The innovative construction method of the Korbach town hall

Urban mining and sustainable construction

The historic town centre of Korbach was redesigned as part of a comprehensive neighbourhood-based urban renewal, with the focus on the town hall dating back to 1377. This project, which stands out due to its innovative approach to sustainable construction, was selected as one of the top 4 finalists for the German Sustainability Award for Architecture 2023. It also received an award for exemplary buildings from the state of Hesse. The Korbach town hall is therefore not only an architectural masterpiece, but also a pioneering example of the efficient use of existing resources and the minimisation of environmental impact through the use of recycled and environmentally friendly building materials, including titanium zinc from RHEINZINK.

Resource-efficient construction as a guiding principle

The Korbach town hall sets new standards in the field of resource-efficient construction by applying the principles of urban mining and sustainable construction. Under the direction of the architects from agn, the demolition of the existing town hall from the 1970s was considered an opportunity to conserve resources and create a sustainable building. By systematically capturing and analysing the demolition materials, the architects were able to ensure that resources were used optimally and the highest possible recycling rate was achieved.

The concept of urban mining

The concept of urban mining uses the demolition of the old town hall extension as a source of raw materials for the new building. This innovative approach required careful planning and implementation in order to efficiently recycle the mineral building materials from the old building and integrate them into the new building. Choosing the appropriate recycling technologies and processes played a crucial role in ensuring high-quality reuse of the materials while minimising the environmental impact.

Results and challenges

The project achieved impressive results, as around 62% of the demolition material could be reused for the new building. Nevertheless, challenges emerged, particularly with respect to bonding, which impaired the quality of the recycled materials and restricted their use in the new buildings. However, these obstacles were overcome with innovative solutions, enabling the project to be successfully completed.

Selective dismantling and reuse

The old building was selectively dismantled and all materials were carefully removed and prepared for recycling by correctly sorting them. The recycled materials were processed in the project region and used for the new building, minimising transport routes and costs. This sustainable construction method not only enabled efficient use of existing resources, but also helped to reduce the environmental impact. In addition to the recycled materials, titanium zinc from RHEINZINK was used for the roof of the Korbach town hall. This material is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also durable and environmentally friendly.

RHEINZINK as a perfect complement

The material RHEINZINK prePATINA ECO ZINC in the graphite-grey surface quality was chosen for the roof. It was laid in the angled standing seam system. The pre-weathering process ensures a uniform appearance of the zinc patina ex works and allows the natural patina process of prePATINA ECO ZINC to take place afterwards. . It is worth noting that the natural surface properties are retained during the staining process and the surface can still be soldered. This guarantees an exceptionally long service life of the building material. In addition, RHEINZINK titanium zinc is produced in a climate-friendly way and is perfectly suited to the circular economy concept. It does not only ensure a harmonious appearance for the new historic town hall, but also embodies all the values that were pioneering in this sustainable project.

Architectural integration and urban impact

The architectural design of the new town hall considers the historical significance of the site and integrates harmoniously into the urban environment. The clear structure and the striking gables create a link between old and new that emphasises the character of Korbach’s historic centre. The recycled materials used for the façade design and the timeless beauty of RHEINZINK’s titanium zinc for the roof give the building a unique aesthetic and makes it an inspiring example of sustainable architecture. “Our design for Korbach’s new town centre is based on the scale for the town’s extension. Several gabled buildings complement the existing listed buildings, creating a new communicative centre with the town hall square and the glass-roofed citizens’ forum. They also enable high-quality networking of the town hall with the pathways in the town centre”, explains project manager Christian Thomann. (Source:

Concept for sustainable building

The Korbach town hall is a trailblazing example of sustainable construction. It demonstrates how innovative approaches and meticulous planning can conserve resources and minimise environmental impact. This pioneering urban mining project in Germany sets new standards for the future construction industry. It demonstrates that sustainable construction can be not only ecologically but also economically profitable. The targeted integration of sustainable principles into the architecture makes the Korbach town hall a model for future building projects, possibly inspiring those responsible for construction to implement similar concepts in their own projects.


Small CO2 footprint, 100% recyclable, extremely durable, practically maintenance-free -
making it the perfect future building material for sustainable construction.

Architect: agn Niederberghaus & Partner GmbH, Ibbenbüren, Germany

Photographers: IAF, Friedrichsaue 2, 34289 Zierenberg, parallel_dream (Adobe Stock), Falko Göthel (Adobe Stock)


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