On 8 June 2018, Deutsche Bauchemie, the Association of the German Construction Chemicals Industry, held its annual meeting in Baden-Baden to celebrate its anniversary. 70 years ago, the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Bautenschutz-Industrie” (Damp Proofing and Structural Preservation Industry Alliance) was founded in Witten. This organization was later renamed to Deutsche Bauchemie. Its 130 member companies represent an industry that currently generates annual sales of about € 8.5 billion in Germany. They currently employ about 32,000 people in total and account for half of the European market and approximately one fourth of the global market.
The association is currently pursuing its activities in seven technical committees, 14 task groups, and 16 working groups. Since 1998, the association has been operating the Qualitätsgemeinschaft Deutsche Bauchemie (QDB), its internal organization to monitor and control the quality of member companies’ products. The QDB has been officially notified by the European Commission and accredited by the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS; German Accreditation Body).
At home in Europe
Johann J. Köster, Chairman of the Board, used his keynote speech addressed to over 120 attendees to express his gratitude to all senior association managers for their dedication and commitment. He specifically thanked the association’s General Manager, Norbert Schröter, for 28 years of successful work, as well as the Frankfurt head office team. He went on to recount the history of the association and to refer to its current position. “Nowadays, for our industry, Brussels is at least as important as Berlin. This is why we opened our European office in 2015. In the past few years, we have used this office to make our voice heard in the run-up to the adoption of the Construction Products Regulation and the Biocidal Products Regulation, for example,” Köster said.
According to Köster, the construction chemicals industry is currently going through a transformational phase: “Major groups of companies from Asia and the United States are increasingly contributing to the activities of Deutsche Bauchemie, which is only logical given the lucrative market and the fact that we offer world-class products. That said, we must shape our own future so as to ensure that all market players continue to enjoy a fair and equitable competitive environment.” The second big challenge is the increasing pressure arising from innovation, in Köster’s view. According to him, digitization will completely reshape production and sales in the foreseeable future. Deutsche Bauchemie is responding to this trend by preparing a research project on BIM jointly with the Fraunhofer Institute at Holzkirchen and by gradually incorporating this topic in day-to-day association work. The series of lectures given at this year’s annual meeting provided a good starting point in this regard.
The next annual meeting will be held on 6 and 7 June 2019 in Münster.