Author Archives: Helene Pattermann

Agromine: Let’s grow our metals!

Audio Technical Manual Life Agromine

An introduction to agromining in Greek with Maria Konstantinou (International Hellenic University) and the science communicator Evgenia Tsianou (alchemia-nova).

Trailer Agromining in Greek:


Introduction to Agromining in Greek:


Audio Technical Manual in Agromining (English):

  1. What is agromining?

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine and Johannes Kisser, alchemia-nova

  1. What did you research in Life Agromine?

    Answer by  Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine

  2. Why is agromining a modern research topic? What is the background?

    Answer by  Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine, Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU and Marie-Odile Simonnot,University of Lorraine

  3. Why is nickel important?

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine

  4. What is a super plant, a hyperaccumulator?

    Answer by  Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine

  5. How many plants can accumulate nickel?

    Answer by Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU

  6. How does the hyperaccumulator absorb the nickel? What is the mechanism?

    Answer by Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU

  7. What are the new results regarding the super plants  in Life Agromine?

    Answer by Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU

  8. The hot spot of agromining in Albania & Balkans.

    Answer by Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU and Aida Bani, University of Tirana

  9. How does the co-cropping function in agromining? What are the results from the Life Agromine experiments?

    Answer by Ramez Saad, econick

  10. Nickel salts are extracted with hydrometallurgy, what is this process?

    Answer by Claire Hazotte, econic

  11. How to assess technically and economically the agromining?

    Answer by Tom Kuppens, Hasselt University

  12. Cost & Prices: agroming vs current extraction methods?

    Answer by Tom Kuppens, Hasselt University

  13. Can agrominining replace the current extraction methods in quarries?

    Answer by Claire Hazotte, econick

  14. What are the benefits and drawbacks of agromining?

    Answer by Tom Kuppens, Hasselt University

  15. Agromining: what metals can we extract apart from nickel?

    Answer by Markus Puschenreiter

  16. What is a circular economy?

    Answer by Johannes Kisser, alchemia-nova

  17. Why is Agromining a circular economy project?

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine and Johannes Kisser, alchemia-nova

  18. How to use the nickel and other byproducts from agromining?

    Answer by Marie-Odile Simonnot, University of Lorraine

  19. What are the byproducts of agromining?

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine

  20. Circular economy with plants, what are the Challenges and Opportunities

    Answer by Johannes Kisser, alchemia-nova

  21. How to apply sludge treatment in industry with agromining?

    Answer by Claire Hazotte, econick and Gaylord Machinet, microhumus

  22. What are the key lessons learned from agromining?

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine

  23. Concerns in agromining

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine

  24. What can we achieve with agromining in the future?

    Answer by Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine and  Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU

  25. Exciting times during the experiments in Life Agromine?

    Answer by Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU

Meet the Life Agromine team

Guillaume Echevarria, University of Lorraine, Project Coordinator Life Agromine

Markus Puschenreiter, BOKU

Aida Bani, University of Tirana

Marie-Odile Simonnot,University of Lorraine

Tom Kuppens, Hasselt University

Johannes Kisser, alchemia-nova

Claire Hazotte, econick

Ramez Saad, econick

Gaylord Machinet, microhumus

#EUCircularTalks Governance and system change

We are co-organising this #EUCircularTalks on Governance and system change and will share insights of AUSTRIAN BIOCYCLES and DIRECT HUBS.

#EUCircularTalks Governance and systems


Program: 10:00-10:05 Welcome and introductory survey
10:05-10:20 Introductory speech 1
Andreas Thurner, President of the Thematic Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems
10:20-10:35 Introductory speech 2
Franc Bogovič, Member of European Parliament
10:35-11:20 Kick-off presentations
10:35-10:50 Case study 1 – Milan Food Policy
10:50-11:05 Case study 2 – Austrian Biocycles & DIRECT HUBS
11:05-11:20 Case study 3 – Catalan Law on food waste
11:20-11:55 Visual collaboration
11:55-12:00 Conclusions at first glance

Please register for free for this online event at:


HYDROUSA selected by EU Climate Adaptation Strategy

We are very proud to announce that our project HYDROUSA has been amongst the 11 selected by the European Commission amongst all active Horizon 2020 projects contributing to the new EU Climate Adaptation Strategy in the category Floods and Droughts.

