New home for Thinking Circular® and FZ-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG

Space for thinking and producing is scarce, which we experienced in our growth process. With every step we take, the need for space grows. So we decided to develop our own area. The choice for our head office has been made with an eye to the future and the possibility of development. Our small community of circular economy start-ups has deliberately chosen the location in the Niederzissen industrial area, because this is where we are at home. This is how FZ-Recycling started in Kottenheim, Thinking Circular® had its first seat in Sinzig. Until December 2019 our common rooms were in Kapellenstrasse 7 in Niederzissen in the old “Schiele Hall”. And since January we have gradually outgrown the construction site mode at our new headquarters in “Im Schülert 13”.

The operating site there offers 600 m2 of production space, 300 m2 of social and office space as well as approx. 2800 m2 of reserve space for further development. This now forms our company home. We subject our demands on circularity, sustainability and energy efficiency to a reality check. We want to be and remain credible, which means that the building structures must live up to this claim.

We were able to implement the following groundbreaking innovations in construction technology, which not only brought the developer, Leif Ziebeil, but also the architects and general contractor forward. So we can report the following about our construction site:

As the section of our heat demand record shows, we achieve the lowest values. Our goal was to become a plus energy production facility. We will achieve this goal and these are the measures that lead to it:

The installation of a 99.9 kWp photovoltaic system on the roof of the building was one of the quickest and easiest decisions, self-generated electricity makes you independent. In order to achieve an energy requirements of 50.5 kWh / (m2a) and thus 5 kWh / (m2a) below the standard for low-energy buildings, a lot of thought, research, questions and last but not least patience was necessary. A concept emerged from the use of geothermal energy in volcanic and rocky regions through insulation technology, a low-temperature heating system with concrete core activation, a pellet heating system in which own secondary raw materials can be used and the possibility of using excess electricity for heating. A power storage with 10 kWh completes the energy concept. As soon as the building is fully occupied with offices and production, a close-knit reporting system will monitor the functioning of this concept.

A lot of monitoring during the construction phase and thorough planning were necessary to be able to build a building that can ultimately be dismantled into its components. We want to do justice to the claim of circularity. The principle is not entirely new, for example the ISO14025 for Environmental Product Declaration already exists. In the reality check, however, a circular claim is rather new territory and quickly becomes a utopia also from an economic perspective. In cooperation with a startup like FZ-Recycling, which has set itself the task of separating composites, this not only leads to compromises but to solutions. Interior work in the office wing, for example, is not only carried out using a conventional dry construction method, but also with components in a wooden honeycomb construction. The floor in office and social rooms consists of upright lamella parquet, a waste product from the production of mosaic parquet from solid wood, which not only has an attractive appearance but is also resistant and sustainable. The documentation of the materials used and their composition is of crucial importance.

When everything is ready and completely moved in in June 2020, we will evaluate our experience together with FZ-Recycling and incorporate it into the planning for the next construction phases – an office complex and another production and development hall. A sustainable future is our vision, circular economy is our mission.

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