world of clay
GIMA maintains a long tradition in the production of ceramic building materials. With our quality products, we are not just an important supplier to this region, we also convince our customers beyond the regional border with our bespoke solutions and with our innovative approach.
We are the only plant in the world to produce such a variety of different ceramic products on a single site. As well as ceramic elements for facades and floors, our Marklkofen site also produces roof tiles for our sister company Erlus as well as large brick slabs for our subsidiary MOEDING. From handmade brick maker to high-tech production, the entire range is represented here, and a visit to the plant and a personal guided tour is always a valuable experience.
GIMA GIRNGHUBER GMBH
From then until now
Right from Day One, the GIMA brickworks have been guided by a sense of tradition and an entrepreneurial grasp of the bigger picture. In 1903, Therese Girnghuber, the great grandmother of the current proprietor Claus Girnghuber, acquired the brickworks. Ever since then, GIMA has been family-owned.
Marklkofen lies in Vilstal, a river valley in lower Bavaria. Ever since Roman times, Lower Bavaria has been a preferred location for brickworks, due to its outstanding natural deposits of clay and alluvial loam. The valley of the river Vils and its surrounding hills also provided plentiful supplies of water and timber, the other raw materials required in the past for the production of bricks. Since 1903, GIMA has manufactured bricks as well as a wide range of other ceramic construction materials for walls, floors and roofs. In the early days of GIMA’s history, brick was still a seasonal product – from spring until late autumn – made entirely by hand just as it was back in Roman times. However, the technology of brick-making has undergone a profound transformation that is still ongoing today. Nowadays, almost all bricks and pavers made by GIMA are manufactured in fully automated and computer-controlled systems.
In 1972, Ludwig Girnghuber senior handed over the company to his son Ludwig Girnghuber. He ran the company together with his wife Maria, and was awarded the Bavarian Founder Prize in 2017 in the Life Works category (source of photo: Film of the 2017 Bavarian Founder Prize – Life Works category, sponsored by the Sparkasse regional savings bank)
In 1992, he began collaborating with Erlus AG in the roof tile sector. In 1996, Ludwig Girnghuber finally handed over the reins of the company to his son Claus Girnghuber, who has been running GIMA ever since, and who has also been running its subsidiary, MOEDING Keramikfassaden GmbH, since 2001.
“We like to be the first to do things, and we are committed to giving our customers precisely what they wish for. My father laid the groundwork for this customer-oriented production of bespoke solutions back in the late Fifties. Until then, the company was a normal brickworks that primarily served its local region. Right up to the present day, this early willingness to innovate still runs like a golden thread through the success story of this company.
At GIMA, we listen attentively to the questions that planners put to us. Rather than simply get the job done, we seek to provide solutions that reflect the intended spirit of the proprietor, the architect and our own sense of purpose. Regardless of whether this involves new sizes, shapes, colors, surfaces or technical properties: our development team learns something new from each bespoke order, and gains in expertise in the process. We provide an ideal mix of artisan and industrial production. On many projects, this is the decisive factor”.
Behind the scenes
Discover our very latest computer-controlled production line in our new video. We explain the entire ceramic manufacturing process – from clay pit to the storage area in our project advice section. We are always pleased to welcome visitors to our plant and invite everyone to get an idea of the diversity of our production facilities.
Responsibility for tomorrow
Today, brick is not just a historic building material. It is also an optimised, high-tech and very modern one. Its technical characteristics can be defined and achieved very precisely, and it also, to a growing extent, possesses intangible, emotional properties.
Preserving an environment fit for ourselves and future generations to live in means that we must avoid causing irreversible damage to the natural balance of the networked system of humanity-fauna-flora-ground-water-air-climate through the interventions we make in Earth’s eco-system to manufacture and use marketable products.
We want to manufacture long-lasting products from natural raw materials and with resource-saving production. We therefore always strive to operate sustainably with the most modern technology and to achieve maximum efficiency. This applies not only to the operation of our systems, but also to the energy required for it.
The positive properties of this valuable construction material, one of great value to the lives we live and to cost-effectiveness, are augmented by the ecological added-value we create. Today, this aspect is more important than ever, given the growing significance of environmental factors such as the exploitation of raw materials, energy consumption, air pollution, the greenhouse effect and ground contamination.
Local sources provide the vast majority of the clay and sand used as raw materials to make ceramic products. Once these raw materials have been extracted, the excavated sites are recultivated. Specifically, this means that the areas of land involved are restored and replanted to their original condition or are transformed into valuable biotopes in consultation with environmental bodies in local government*. The ceramic manufacturing process produces almost no waste products because broken bricks and slabs are used for path-building or are directed back into the production process.
*The picture right at the top shows an existing clay pit alongside the surrounding fields which have already been restored to their natural condition.
For us, energy is an important production and cost factor. This is why the brick-making industry has always endeavoured to reduce the amount of energy it requires.
At GIMA, additional measures such as
• improved combustion technology
• generation and use of energy from renewable sources
• greater efficiency with the drying of blanks
• in-house heat recuperation
• other forms of improvement to the process technology
enabled us to leverage the scope for saving energy in our production operations to a very significant extent.
The specific energy consumption per kilogram of brick has been reduced by about 40% since the mid-Seventies. A huge reduction in the emissions from energy generation through the combustion of fossil fuels has also been achieved. The reduction of air pollutant emissions was achieved not only by the reduced specific energy needs per kilogram of ceramic but also through the simultaneous use of the very latest air purification technology and use of low-emission natural and liquefied gas as a power source.
An EPD describes building materials, building products or building components with regard to their environmental impact on the basis of life cycle assessments and their functional and technical properties. This quantitative, objective and verified information relates to the entire lifecycle of the construction product. Therefore EPDs form an important basis for the sustainability assessment of buildings. When it comes to sustainable construction, buildings are considered and assessed with regard to their ecological, economic and social aspects. Thanks to EPDs for building materials, building products and building components, the ecological aspect can be included in the sustainability assessment of buildings. *
The current EPD for our products can be found via the following link:
Every year, we undergo DEKRA testing and our energy management system (EnMS) is certified in accordance with ISO 50001. We are also connected to the Interzero disposal system, registered as number 25055. Calculations show that the recycling of our materials has been saving 387 tons of resources and an additional 55,568 kilograms of greenhouse gases each year (as stated on our certificate for 2022). The latest certificate can be called up here.