“Building more sustainably with concrete” is the heading under which the 66th edition of the BetonTage congress will take place from 22 to 24 February 2022 at Congress Centrum Ulm/Hotel Maritim. The construction industry is increasingly in the public eye in times of climate change and against the background of finite resources. The calls for buildings that consume fewer resources and are constructed and operated in a climate-neutral manner while being fully recyclable are becoming louder and louder. However, a balance needs to be struck between the imperative to protect the earth’s climate and resources and the necessity of fulfilling important socio-political tasks, such as the provision of sufficient living space and an intact infrastructure. The solution is thus not to build less, but to build differently. Numerous lectures at the upcoming BetonTage congress will demonstrate the contribution that concrete, as the most widely used building material, can make to establish this new mindset. Renowned speakers from research and practice will outline where we are heading. New generations of concrete and resource-saving techniques in cement production will play just as important a role as innovative products. Selected lectures from the technical program will be streamed live. The concrete and precast industry event will again be accompanied by an extensive exhibition of the supplier, equipment and software industries at the congress venue.
Envisioning the future
On the opening day, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Manfred Curbach, of Dresden University of Technology, will be presenting a possible approach to promoting the paradigm shift in the construction industry. For example, two new large-scale research centers will be set up in Lusatia in Saxony and in the central German mining region over the next few years in order to contribute to the structural change in these traditional lignite mining areas and open up new economic perspectives for these regions. The “LAB - Lausitz Art of Building” construction research center envisaged by Prof. Curbach aims to advance the research and development of new, resource-efficient and climate-neutral materials as well as flexible and long-lasting buildings in a modular design.
Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Pero Micic, founder and CEO of FutureManagementGroup (FMG) based in Eltville, will take a closer look at the markets of the future. What will come, what will stay, what will go? Which threats and opportunities will the future bring? What changes are coming and what can we learn from the future to do the right thing today? These are only some of the questions that the international expert on future management will answer during the opening plenary session. More in-depth insights will be provided in a high-profile workshop on 23 February 2022 facilitated by FMG’s Head of Building & Living, Dr. Philipp Reisinger.
Update on current research
In the afternoon, the panel on “Environmentally sound construction with concrete” will be on the agenda. This panel will present the DAfStb roadmap for sustainable, climate-friendly and resource-efficient concrete construction encompassing specific milestone projects to support the climate neutrality of concrete construction up to greenhouse gas neutrality in 2045. Further examples of the pioneering presentations on the agenda include the use of low-clinker binders, the sequestration of CO2 in recycled concrete, and the resource-saving manufacture of innovative products such as solar-hybrid roof tiles.
The “Research Arena” will give a daily update on current developments in concrete technology and production processes. Lectures on the production of aerogel-based infra-lightweight concrete, prefabricated wood-concrete composite elements and carbon-reinforced concrete are just a few examples. A complete panel will be dedicated to the latter topic on 24 February 2022, in cooperation with Composites United e. V., Augsburg. It will outline the wide variety of possible applications of carbon-reinforced concrete in the precast industry.
Innovative product developments such as concrete heat storage elements and concrete absorbers for residential construction will be presented at the “Potentials of tomorrow’s concrete components” panel, which will also update participants on latest advances in 3D concrete printing.
Focus on precast elements and concrete products
Precast components make it possible to create high-quality exposed concrete surfaces. The panel on “Innovative solutions in structural precast” will provide information on what to look out for in the tendering, design and production phases. Selected project reports show how these solutions are put into practice. The follow-up panel on “Innovative solutions in cast stone” will present intriguing design options for façades and interiors.
A hands-on workshop for precast production managers will be held on 24 February 2022. The lectures and demonstrations will address issues arising in day-to-day operations. The agenda also includes the handling of carbon reinforcements, the practical suitability of CO2-reduced concretes, and recycled aggregates. In addition, the workshop will critically review test methods for sedimentation stability and micro-air void content as well as the verification of the roughness of concrete surfaces. There will again be a special panel on the manufacture of concrete products for road construction, landscaping and gardening. Presentations on the use of alternative binders and recycled aggregates will outline sustainable trends. In addition, the panel will highlight the implications of the 2021 amendment to the German Packaging Act.
A visit to the accompanying exhibition of the supplier, equipment and software industries will provide further inspiration for the industry. In 2022, innovative founders from the concrete industry who are seeking interested market partners and manufacturers will present themselves for the first time in the new start-up area. On 22 and 23 February, selected exhibitors will present their latest products and services at the “Innovation Forum”.
“Future Day” of the construction industry
Not only is the BetonTage congress a continuing training platform for the industry – over many years, it has also become a prime venue for the market partners thanks to a number of panels dedicated to them. Thus, the third edition of the “Future Day” of the construction industry scheduled on 23 February 2022 will again incorporate the views and perspectives of construction companies. In addition to a message to political decision-makers, this day will highlight the activities of solid Unit, the network for innovative concrete construction, in the morning plenary session while also presenting a construction industry projection for 2022. The program will be rounded off by presentations on the subject of digitalization, spearheaded by Dr. Albert Dürr, Chairman of the Board of Wolff & Müller Holding.
The “Innovative building construction” panel in the afternoon will include lectures on the new generation of DIN 1045 standards, the use of resource-saving and carbon-reinforced concrete, and innovative test methods for evaluating the rheology of fresh concrete on construction sites. The “Urban infrastructure” panel will present completed projects such as the TSB magnetic levitation train or the “Rotes Rathaus” and “Unter den Linden” underground stations in Berlin. Another focus is on climate-adapted construction with concrete components in civil engineering and on the experience gained and lessons learned from the Ahr flood disaster in July 2021.
Designing and building with concrete
On 24 February 2022, the congress will focus on the dialogue with participants from architecture and structural engineering. Alexander Schwarz, of David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Lucio Blandini, of Werner Sobek AG, Stuttgart, will open the day. Project reports from national and international architects’ practices will then demonstrate the virtually unlimited design potential of concrete. One of the highlights will be CUBE, the world’s first house being built entirely of carbon-reinforced concrete. There will again be a special panel dedicated to structural engineers. Its agenda will include the avoidance of design errors in waterproof concrete structures and pre-applied bonded membrane systems.
Guest region South Tyrol
Representing this year’s guest region, the Concrete Association of South Tyrol will provide insights into its market. South Tyrolean architects and engineers adopt a particularly creative and innovative approach to using concrete. Architectural highlights will be in the focus of the lectures on Wednesday evening. The program and comprehensive information on the congress are available at www.betontage.de.