The new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change “Forging a climate- resilient Europe” has the objective to progress toward the 2050 resilience vision by making adaptation action smarter, more systemic, and faster. It is a cornerstone of the European Green Deal and complements the proposed Climate Law and the Climate Pact, but also other initiatives such as the Biodiversity Strategy, the Renovation Wave, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the upcoming Forest Strategy and the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy.

HYDROUSA_Climate_Adaptation– PDF Download

Find out more about HYDROUSA on the project website, here or watch this short introduction video.

Fundamentals of Building Deconstruction as a Circular Economy Strategy for the Reuse of Construction Materials

As part of the project “Urban Pop-Up Housing Environments and Their Potential as Local Innovation Systems”.a paper to the Journal “Applied Science” got published in the special issue “Sustainable and Durable Building Materials”.

In this paper Gaetano Bertino (alchemia-nova), Johannes Kisser (alchemia-nova), Julia Zeilinger (BOKU), Tatjana Fischer (BOKU), Guenter Langergraber (BOKU) and Doris Österreicher (BOKU) analyzed building deconstructability, intended as the selective dismantlement of building components, in prevision of a future reuse, repurposing, or recycling, in alternative to common demolition.

The purpose of this research work is to analyze the deconstruction potential of buildings and the strategies to apply in order to keep the impacts on the urban environment low. The article aims to facilitate the implementation of circular economy strategies for buildings by proposing common principles for deconstruction as a sustainable alternative to demolition and defining the key points to be applied during the design and planning process regardless of the type of construction system or material used.

Follow this link to read the publication.

Follow this link to download the pdf.

Keywords: building deconstruction; building deconstructability; design for deconstruction; end-of-life material recovery; material reuse; sustainable construction; building circularity; building lifecycle

This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

MDPI and ACS Style

Citation: Bertino, G.; Kisser, J.; Zeilinger, J.; Langergraber, G.; Fischer, T.; Österreicher, D. Fundamentals of Building Deconstruction as a Circular Economy Strategy for the Reuse of Construction Materials. Applied Sciences 2021, 11, 939, doi:10.3390/app11030939

Introduction to HYDROUSA Webinar

Introduction to HYDROUSA Webinar

3 webinars are focusing on the circular solutions of HYDROUSA project in three Mediterranean regions.

HYDROUSA 2021 webinar series introduces you to the mission towards a viable scenario of a circular economy. Challenges of water supply, wastewater and biodiversity loss – by extracting water from unconventional sources utilising state-of-the-art and nature based technological innovations will be addressed.

The online sessions include an induction to the project of HYDROUSA, its theoretical approach, methodologies & actions, combined with interactive slots with questions on the distinct on-site applications, & collective mapping of the webinar’s outcomes & future steps.

WEBINAR A: revolves around HYDROUSA applications of the island of Mykonos

Topics: #Residential Rainwater harvesting #Subsurface Rainwater harvesting

Date & Time: 4/3/2021, 17:00 -18:30

WEBINAR B: revolves around HYDROUSA applications of the island of Tinos

Topic: #Desalination system #Greenhouse #Ecotourist water-loops

Date & Time: 1/4/2021, 17:00 -18:30

WEBINAR C: revolves around the applications of the island of Lesvos

Topic: #Wastewater Τreatment system #Agroforestry system

Date & Time: 6/5/2021, 17:00 -18:30

Representatives from the National Technical University, alchemia-nova, Water Utility of Lesvos Municipalities of Tinos, Mykonos and Western Lesvos, PLANET, Delaros, Tinos Ecolodge will guide us through the project’s vision, actions and the technology innovations on each destination. We will talk on challenges currently faced, work progress of the pilot applications and the solutions towards a more circular future.

Join us for free!

Registration via Eventbrite.

How to live in a HOUSEFUL Building?

Theresa Heitzlhofer is responsible for the interlinking between people and technology at alchemia-nova and, as part of the stand-up innovation #tomorrow living event, thought about how we will live tomorrow and not which technologies we will use, but how will it work out for us humans then feel what will change.


The main topic at alchemia-nova is circular economy with NBS. In the EU HOUSEFUL project, we are working on combining eleven circular solutions, such as gray water treatment with vertical green walls and biogas, with the aim of making existing buildings as circular as possible.

