IAB-Tage “Beton” 2022: Multi-faceted conference program, casual atmosphere
The latest edition of the IAB-Tage “Beton” (IAB Concrete Days) held on 9 and 10 November 2022 in Weimar dealt with key topics that will determine the future of the construction sector. About 150 delegates from science and industry attended the two-day event hosted by the Weimar Institute of Applied Construction Research (IAB). Conference topics focused on the resource-saving use of building materials, new production technologies, and automation in the construction industry. The program included six series with a total of 21 presentations and a supporting exhibition featuring companies from the building materials, construction equipment and concrete construction industries. Karla Knitter and Jens Maurus represented BFT International at a dedicated exhibition stand.
Concrete conference to attract international audience again
“We are pleased to welcome you to the 28th edition of our Weimar conference dedicated to concrete,” said IAB Director Dr. Ulrich Palzer, welcoming about 150 delegates from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who had traveled to the event. “Our event format is approaching its 30th anniversary and is set to become larger and more international again,” Dr. Palzer pointed out confidently. He passed the floor to the event’s two special invitees, Dr. Katja Böhler, from the Thuringian Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Peter Kleine, Mayor of the City of Weimar. In her welcoming address, the State Secretary for Research, Innovation and Economic Development once again emphasized the formative role that the Weimar Institute of Applied Construction Research is playing for the State of Thuringia. She thanked Dr. Palzer for his commitment to expanding hydrogen research in the state, an effort that extends beyond the city limits. The institute director covers a dual role in managing the IAB as well as the newly founded Hyson Institute of Hydrogen Research in Sonneberg.
Program kick-off with panels on resource conservation and mineral foam
On the first day of the event, the panels on construction materials and resources as well as a series of lectures on mineral foam technologies were to highlight relevant trends while providing inspiration to attendees. Max Ramm, from the IAB, initially spoke about the development of lightweight concrete based on recycled lightweight granules. He explained how the project progressed from the recycling process in Weimar to the production of masonry blocks at Jasto-Baustoffwerke in Ochtendung. Additional questions were answered at the IAB stand at the trade exhibition accompanying the conference. Dr. Martin Reformat went on to present the clay calcination and grinding process also referred to as C/Clay developed by Loesche GmbH.
The series of lectures on construction materials and resources was followed by the trend panel on mineral foam. “At the institute, we have been working on developing new methods and technologies for the manufacturing process for quite some time,” said Mirko Landmann, Head of the IAB Concrete Department. “Mineral foam is a promising building material and our conference embarked on a completely new route by discussing this topic.” During the final panel, attendees learned interesting facts about the state of the art in construction technology and equipment. Among other things, panelists presented an experimental block molding machine developed at the IAB, technology trends for formwork suitable for modular construction, and an automated bricklaying process using a cable robot. The evening get-together at the IAB headquarters provided a laid-back atmosphere and wrapped up the first day of the event.
Attendees focused on sustainability and recycling
The second day began with Andreas Viebrock’s keynote that demonstrated how entrepreneurial courage can give rise to a greater degree of sustainability. His vision of a smart city with sustainable projects for housing construction is a true success story, just like the company, Viebrockhaus AG, as such. The audience continues to be primarily interested in sustainability and recycling. Thus, the subsequent technical presentations were fully dedicated to producing new building materials from old ones while outlining solutions that can potentially establish an intact circular economy in the construction industry.
The afternoon sessions concentrated on concrete products as well as 3D printing and automation in the construction industry. Highlights included newly developed lightweight concrete modules, a segmental prestressed concrete truss, UHPC precast elements, and innovative hollow-core curbstones that save resources and reduce carbon emissions. “Like in any other field, the technologies related to concrete continue to evolve,” said Dr. Ulrich Palzer, “which is why we are increasingly committed to promoting young people in the construction industry and their ideas. For example, we link start-up businesses to strong partners from among the Forschungs- und Technologieverbund Thüringen (Thuringian Research and Technology Association; www.ftvt.de) as part of the “get started 2gether” founders’ competition (www.gs2g.de).” Mirko Landmann added that these partners will also take center stage in the program of the next conference. Specialist presentations on digital quality analysis and 3D printing processes in concrete construction concluded the two-day industry event held at Leonardo Hotel Weimar.
Event hosts and delegates were in agreement on the success of this concrete-related conference. Attendees particularly liked the technically diverse conference program including inspiring topics and practice-driven presentations, as well as the laid-back atmosphere at the IAB headquarters in Weimar.
The next IAB-Tage “Beton” edition will take place on 15 and 16 November 2023 in Weimar.
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