Successful era

Andreas Pocha – For 20 years Managing Director of Deutscher Abbruchverband e.V. (German Demolition Association)

His 20th anniversary as Managing Director of Deutscher Abbruchverband -DA (German Demolition Association) can celebrate Andreas Pocha  today. “At the end of the day, of course, it’s the decisions of the members which determine the course, too. But thanks to Mr. Pocha’s prudent management, we have been able to reach many important milestones in the development of our association in the last two decades,” says DA Chairman Johann Ettengruber, describing the work of the now 60-year-old lawyer. A successful era, which is also reflected in the development of the association’s membership figures. Since Pocha entry into service on October 1, 2001, the number of members represented by the DA has more than doubled from 290 to the current 810.

Quality assurance and improvement

A constant growth, which the DA, however, under Pocha’s leadership, has not been pushing for at any price. Instead of just quantity, the focus is on quality: Therefore, members must meet strict admission criteria. Quality assurance and improvement in demolition has always been one of the main concerns of the DA, which has been significantly promoted under Pocha’s leadership. In recent years, the DA’s participation in the standardization committees of DIN (DIN 18299, 18007, 18459) and the VDI committees (VDI 6210) has helped to standardize and improve the technical standards in demolition. There is also a constant constructive exchange with BG Bau.

Since 2005, the DA has also honoured particularly qualified experts in the field of demolition as “Fachberater Abbruch (Specialist Demolition Advisor)”, who are available as competent contact persons for tendering, planning and appraisal of demolition work. A year earlier, the first edition of the “Fachbuch Abbrucharbeiten”, published by the DA, was published, a comprehensive reference work on the professional planning and execution of all work in the field of demolition and dismantling, which is now regarded as a standard work.

Fachtagung Abbruch  (Demolition Conference) develops into the highlight of the industry

Under Pocha’s aegis, the DA network was further developed in a targeted manner. In addition to rejoining the European Demolition Association (EDA) in 2010, the Berlin office opened in October 2018 in cooperation with the German Federation of the Demolition Industry (ZDB) is likely to have given a significant boost to political communication.

With the FACHTAGUNG ABBRUCH in Berlin, the DA ensures that the demolition industry itself is able to network and exchange ideas with its connected exhibition. There exhibitors and entrepreneurs meet on eye level. The event, which was launched in 1995 by Dr. Dietrich Korth, was finally taken over by the DA in close coordination in 2011 and, under Pocha’s direction, has developed into the annual highlight for the entire industry. While in 2011 there were 411 participants and 47 exhibitors, Europe’s largest industry event in 2020 attracted well over 1,100 industry insiders and nearly 130 exhibiting companies from Germany and abroad. The FACHTAGUNG ABBRUCH is now organized by DA Service GmbH, which was founded in 2017 and has been able to raise both the event and the extensive range of seminars to a new level. Since 2018, Viola Ridderbusch has been responsible for the management of the GmbH with extremely great success.

 Apprenticeship launched

Another eminently important element in Pocha’s work was and still is the recruitment of skilled workers for demolition. A significant milestone in this regard was the development of the job description of the construction mechanic for demolition and concrete separation technology. The three-year apprenticeship, which has been state-approved since 2004, is the first to be tailored purely to the needs of demolition and dismantling. In addition, Pocha has been an advisor for various professions in inter-company training for many years.

Focus on Environment and Sustainability

No less promising is the consistent ecological orientation that the demolition industry has pursued for more than 30 years with the modern practice of selective dismantling for the extraction of secondary raw materials. The DA was the driving force behind the founding of Qualitätssicherung Sekundärbaustoffe GmbH (QUBA) in 2019. With bvse and ZDB, the association was able to gain two equal shareholders. Already in 2015, the company included the remediation of pollutants required for the extraction of secondary raw materials prior to demolition as a division and established its own Professional Committee on the subject.

On the way to the future

So a lot has happened in the last two successful decades of the association’s history, although the list could be slightly extended, whether it is the gradual opening of the association to further business sectors and professional groups such as recycling and disposal companies or manufacturers and and engineer’s offices as supporting members, or the recent revision of the association’s magazine ABBRUCH AKTUELL, to name just two examples. Parallel to the expansion of the areas of responsibility, the face of the office has also changed. Initially based in offices in Düsseldorf, the team, which has now grown to 10 employees and 2 trainees, has been working under Pochas’ management since 2010 in its own premises in Cologne, which were expanded by one floor in 2020. According to Johann Ettengruber, the success story is far from over: “There are still many goals and tasks that we will be happy to implement with the imaginative, energetic and experienced management of Andreas Pocha”, said the DA Chairman.

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