PM: Industry congress shows approaches for sustainable change

Under the motto “Shaping Transformation”, the 68th BetonTage will take place from May 14 – 16, 2024 at the Congress Centrum Ulm. The leading congress of the concrete and precast concrete industry deals with the challenges and opportunities of the ecological and digital transformation of the construction industry. What contribution can the concrete industry make to this? What impetus can the industry provide and where is there still a need for action? The presentations from science and practice will cover a range of topics from lightweight construction and efficient production processes, including digitalization, to serial construction and the circular economy. The plenary lectures on the first two days of the congress will be simultaneously translated into English. As usual, the congress will be accompanied by an exhibition of the supplier, machine and software industry.

Inspiring keynotes

The first keynote speaker at the opening will be entrepreneur and author Jörg Heynkes from Wuppertal. In his lecture “Why we can only save the world digitally or not at all”, he describes the extent to which the industrial transformation processes will also bring about far-reaching social changes. He sees digitalization as an opportunity that offers us all the technological possibilities to organize the decisive breakthrough in climate and environmental protection. However, he also sees it as the duty of each individual to become a shaper of their own future.

Lightweight construction plays a key role in the transformation of industry towards climate neutrality. With its new lightweight construction strategy, the German government aims to drive forward the expansion of this technology and strengthen Germany’s innovative strength and competitiveness in the long term. Werner Loscheider, Head of Division “Construction Industry, Lightweight Construction/New Materials, Resource Efficiency”, Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), Berlin, presents the BMWK’s Lightweight Construction Technology Transfer Program. The concrete industry can also benefit from its diverse funding opportunities.

Carbon concrete in particular has great potential for climate-friendly construction, as it enables material savings andCO2 emissions. The topic will therefore be on the agenda again at the upcoming BetonTage. Together with Composites United e. V., Augsburg, a complete podium on all aspects of carbon concrete will be offered. It provides information on the latest research results and practical experience in the precast concrete industry. After a two-year break, there will once again be a forum dedicated to lightweight concrete and its innovative approaches.

Serial construction – challenges and opportunities

Demand for housing in Germany is steadily increasing, but the supply of housing is far below demand. Serial and modular construction can contribute to the rapid creation of affordable and high-quality living space. The German government has also recognized this and is increasingly promoting this construction method. This presents opportunities for the precast concrete industry in particular. The plenary session on the second day of the congress will therefore be dedicated to this topic.

Closing ranks with market partners

BetonTage has always seen itself as a training platform for market partners in the industry when it comes to building with concrete components. The Construction Industry Future Day will therefore take place again on May 16, 2024. The program is aimed at managers from construction companies, architecture and engineering firms. Prof. Dr. Peter Schwehr, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Head of Architecture Research, founder and head of the Competence Center Typology & Planning in Architecture (CCTP), will make a plea for a new way of building and a climate-friendly settlement area at the opening. He comments on the challenges of planning sustainable architecture in dealing with uncertainty and creating spaces for action in times of serious transformation.

In cooperation with the DBZ Deutsche Bauzeitschrift and the InformationsZentrum Beton, a special podium will be offered for architects. The focus is on project reports by the winners of the 2023 Concrete Architecture Prize. There is also a specific program for structural engineers.

Innovation potential of the supplier industry

The exhibition of the supplier, machine and software industry is an important part of the BetonTage. At the 68th BetonTage, numerous companies will once again be presenting their products, services and new developments. Some of these are presented in more detail in the “Forum Innovation”. Dyckerhoff GmbH and Pemat Mischtechnik GmbH are the main sponsors of the congress.

Together with the media partner BFT INTERNATIONAL Betonwerk + Fertig-teil-Technik, the Concrete Components Supplier Industry Innovation Award 2023 will be presented next year. Applications can still be submitted until February 10, 2024. The main selection criteria are the degree of innovation and originality of the proposal, its relevance for the precast concrete industry and its market and application potential. The winners will be announced on May 14, 2024 as part of the opening ceremony.

Successful change of baton

Prof. Dominik Kueres, Munich University of Applied Sciences, succeeded Prof. Hans-Joachim Walther as head of the technical program in the BetonTage team this year. He was responsible for compiling the technical presentations for the first time. It was supported by the relevant trade associations and organizations in the industry, which provided their input for the finished part-specific contributions and panels. The complete program will be available at at the beginning of 2024.

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