Some of these solutions are being implemented in existing buildings in Spain and Austria. In Austria, the first changes are currently being implemented in the 14th district and in the Cambium community in Fehring, Styria. In Vienna the wastewater flow from the building is separated into liquid and solid components. Solid components (kitchen waste, faeces, toilet paper, …) are converted into biogas in a household-sized biogas plant, which can be used as cooking gas. After a special composting process, the residue is transformed into fertilizer for food production on site. All liquid components are processed indoors and on the building facades via vertical herbal sewage treatment systems, the organic nutrients are stored in the plant biomass and, after composting, also converted into fertilizer. The purified water is used for watering the garden or for flushing the toilet.

HOUSEFUL needs many people

In the course of the first planning we noticed that most of the existing technical solutions are better applicable for larger households or for apartment buildings. This circumstance brings with it social aspects. It makes no sense to want to be completely self-sufficient, but rather buildings have to be thought of in clusters, in associations, in order to keep organic recyclables as long and ecologically sensible as possible. A practical experience from our Labscale in our office in Baumgarten: our employees are now bringing the organic waste from home with them in order to bring the biogas system to full capacity. In the demonstration building for HOUSEFUL in Styria, we don’t have the problem, as a lot of people already live together in a former barracks.

“It takes an emotional bond for participation”

When I started my diploma thesis on “Participation in the Context of Sustainable Development” in 2005, it was clear that participation only works if there is an emotional bond between people and the place. This emotional connection is absent in most residential contexts. In single-family houses, in apartments rented out for a limited period of time with little contact with neighbors. But such a bond is currently not necessary, and often not even desired. In Austria and other places around the world there are examples of cooperative housing projects in which living neighborhood is an important aspect – in these buildings such an emotional bond is very possible and, to my knowledge, also takes place.

How do we get this WE feeling in other multi-party existing buildings? Is circular living only for alternative housing projects?

(c) Cambium: Leben in Gemeinschaft

If my wastewater is treated many kilometers further and no one can trace my wastewater back to me, then I can dispose of pretty much everything in the toilet. If my rubbish is handled centrally, I can pretty much throw everything away here too.

Assuming that a local sewage treatment plant is built in an existing multi-party building, or even a joint biogas plant. Even if there is someone on site responsible for maintenance.


The local treatment of wastewater and the recovery of nutrients as well as the use of these for local production will occupy the residents. Certainly not everyone will participate, not everyone will be interested in the effectiveness of the systems, and not everyone will intervene in the event of a fault. But even if some of the residents are interested, we win:

  • more social interactions,
  • more interest and knowledge about NBS (Nature Based Solutions)
  • more awareness of the effects of our way of life

With this resource-based approach, we enrich the social interactions and the participation behavior of residents with an application-oriented aspect. This can help to question and realign current and future ways of life – and that is exactly what we need for sustainable development.

In order to achieve ecological, social and economic sustainability, we have to share MUCH MUCH more than we do today. It doesn’t have to go as far as the Viennese word “Haberer” describes – people who shared a bed at the turn of the last century – but much further than what happens today. Big sharing has not yet made it into the mainstream. With the resource-based approach that we are pursuing in the HOUSEFUL project and the new digital possibilities, we can do this much more easily.

The (combination of) new technologies requires new ways of life, new ways of living together, new mindsets – which are open to NBS. The IBA shows lots of projects that can promote the development of new mindsets.

Desired requirements for new buildings

In addition to the mindset, I also have a very specific, technical, easily solvable wish for future buildings: separate wastewater management in the new building in order to be able to respond better to various resource flows, to bring back what is possible, to keep it decentralized in a circle for as long as possible – about our primary storage facilities and to relieve the waste disposal sites – to get to know our neighbors – to save our wallets.

Incidentally, this can all be done with a mask.

Would you like to live in a HOUSEFUL Buidling? Whatever your answer, you should come to our laboratory-scale demonstrations in Baumgarten, 14th district or Cambium (Styria) to see the implementation of a HOUSEFUL house. Contact us for a visit by email




HOUSEFUL at the Interim Presentation of the International Building Exhibition Vienna 2022

Our HOUSEFUL project is represented at the exhibition “How will we live tomorrow?” with its own room in which the VertEco is set up. The exhibition is part of the interim presentation of IBA-Wien 2022. It offers an overview of the selected projects and processes for the implementation of innovative new developments on the subject of social living.

In addition to the actual exhibition, numerous events, presentations, guided tours and visits will take place on site from September 8 to October 22, 2020, such as the stand up innovation #tomorrowliving event on September 16, 2020.

You can find out more about the exhibition and all events on the IBA Vienna website.

