The Berlin Left MPs Katalin Gennburg and Ferat Kocak are calling for a socio-ecological turnaround in building in Berlin.

The construction sector is also being hit by rising energy costs and supply chain problems as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, they said in a joint statement on Friday.

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There are interruptions in construction throughout Germany. The mantra “Build, build, build” does not help against speculation-driven rent increases and can currently only be implemented to a limited extent, explained the spokeswoman for urban development and construction, Katalin Gennburg.

For a socio-ecological construction turnaround in Berlin, a housing policy debate is necessary about what should be built where and for whom.

Specifications are also needed to make it more difficult to build with climate-damaging building materials and industrial policy measures to develop the corresponding economic sectors for bio-based building materials.

The climate policy spokesman for the left-wing faction, Ferat Kocak, said that building with conventional building materials contradicts the Berlin climate goals because of the high emissions. “We need serious monitoring of emissions in the construction sector,” he demanded.

The deputies spoke out in favor of obliging builders to create a register of materials and to submit a dismantling plan in order to facilitate the recycling of building materials. In Berlin, pilot projects such as the wood workshop on the site of the former Tegel Airport should also be promoted. Bio-based building materials should also be increasingly used in new residential construction by state-owned housing companies.

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Urban development senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) commented on the proposals that prefabrication and serial construction would make planning and building faster and more resource-efficient. “But then you have to do it! And not just use arguments to actually prevent housing construction. Here, there are wordy demands that construction costs be significantly increased and construction times extended.”

At the same time, rents should remain low. “That’s the motto: wash my fur, but don’t get me wet,” criticized Geisel.

It’s not about an either/or in housing construction, but about balancing social and ecological responsibility. “We need to build affordable housing. And of course this must also be done in a climate-friendly manner.”