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Design Thinking Workshop at the Impact Hub Stuttgart

At the invitation of Umwelttechnik BW GmbH, our head of public relations, Lewin Fricke, took part in a design thinking workshop on the topic of R-building materials (resource-conserving building materials) on March 15 and 16, 2022.

Circularity must be thought ahead

During the 1.5-day workshop, Lewin Fricke was joined at the Impact Hub Stuttgart by other representatives of well-known building materials manufacturers and construction companies to discuss the possibilities of circular construction. The event was moderated by Jonas Umgelter (Umwelttechnik BW) and Christoph Soukup (Steinbeis Consulting Center Circular Economy), who digitally added other stakeholders from the world of sustainable construction.

Dr. Anna Braune from the DGNB explained that circularity must also be thought of with a view to the conversion of buildings.

Representatives of municipalities, the LUBW and the Ministry of the Environment of Baden-Wuerttemberg provided insights into the political components of circular construction.

Steffanie Kerlein from the Internationale Bauausstellung Stuttgart pointed out that the IBA’27 is the »platform for experimental construction« in the Stuttgart urban region.

Achieving circularity with the building process in mind

Together, the participants worked out a »mural board« on site, with the support of the digital guests, on which they depicted the entire process of a construction project. In the spirit of the design thinking approach, »personas« were created that could theoretically contribute to the failure or success of circular economy in this process. Based on the question of what »pain points« these personas would have and how these could be remedied, solution concepts were derived to make circular building materials successful in real projects.

»Especially the interplay between the actors and the exchange with the digitally connected experts had a positive impact on this workshop. It is important that the construction industry implements circularity in all its areas. I’m happy to say that this is exactly what we have been working on for the last two days. We discussed and developed necessary steps and solutions and now we have to work on actually implementing them.«

Where do we go from here?

The developed solution concepts will be summarized by workshop organizer Jonas Umgelter and will be discussed again in a digital get-together. All participants showed great interest in further cooperation in the sense of the circular economy and who knows… maybe something will even be built in the end.