You can find out more about HOUSEFUL here and our role in HOUSEFUL is described here.

stand-up innovation #tomorrowliving

How will we live tomorrow? This is the topic of the interim presentation of the International Building Exhibition Vienna 2022. With experts from Viennese spatial planning, green facades planning and circular economy, we will discuss how the future of houses, living and cities can and shall look like.

The record of the event can be watched on youtube: stand-up innovation #5 Tomorrow Living

Join us for an interesting evening and be sure the covid measures will be implemented for a safe evening.

Date: 16.09.2020 17:30-20:30

Location: WEST, former Sophienspital, Stollgasse 17, 1070 Wien

Due to covid19 we want to make you aware that the registration is obligatory and that on the tour please follow these points:

  • Cover your mouth and nose (we provide you with masks)
  • Keep distance to other people
  • Wash/Desinfect your hands
  • don’t attend if you are feeling unwell



+ 16:30-17:30: Free Guided Tour through the IBA Exhibition

+ 17:30-18:00: Green Welcome Cocktail with Wiener Dirndl

+ stand up and speak! 2 minute impulse talk from audience on the topic #tomorrowliving

+ Food trucks in the outdoor area of the Sophienspital


alchemia-nova at “Wiener Forschungsfest 2020”

alchemia-nova beim Wiener Forschungsfest

alchemia-nova beim Wiener Forschungsfest


Join us from March 20-22nd, 2020 at the Vienna City Hall for the “Wiener Forschungsfest 2020”, an event by the “Wirtschaftsagentur Wien”. Together with many other companies and research institutes we invite you to visit our stand and see, touch and smell what we are working on. Apart from our stand you can find more then 50 hands on stands. For the first time this year there will be an extra section for toddlers.

alchemia-nova contact person: Theresa Heitzlhofer

Location/Date: Vienna City Hall, 20.-22. March, 2020. Free entry.


A review of nature-based solutions for resource recovery in cities

Johannes Kisser and Maria Wirth published on February 3rd, 2020 in Blue-Green Systems by IWA publishing “A review of nature-based solutions for resource recovery in cities” together with partners of the COST Action CA17133 focussing on implementing nature-based solutions for creating a resourceful circular city.

Opportunity: Our modern cities are resource sinks designed on the current linear economic model which recovers very little of the original input. As the current model is not sustainable, a viable solution is to recover and reuse parts of the input. In this context, resource recovery using nature-based solutions (NBS) is gaining popularity worldwide.

Focus:  In this specific review, we focus on NBS as technologies that bring nature into cities and those that are derived from nature, using (micro)organisms as principal agents, provided they enable resource recovery. We reviewed many different projects and cases which recover resources within the urban metabolisation.”

Please follow this link to go to the publication or download the PDF here: A review of nature-based solutions for resource recovery in cities.

Framework Conditions and Strategies for Pop-Up Environments in Urban Planning

alchemia-nova proudly presents the publication of our team-mate Gaetano Bertino in the special issue Urban Planning and Social Well-being of the Sustainability Journal.

The purpose of this research work is to outline the general requirements of pop-up environments in urban developments that allow for adequate integration into urban planning strategies. Based on an extensive evaluation of the existing literature and a series of case studies, the paper analyzes the key elements that define the framework conditions of urban planning strategies for temporary developments that generate a positive impact on the overall urban system.

This publication is part of the project “Urban Pop-Up Housing Environments and Their Potential as Local Innovation Systems”.

This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords: pop-up environmenttemporary architecturepop-up housingtemporary usetemporary strategies for urban planningsustainable planningurban planning.

Follow this link to read the publication.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Bertino, G.; Fischer, T.; Puhr, G.; Langergraber, G.; Österreicher, D. Framework Conditions and Strategies for Pop-Up Environments in Urban Planning. Sustainability 201911, 7204.


Urban Pop up Housing

stand-up innovation #circulartourism

Date: 18.02.2020 18-21:00

Location: Impact Hub Vienna, Lindengasse 56/18-19, 1070 Wien

Registration: closed.



+Welcome Aperol Spritz

+stand up audience talk: 2 minute input from audience on #circulartourism


Sustainable and innovative business models from the circular economy

At the event, our colleague Theresa Heitzlhofer address in the keynote the topic of the circular economy with a focus on what does the circular economy mean for companies? How can self-employment solve the challenges with smart and sustainable business models?

The concept of the circular economy stands for the reduction of pollutants and earnings opportunities through sustainable and completely new or resurgent business models.

