"gugler! build & print triple zero" - subproject 6: Integration of the C2C production into the flagship project Gugler

Print and media production at the media and communications company gugler GmbH are currently being optimized according to Cradle to Cradle (C2C) criteria. The goal of this subproject is to allow the demands of a C2C production process optimized for exchange with biological cycles to be included into the general planning of the new production building of the company, a pilot project within the "building of tomorrow" program line.

Short Description

This project is a sub project of the flagship project "gugler! build & print triple zero"




Starting point / motivation

The company gugler GmbH has already begun to optimise its productionprocesses according to the Cradle to Cradle redesign concept developed by M. Braungart and W. McDonough. Through this process, print media will be designed in such a way, that the products can fully circulate in natural cycles, they will be able to become nutrients for biological regeneration cycles. Auxiliary production implements which cannot biodegrade will be kept in technical cycles.

Contents and goals

The new industrial building, which is currently being designed and which is subject of this innovation project, should facilitate these technical and biological cycles in the production process. It will provide the necessary building infrastructure to enable streamlined material exchanges between the factory space and the surrounding green areas (garden and orchards). The aim is not to approximate sustainable industrial processes by trying to be a little less polluting or using a little less toxic compounds, but to try to only use substances in the finished product which are in some way beneficial (nutrients) to biological decomposition and regeneration processes.

During the production process of print media up to 30% of production can end up as deficient rejection material. The part of this discarded production streams which was made according to cradle to cradle principles is intended to be used as feed-stock for an on site compost production facility. This organic soil amendment will in turn be used to improve the soil fertility and production capacity of the company‘s own orchards and vegetable gardens. These natural production areas will provide food for the organic company canteen and perhaps also biomass for a heat and power cogeneration unit or a biogas plant. The incorporation of solid residues from dry separation toilets as a compost feed-stock and the necessary building design will also be studied in this project.

Certain water based production chemicals currently use bio inhibitory preservants to maintain their usability over long periods. The possibility of mixing this solution in a purpose build laboratory and thus avoiding these ecotoxical preservatives will be studied.

Further, during the production process of print media, invariably certain VOCs and other undesirable aerosols are released into the air of the production area. Living plant based air filter systems to cleanse and condition the air of the production halls will be studied, as well as the construction provisions that are necessary to best accommodate these systems. Part of the substrate for these plant filter systems may be the self generated compost.

These cradle to cradle inspired synergistically industrial and natural biological processes should be optimally supported by the building characteristics and as such lead to an eco-effective building and manufacturing process. Special emphasis will be on the material streams and energy flows and their consequences on building design.

Methods of treatment

  • Compilation of the relevant material flows, specially the c2c production streams
  • Interdisciplinary workshops: where experts of different fields (chemists, biologists, manufacturing process, agro sciences etc) confer about the feasibility and risks of an intensive exchange between industrial production and the surrounding environment.
  • Stakeholder consultations
  • Theoretical model analysis
  • Biodiversity stock taking and ecological balance sheet

Expected results / conclusions

The infrastructure necessary for tightly interoperating technical and biological material cycles will be key factors in the design work for the building. The catalogue of requirements and specifications for the building to optimally house a cradle to cradle optimised production strategy will be a provided by this research sub-project.

Project Partners

Project management

  • alchemia-nova OG institute for innovative phytochemistry and closed loop processes

Project or cooperation partners

Contact Address

alchemia-nova OG institute for innovative phytochemistry and closed loop processes
Dipl. Ing. (FH) Heinz Gattringer
Baumgartenstrasse 93, A-1140 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 810 1000
Mobil: +43 (650) 810 1002
Fax: +43 (1) 810 1010
E-Mail: office@alchemia-nova.net