This year, ZKG Cement Lime Gypsum celebrates its 111th anniversary. We, as the Association of the Gypsum Industry, would like to offer our sincere congratulations. In the past, ZKG has repeatedly shown that it has its finger on the pulse of the issues. Especially when it comes to the topic of sustainability. Because sustainable solutions determine social development today. This also and especially applies to the built environment. Politicians are striving to limit the amount of so-called gray energy in buildings while at the same time reducing the use of primary raw materials. For example, through the use of recycled building materials. From the point of view of the gypsum industry, the ZKG is an important mouthpiece when it comes to reporting on the latest developments in the industry, for example.

With regard to the building industry, the focus is certainly on resource-efficient and climate-friendly construction methods. Politicians are calling for a “building turnaround” here without describing exactly what is actually meant. We assume that the climate debate and the increasing housing shortage in metropolitan areas and so-called “swarm cities” will significantly change construction practice in the future. Added to this, in particular, are the rising costs of building land and the already clearly noticeable shortage of skilled workers among specialist contractors. Demand for affordable housing will continue to rise. On the other hand, the construction industry in particular is called upon to make more intensive use of the existing stock of buildings and to enable adaptations of use (e.g. new living space from unneeded office space) without demolishing the building fabric. Intelligent, resource-efficient and climate-friendly construction methods will force a rethink here. The gypsum industry is doing all it can to promote a “building turnaround” along these lines. Particularly with regard to the possibilities of careful redensification through roof extensions. In new residential construction, much greater attention must be paid to using building methods that make it possible to adapt to future needs through flexible floor plans. A major key here is the light weight of recyclable lightweight construction methods (e.g., gypsum-based) that actively support vertical enlargements and existing building conversions. In conjunction with increasing computer-controlled and digitized prefabrication of elements or modules already in the factory, quality and dimensional accuracy are significantly improved at the same time and the increasing shortage of skilled workers on the construction site is countered. Construction times are reduced at the same time and the digitized data is made available to the interfaces of BIM planning.

Gypsum-based building products are the leading building material in modern finishing and lightweight construction, enabling proven material properties such as healthy indoor climate and high sound and fire protection. And gypsum is basically 100% recyclable!

As a medium for topics relating to gypsum, the ZKG today performs an important communication task. Building materials and raw materials such as gypsum, lime and cement perform an important task in meeting demand. As a society, we are called upon to make the need and the benefits even clearer. So ask the question more strongly: Why are mineral building materials needed. What is the benefit and why is a regional supply of building products so important. The ZKG can increasingly contribute its expertise in this area.