Register for the event until 10.12.2019 for free:

Venue: Impact Hub Vienna, Lindengasse 56 / 18-19, 1070 Vienna


08:30 – 09:30: entrance and breakfast
09:30 – 09:40: Opening and welcome by
Gabriele Tatzberger, Head of Department Startup Services, Vienna Business Agency
09:40 – 10:00: Keynote on the circular economy by
Theresa Heitzlhofer, alchemia-nova
10:00 – 10:30: Panel discussion with
Cornelia Diesreiter, Unwanted
Theresa Heitzlhofer, alchemia-nova
Nadine Schratzberger, NASCHSPORTSWEAR *
Peter Windischhofer, refurbed
11:30 am: end

Talk Circular Economy in business at “Circular Economy Walk”

Johannes Kisser will speak on Friday, 13.12.2019 on the excursion “Circular Economy Walk” of the event series “Resource Efficiency” about “Circular economy in companies – from resource conservation in operation to new business model”.

This workshop, organized by DIE UMWELTBERATUNG, is offered on behalf of OekoBusinessWien in cooperation with the Vienna Economic Chamber. Further information about the series of events can be found here.

Date: Friday, December 13, 2019, 9:00 -13: 00

Meeting point: Dismantling and Recycling Center (DRZ), Vogtgasse 29, 1140 Vienna,

Registration: (please specify your contact details including company name and telephone number)

Deadline: Friday, December 6, 2019

Participation is free for Viennese companies.

Join the HOUSEFUL community- take part in the Co-Creation Workshop

Einladung Co Creation HOUSEFUL WorkshopUnity creates strength, especially when the contribution of all is needed. Take for example the housing sector and its currently inefficient use of available resources.

In our HOUSEFUL project, we are implementing circular solutions for buildings. A lot of innovative ideas and solutions are already available for the building sector. But social acceptance and people standing behind those ideas and pushing them for implementation are key for a circular transformation of the housing sector. Therefore we invite architects and construction companies, policymakers and citizens to participate in a series of co-creation workshops organized by HOUSEFUL to help develop more effective and replicable services aimed at increasing the circularity level of buildings.

Date: tbd: Autumn 2021 

Interested? Please write to

stand-up innovation #3: Circular Cities

This third event of the stand-up innovation event series focussed on cities as incubators for circular solutions and was part of the global “Circular Cities Week” happening worldwide from October 28th till November 3rd, 2019. 3 innovative speakers highlighted different aspects of circular cities.


Cities have always been breeding grounds for new forms of societal and lifestyle concepts, and offer ever-increasing room for innovation. With the accelerated migratory trends into the cities and the increasing emergence of mega-cities, it has become more important than ever to plan sensibly for healthy and sustainable cities. As hubs of human and economic capacity, cities must be more than centers of consumption and waste, but active cogs in a greater circular economy.

Find the slides of the presentations here:

Maria Wirth: alchemia-nova GmbH: project development, environmental technology, climate change adaptation, water-energy-food-nexus, presented the vision and theory for circular cities.


Anna-Vera Deinhammer: City of Vienna, responsible person for Circular City, Architecht, presented the agenda, challenges and next steps that the City of Vienna towards becoming a circular cities.


Günter Langergraber: Chair of the COST Action CA17133 “Implementing nature based solutions for creating a resourceful circular city”: BOKU-University Head of the department H81000 Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment (WAU) and deputy of Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control (SIG), presented the COST Action and best practices from all around Europe for installations for circular cities.

20191028 COST Action Circular City @ innovation hub

++++ We had wonderful Demeter BioWeinGut Lehner Tasting before and after the talks ++++


Alchemia-nova at the European Researchers’ Night

Alchemia-nova will be already for the third time at the European Researchers’ Night. The European Researchers’ Night is a yearly Europe-wide event happening at the same time in many European cities. We will show interested small and grown-up visitors, how plants can easily clean greywater with the demopanel developed in our project “Green Instruct”. Children can also what phytomining works, part of our project “Agromine”. Playing our plant quartett, developed in “Pflanzenwerkstatt”, kids expand their plant knowledge in a playful way.

European Researchers’ Night in Austria it is organized by the Practical Robotics Institute Austria in cooperation with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), FH Campus Wien, Science Communications, Kinderbüro der Universität Wien and Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien.

Join us and many other interesting exibitors for free on 27. September 2019 from 15:00 – 24:00 at University of Applied Arts, Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, 1030 Wien.