Ideally positioned in the gold town of Pforzheim: The General Assemblies of GKFP e.V. and EPPA Deutschland e.V.

The General Assemblies of the Gütegemeinschaft Kunststoff-Fensterprofilsysteme e.V. (GKFP) and EPPA Deutschland e.V. took place in Pforzheim on May 16. The public part of the event day offered space for networking, exchange and discussion, with high-caliber speakers making contributions on circular economy and monument protection.

The day began with the internal General Assembly of EPPA Deutschland e.V., which was opened by Gerald Feigenbutz (interim managing director) and Patrick Seitz (board member). The focus of EPPA Germany, as with EPPA Brussels, is on public relations and political work. The perception of EPPA Germany in federal politics is to be strengthened. Götz Schmiedeknecht, who will become President of EPPA ivzw in June, said that the companies must work together more intensively in this area in particular. In closing the general assembly of EPPA Deutschland, Gerald Feigenbutz said farewell, thanked everyone for their trusting cooperation and was given a long round of applause.

The public part of the event began with the lecture "Recurring Elements of Modern Facades. Foundations for the Conservation of High-Tech Modernism", which was given by Mareike Stöber and Rouven Grom, doctoral students at the Technical University of Munich, representing Prof. Dr. Pütz.
The aim of the EU-funded project study of the same name is to build up an archive of design variants of window and façade elements from the 1960s to 1990s. Examples of façade renovations were shown, such as the Commerzbank high-rise in Düsseldorf or the Dorlandhaus in Berlin, where components were reused after appropriate processing. Part of the aim of the project is to set up a database for manufacturer recognition and thus for product identification of windows made of plastic, steel and aluminum. The Gütegemeinschaft and the system providers organized in it will support the project by collecting information on (historical) profile identification and passing it on to the Technical University of Munich.

The second lecture "Circular construction industry - status and prospects for the building envelope" was given by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Flamme from Münster University of Applied Sciences. She provided insights into the circular value creation ("loop") of construction elements such as windows. The regulatory framework in which the project takes place is formed by the life cycle assessment and the German Circular Economy Act. The project looks at material quantities from dismantled windows that can be reused. Rewindo for plastic windows and A-U-F for aluminum windows are established systems that are already working on the recycling situation.              
Prof. Flamme confirmed from her experience that the construction industry is successfully taking on the challenge of recycling. It should be emphasized that circular value creation should not be about meeting quotas, but about setting up a sensible EPR system (extended producer responsibility), which represents a sensible and feasible system with added value.

Finally, Gerald Feigenbutz briefly presented the digital product passport (DPP), which - in relation to our industrial sector - is set to replace the declaration of performance as part of CE marking. The idea behind this is to read out product characteristics (e.g. via a QR code on products). It is planned to regulate the DPP via standards and regulations yet to be drawn up. In future, companies will be required to label windows accordingly and to store reliable and verified data. The current schedule for system development envisages that the regulations will be finalized in 2024. Companies will be involved in 2025 and entry into force is planned for 2027.

At the beginning of the general meeting of the Gütegemeinschaft Kunststoff-Fensterprofilsysteme e.V., the board of directors Dr. Michael Stöger introduced the managing director Dirk R. Schmidt, who has been in office since February 1, 2024. Further personnel changes are also on the agenda. The two Board members Dr. Stöger and Dr. Szerman, who have been active since 2013, have already announced that they will be stepping down in 2025. Dr. Stöger combined this announcement with the wish to significantly rejuvenate the Board and Quality Committee with the committee elections at next year's General Assembly.

In addition to the written annual report, GKFP technical experts Ulrike Quiehl and Bernhard Elias provided insights into selected working groups and topics. "Standardization is incredibly exciting." with this opening Ms Quiehl began her overview of the work of CEN and DIN, which is currently strongly influenced by the European Commission's mandate on plastics recycling. She also presented the status and results of the "Master data" and "Fire and smoke behavior" projects.

The findings on the "cleaning of white profiles" will be reflected in a cleaning guide, which will be produced in collaboration with the Gütegemeinschaft Reinigung von Metallfassaden (GRM). A separate working group will be dedicated to the so-called "seamless" welding processes - based on available test reports from SKZ and ift Rosenheim. The values of corner strengths are one of the criteria for creating sash size diagrams and this correlation will have to be verified taking into account the strengths of "seamless" welding processes and various reduction factors. An overview of the profile monitoring statistics, which confirms the good quality of the profile extrusions, rounded off Bernhard Elias' report.

The association would like to continue to expand its digitalization internally and externally, the latter particularly through the use of social media channels. Adaja Steinke gave a live presentation of the recently created Instagram and Facebook profiles. By using social media the reach of information about the "TechnologieForumZukunft" information series shall be increased.

"The GKFP is committed to continuously strengthening its expertise through neutrality and facts." With this vision, Dirk Schmidt moved on to the strategic direction and the resulting tasks. The members' meeting then confirmed three key areas by a majority: The alignment of RAL-GZ 716 with sustainability criteria, to represent the expertise for PVC-U windows and the expansion of expertise for circular processes and environmental product declarations.


The next General Assembly of both associations is expected to take place in May 2025.





The assembled attendees at the General Assembly of GKFP e.V. and EPPA Deutschland e.V. in Pforzheim © GKFP e.V./Sarah Heuser

The assembled attendees at the General Assembly of GKFP e.V. and EPPA Deutschland e.V. in Pforzheim © GKFP e.V./Sarah Heuser