Back to top

Nachhaltigkeit und Recycling von Schalungen

Everyone has heard of the three “R”s of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recycle. There is even a fourth “R” for the construction industry: repair. The use of sustainable materials, increasing reusability and reducing material consumption and waste are now more important than ever.

According to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), part of the United Nations Environment Programme , the building and construction sector accounted for no less than 38% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2019. 10% of this results from the manufacture of building materials and products. This clarifies the role of these processes in causing the carbon.

Reducing material consumption in construction is a challenging task. For some processes, however, there are fairly simple solutions – for example, by reusing existing materials over a longer period of time or by extending their service life. Another way is to recycle products that have reached the end of their useful life. Formwork is one area where these ambitions can be realised.

The construction industry and carbon emissions

As one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, the construction industry must use every effort and opportunity to reduce its ecological footprint. According to the 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, the construction sector must reduce emissions by 6% each year through 2030 to meet global emissions targets.

An image of a man manufacturing aluminum formwork
State-of-the-art formwork production at MEVA


Reuse of the formwork

Traditionally, plywood has typically been chosen for the manufacture of concrete formwork because of its ease of construction and fabrication. In many cases, the material is still the best choice. However, as far as reuse is concerned, there are disadvantages. So the lifespan of plywood is quite limited. The material degrades over time when exposed to fresh concrete and moisture. This reduces the number of possible reuses. In addition, it is currently not possible to recycle plywood, since glue and sometimes other chemical components are used in its manufacture. They ensure that plywood is classified as hazardous waste at the end of the formwork life cycle and has to be disposed of in special facilities, which is often expensive.

Recycle blog management

Plastic and metal formwork, on the other hand, are durable and long-lasting. They can be repaired if necessary and recycled after use. These properties help reduce the consumption of natural resources and use less energy because fewer new formwork products need to be manufactured. Above all, the reusability over long periods of time pays off here. The steel or aluminum frames of the formwork from MEVA last for many years, as does the alkus all-plastic panel, which is easy to repair and can be used again and again – up to 1,500 formwork processes are not uncommon. This corresponds to about 30 times the number of plywood and up to six times the use compared to other plastic panels.

In order to reduce the amount of formwork thrown away, MEVA takes back used formwork panels and prepares them for reuse. All used MEVA formwork is strictly tested for its suitability for use and the quality of processing and can then be purchased again at a reasonable price and used for many years to come. The metal frames are professionally cleaned, repaired and recoated, the formlining is repaired or replaced depending on the damage. There is a two, five or seven year guarantee on used MEVA formwork, depending on requirements.

Formwork regeneration

A unique advantage of the MEVA formwork lies in the alkus all-plastic panels installed as standard. They can be repaired and the lifespan of the elements can be extended by many years. Many other plastic sheets can only be repaired to a limited extent. The alkus all-plastic panels are made of the same material, i.e. repaired with identical material, and fully retain their technical properties.

Frequent use on construction sites inevitably leads to damage to the top layer, such as scratches or holes caused by nails and screws. These damaged areas are first prepared for repair by manually removing dirt, concrete, formwork oil residue or other contaminants with a surface scraper. In the case of scratches, the new polypropylene is then melted with an extruder or hot air welder and applied to the damaged areas. The excess material is then removed again with a scraper.

Even holes with a diameter of up to 51 mm can be repaired. First, the hole is reamed with a step drill before a polypropylene repair plug is placed and hammered into the hole. Repair patches welded in by an extruder are used for holes with a diameter of 35 to 51 mm. Protruding material can also be easily removed here with a scratch. Since the plugs and patches are made of the same material as the alkus panels, future damage in the area of ​​the hole can be easily repaired and the formlining can continue to be used without restrictions.

Recycling the formwork

The closed profile frames of the MEVA formwork can be recycled at the end of their service life. The AluFix, AluStar and MonoFix systems are made entirely of aluminum and can be completely recycled. The same applies, of course, to the steel systems such as StarTec, StarTec XT, Mammut 350 and Mammut XT and, as already mentioned, to the standard alkus all-plastic panels, which often last as long as the frame itself.

Choosing sustainable options

Making sustainable choices is the only way the construction industry can meet its carbon emission reduction goals. Unfortunately, not every challenge has easy answers. However, one option that is easy to implement and also economical is to choose formwork systems that can be reused over a long period of time, repaired if damaged and completely recycled at the end of their service life. In this way, construction companies can help to reduce material consumption and CO2 emissions.

Suche schließen und zur Website zurückkehren