Skanska and Cyrkl join forces to endeavour to recover 96% of materials from the Merkuria building in Prague

Merkuria building, Prague, 2019
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Skanska is a leading construction and development company that has made sustainability a crucial part of its operations. With the assistance of Cyrkl, they have taken on the challenge of deconstructing the Merkuria building in the heart of Prague - revolutionising the industry, saving materials, minimising waste, achieving the highest possible recycling rates and helping charities in the process.

It all started with a pre-demolition audit to identify any materials that could be recovered, such as concrete, steel and glass, products ready for further use, such as windows, doors or furniture, and hazardous materials that needed to be safely removed and disposed of.

As selective demolition projects on this scale and in these conditions are very unusual in the Czech Republic, the available infrastructure is inadequate and market demand for recovered materials is low. 

There is great potential for recycling materials such as mineral wool, gypsum plasterboard, metal structures and metals in general (currently, the only waste stream to be 100% recovered during demolition), wooden structures, cables, plastic pipes and PVC.

There are mechanisms for re-using materials such as doors and furniture. Moreover, there is an opportunity for the industry itself to shift its focus and prioritise circular practices. Including various parts of the supply chain can only increase demand for recovered materials and products made out of them.

More information on this project and other case studies by Cyrkl.

Photo credit: Juandev, Creative Commons

Main results

The project is ongoing, and Cyrkl is working with Skanska on looking for the right business partners and use for the materials.

  • Based on the audit, 96% of the material weights recovered could be recycled.
  • Some of the solutions:

    • doors, door frames, metal door closers: dismantled and donated to the hospital and for the construction of social housing or sold to individuals
    • furniture: donated to the hospital and for social housing (municipality)
    • mineral wool panels, PVC, PE, PP pipes, flat glass from building structure, electrical cables, metals from inside and outside the building, wood: dismantled and cleaned to be recycled
    • concrete blocks and steel structures: cleaned to be further used as building materials
    • electrical waste: treated to be recycled.