Potentials for cascading of recovered wood from building deconstruction - A case study for south-east Germany

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Increasing scarceness of primary raw materials leads to a heightened focus on secondary resources. Deposits from urban infrastructure, mainly the building stock, are a potential major source of secondary resources. However, reliable information concerning available volumes and qualities is lacking. We analyzed incorporated amounts of wood in the building stock of south-east Germany, and calculated resulting streams of recovered wood in order to quantify potentially available volumes for an environmentally beneficial cascading utilization of these secondary resources. By applying a new method using data from sample buildings in regard to the quantity and quality of incorporated wood and statistical data concerning the building stock, the stock of wood based materials in buildings and the recovered wood resulting from demolishing for the year 2011 were calculated. We found that considerable amounts of recovered wood in suitable condition for a resource-efficient use in cascades can be expected to originate from the building stock: 26% of the recovered wood is suitable for re-use and 27% could be channeled into other high-value secondary applications. These first initialized concepts of a cascading utilization of recovered wood should be further refined and extended to utilize the existing potential to its optimum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - 2013


  • Building stock
  • Cascading
  • Demolition waste
  • Secondary resources
  • Urban deposit
  • Waste wood


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