Environmental Compatibility of Building Materials Working Group



Anya Vollpracht

Head of the Working Group Circular Economy


+49 241 80-95116


Copyright: © ibac Schematic diagram of a laboratory irrigation stand

Focuses of Research and Investigation

  • Environmental compatibility of cement-bound building materials
    – Content of inorganic environmentally relevant materials
    – Elutriation
    – Bonding mechanisms
    – Modeling of the leaching behavior under various placement conditions
  • Environmental compatibility of sealing and injection materials
    – Content of organic environmentally relevant materials
    – Elutriation
    – Modeling of the leaching behavior
    – Ecotoxicological investigations
  • Leaching behavior of unbound building materials
    – Column experiments, shake tests
  • Recycling and waste utilization
    – Recycling of industrial byproducts
    – Crushed concrete and building rubble with consideration for environmental effects

Assessment of Environmental Compatibility

The investigation and assurance of building materials' environmental compatibility has become an important topic in politics and research. Multiple research projects at ibac are working on describing and modeling the leaching processes of environmentally relevant materials made of wet and hardened concrete. Analyses were conducted on both the environmental impact with the use of industrial byproducts and the influence of boundary conditions during leaching, such as continuous water pressurization, leaching through flowing water, and sprinkling.

A significant objective is the development of evaluation models to assess the environmental compatibility of

  • building materials
  • industrial byproducts
  • recycled materials

Influence of Concrete on Ground Water Quality

Another project works on the validation of model equations of the influence concrete has on the quality of ground water. Aside from concrete other materials such as masonry building materials and sealing materials are increasingly taken into consideration. The chemical and mineralogical mechanisms of the inclusion of trace elements are also investigated beyond the pure phenomenological presentation of leaching.

The technical knowledge gained in this project is also applied to committee work. As a result, ibac significantly contributed to the creation of the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik's policy paper "Bewertung der Auswirkungen von Bauprodukten auf Boden und Grundwasser."