Federal Center for Building Research to be established in Bautzen

The federal government is investing almost 69 million euros in a new center for building research by 2028. It will be headquartered in Bautzen, creating thousands of new jobs in the region.

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Man sieht das geplante Bauforschungszentrum in Bautzen
This is what the plans for the "Lausitz Art of Building" (LAB) construction research center in the district of Bautzen look like so far. Visualization: CGI HENN

From David Berndt

Bautzen. The Federal Building Research Center "Living Art of Building" (LAB) is coming to the city with its headquarters Bautzen. This was confirmed by the Bautzen District Office on the morning of November 17, 2023. German Bundestag decided the night before to provide a total of 3.6 million euros in 2024 for the establishment of the LAB for climate-neutral and resource-efficient construction. Further funds of up to 65 million euros are planned until 2028.

The districts of Bautzen and Görlitz have pledged to make up to 450 million euros of their structural change funds available for investment in the development with the help of the cities and municipalities. According to current considerations, further LAB locations are to be established in Weimar and Aachen, as the Saxon members of the Bundestag Torsten Herbst (FDP), Dr. Paula Piechotta (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) and Kathrin Michel (SPD) explained in their communication on the budget resolution on the morning of November 17.

The concept for a Federal Center for Building Research is to be set up over a ten-year development phase. Up to 1,250 people are to conduct research at the research center in laboratory facilities that are unique in the world. In close cooperation with the construction industry, around 30,000 to 40,000 jobs are to be created for new construction. This would make the LAB the largest research center in the world.

TU Professor Curbach: Climate-neutral construction by 2045

Bautzen's district administrator Udo Witschas (CDU) was delighted with the federal government's decision. They had fought hard for this idea and this topic of the future. "From Bautzen, we can be pioneers and at the same time contribute to the success of structural change," said Witschas. He thanked all supporters, including the three members of the Bundestag who had campaigned for the project.

In a video message on his Facebook page, Udo Witschas expresses his special thanks to Professor Manfred Curbach from the LAB. Curbach is delighted, he says when asked by Sä "Because of the ever-increasing climate change and the ever-increasing impact on people, building must be climate-neutral by 2045," he emphasizes.

Man sieht Prof. Manfred Curbach in seinem Büro
Prof. Manfred Curbach is the brainchild behind the LAB, an expert in carbon concrete and Director of the Institute for Solid Construction at the Technical University of Dresden.
Stefan Gröschel, IMB, TU Dresden

The research for this is to be driven forward in the new construction research center and put into practice as quickly as possible. The launch of the LAB is a great team success and he is proud of the passionate commitment of his colleagues, says Manfred Curbach.

City of Bautzen wants to press ahead with planning for LAB site

Bautzen's mayor Karsten Vogt (CDU) is also very pleased with the LAB decision. "After months of campaigning for this enormously important project for us, we are particularly pleased that the federal government has now given the green light." Bautzen and Lusatia offer the best conditions for this future-oriented project. Vogt thanked everyone involved. They had "carried out important lobbying work for our region. We as the city of Bautzen will now intensively drive forward all planning processes."

Marko Schiemann (CDU), member of the Bautzen state parliament, welcomes the decision of the budget committee. He sees an opportunity for regional companies to provide sound technical support for the topic of "building the future". "Especially for Upper Lusatia, for structural change and for sustainable jobs, the settlement is a highly encouraging signal."

Caren Lay (Die Linke), a member of the Bundestag from the district of Bautzen, takes a similar view. "This is a very good decision. Together with the Lautech GmbH Center for Building and Living in Hoyerswerda, the district of Bautzen will become an important center for sustainable construction in the future."

Through intensive basic research, the LAB aims to find solutions and ideas for the development of new materials, technologies, processes and further digitization on a large scale. According to the Bautzen District Office, the construction industry currently accounts for over 25 percent of global CO2 emissions, as well as 40 percent of global energy consumption. Construction waste accounts for almost 60 percent of the annual volume of waste in Germany.

Further LAB information on November 20, 2023 at PK in Bautzen

Kathrin Michel is convinced that many scientific locations and construction companies throughout Germany will benefit from the LAB. "Building research can thus be raised to a whole new level and make an important contribution to achieving our climate targets."

As there is currently no research facility for sustainable construction in Germany, the LAB fills this gap, says Paula Piechotta. "Topics ranging from heat-resistant construction and carbon concrete to more digital and resource-efficient construction are waiting to be addressed."

Torsten Herbst considers the decision to establish the LAB with its headquarters in Saxony to be a huge success. "This will not only benefit the district of Bautzen, but the entire Saxon construction industry." The Member of Parliament would like to thank Professor Manfred Curbach and his team at Dresden University of Technology for their professional concept development and Bautzen District Administrator Udo Witschas for their support. Together, Torsten Herbst, Manfred Curbach and Udo Witschas will inform the press about further details on the construction of the LAB, such as the possible location, on November 20, 2023 at the Bautzen district administration office.

LAB lost to the Center for Astrophysics in 2022

Under the name "Lausitz Art of Building", the construction research center took part in the competition for a large-scale research center in the course of structural change in Lusatia. As part of the concept, the LAB wanted to locate in Görlitz and Bautzen. In September 2022, however, the decision on the large-scale research center was made in favor of the German Center for Astrophysics.

Despite the defeat, the Bautzen district office and the city of Bautzen continued to campaign for the LAB and its establishment on site. In the summer of 2023, Bautzen Mayor Karsten Vogt (CDU) proposed the Perfecta brownfield site in the city center as a possible LAB location.

The original text was significantly expanded on November 17, 2023 at 2:07 p.m. and supplemented with statements from Bautzen's District Administrator Udo Witschas (CDU), Bautzen's Mayor Karsten Vogt (CDU), Professor Manfred Curbach and other information on the topic.

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