to answer all these questions. Around 2,200 participants are expected at the congress center, the Edwin Scharff Haus in Neu-Ulm. An exhibition of the supplier, engineering and software industry will accompany the traditional event as always.


In focus: climate change and CO2 debate

Concrete is currently the most-used construction material around the world. About 1.6 billion tons of cement, ten billion tons of sand and gravel and one billion liters of water go into concrete construction the world over every year. Around five percent of CO2 emission worldwide results from cement production. One of the most pressing tasks of the cement industry therefore is to develop innovative technologies for reducing CO2 emission and to reverse this seeming disadvantage to an advantage. Prominent experts will moreover demonstrate possible solutions in the plenary sessions. On the second congress day, Prof. Anders Levermann, Ph.D., Head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will introduce the audience to the topic “Climate change, the CO2 debate and a vision for 2050,” followed by Dr. Dominik von Achten, from HeidelbergCement AG, and by the General Managing Director of the Association of German Cement Works (VDZ), Dr. Martin Schneider.

The Plenaries “Application-oriented research for concrete,” “Potentials of precast elements of tomorrow” and “From research to practice” will inform participants on the newest developments in concrete technology.


Mega trends: 3D printing and carbon concrete

Carbon concrete and 3D printing are likewise key technologies for the future. The use of stainless carbon fibers can significantly prolong the service life of buildings. Innovative composite material not only makes possible a new form language but also saves up to 80 % of material and energy. Carbon concrete is used already today for such applications as new construction of foot bridges, railroad platform systems, individual wall and floor constructions as well as the rehabilitation of bridges and industrial structures. The Plenary “Carbon applications in practice,” developed in collaboration with Association Composites United e.V., demonstrates the current state of research and developments by examples from practice.

3D printing as additive production system is conquering new areas of application in a great diversity of industries. And this technology does not stop at the precast concrete industry, because production with 3D printing saves time, formwork and storage costs.


Strengthened: precast concrete elements in focus

The manufacturers of precast concrete elements are now as before the target group of the Congress. A large part of the program will therefore concentrate, as before, on industry-specific topics. The product-specific plenary sessions, which were planned with specialized trade associations, will provide additional fresh impetus. They will range from lectures on structural precast construction to concrete products for road, landscape and garden construction; on underground and sewer construction; as well as on lightweight concrete, cast stone and small sewage treatment plants.


New: “Future Day in the Construction Industry”

The construction industry will be a new partner on the third Congress day next year. Under the heading “Future Day for the Construction Industry” it will treat topics such as interface optimization in using precast concrete elements at the construction site. The new joint knowledge platform for building contractors and their partners from precasting, in the parallel event held in the afternoon, offers solutions for building above and below ground and for sewer construction. The popular plenary session “Economy and Law” will include lectures on new instruments of innovation and personnel management.

The Baden Wurttemberg Minister for Economy, Labor and Residential Building, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, will open the plenary session on that day and present her ideas for the future. CO2-reduced construction methods and recycling concrete are just two of the goals supported by the German state government. The fact that the concrete industry can follow suit will be demonstrated in contributions from the experience of the speakers that follow: Dr.-Ing. Walter Haase, from the Institute for Lightweight Construction and Design  Stuttgart University, and Hagen Aichele, from Holcim Kies and Beton GmbH, Stuttgart.


New: Innovation Forum

The accompanying exhibition of companies from the supplier, engineering and software industry has been an established part of the Congress from the very beginning. At the 64th BetonTage, with the Innovation Forum, it will for the first time be given a place in the official program. The lectures on 19 February 2020 will offer practice- and application-oriented solutions of the supplier industry for use in practice.

On Friday 21 February 2020, innovative manufacturers and component suppliers of concrete elements will, moreover, show their products and service offerings on this new platform. On that day, they will also have the opportunity to present their companies in the exhibition – another first at the BetonTage. The target group are in particular planners and architects. With the panel sessions “Concrete in Architecture and Concrete in Structural Design,” these participants will present a specific technical program, which was previously offered on the third Congress day. With more than 600 participants, they already represent an important group. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Sobek, from Werner Sobek AG, and Michael Rathgeb, Managing Director at ingenhoven architects, in Düsseldorf, are among the prominent speakers on this day. “Sustainable architecture“ is the lead topic.


A must: thinking out of the box

The 64th BetonTage would also not be complete without treating the favorite topic of thinking out of the box. The neuroscientist Dr. Henning Beck, as keynote speaker on the opening day, will give exciting insights into the most error-prone and at the same time most innovative structure in the world: the human brain. Humorously, he will offer vivid and practical insights into brain science for everyday life, and will demonstrate how we can make use of the tricks of the brain, supplemented with artificial intelligence, to improve our thinking and use it for new ideas.

Cem Karakaya, Head of the Department for Internet Criminology of the Bavarian Police illustrates in inimitable manner the topic of cyber criminality. “The human firewall and its holes” is the title of this very special contribution to the plenary session.

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