Urban miner keeps used lights in circulation
A German ‘urban miner’ is assisting developers and building owners in keeping light fittings and other construction materials in use during upgrades and refurbishments.
Concular, based in Berlin, provides a comprehensive circularity service which includes recording and cataloguing all material in a building, including luminaires, and managing their reuse including dismantling and testing.
The successful business model is being seen as a possible template for similar ventures in other European countries.
The company has carried out over 350 projects to date:
• At the Behrens/Väth building, a 18,000 square metre office in Düsseldorf, Concular arranged the removal and recertification of 800 Zumtobel luminaires as well as the repurposing of partitions.
• During a refurbishment of the 10-year-old B&B Hotel in Lübeck in northern Germany, the company arranged the removal and sale of the building’s bedside lights, wall sconces and beds.
• At a building in Zillestrasse in Berlin, the company arranged the reuse of the interior and exterior lights.
• At a retailer’s showroom, also in Berlin, it arranged the sale of the lights and cable trays on its own eBay-style exchange website.
• At Augsburg University, it was able to give 80 per cent of the components in a demolished building a second life.
Concular started in 2012 when it launched ‘restado’, Europe’s largest marketplace for recycled building materials. Since 2020, it has been focusing on the development of circular material flows for buildings.
The 60-strong team includes consultants, architects, software developers and engineers.
The company’s website currently lists the contents of 14 projects, from a Munich school to a university in Dortmund.
Listed for purchase and collection are freestanding LTS lights for €79, opal glass wall lights for €15 and Bega wall lights for €50.
Concular’s success is partly driven by legislation. The state of Berlin now requires the examination of the reuse potential of all public buildings with its new administrative regulations. The EU Commission is also exerting pressure by recommending that builders reuse up to 90 per cent of the materials used in demolition and obliging project developers to obtain 30 per cent of the materials used in new construction from reclaimed sources.
Recently Concular has teamed up with other stakeholders in the construction industry to develop a standard for the circular economy in the construction.
The DIN SPEC 91484 will define the procedures for recording construction products for Pre-Demolition Audits (PDA) as well as the methodology of ensuring their subsequent removal and reuse.
• Diary date: Circular Lighting Live 2024, Recolight’s flagship conference and exhibition, takes place on Wednesday 9 October 2024 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Free to specifiers, Circular Lighting Live 2024 will feature leading experts, specifiers and policy makers who will share their insights into forthcoming standards and legislation, emerging technologies and new business models. More info: www.circularlighting.live