CIRKEL over the years 1898 - today.

Production of lime sandstone has been resumed. Sales take place under the the name "KS* DAS ORIGINAL" (KS* The Original). As the oldest company in the lime sandstone business, the name "original" is both a reference to our history and a challenge. Meeting the ever increasing demands of the marketplace, we are the first producer in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany that supplies lime sandstone only in a palletted and plastic-packed form. The packaging, along with our superb logistics, allows us to deliver our sand limestone quickly and efficiently straight to the building site.

To strengthen the sand limestone sector, the Kruse Group has taken over the sand lime brickworks in Wickede, North Rhine-Westphalia. With that, Cirkel has secured its position as the leading supplier of the "white" construction material in North Rhine-Westphalia and can present itself to its customers as an even more capable and efficient working partner. The full range of products, beginning with wall veneering products and ranging over a full assortment of small and medium sized lime sandstone materials and moving on to our screening systems and the KS-PLUS building system with a bulk density of 1.4 - 2.4 kg/dm3 can be obtained from Cirkel.

To be able to provide a modern, high-performance but in particular a high heat insulating building material for the forward-looking masonry industry, PORIT aerated concrete has been developed. With PORIT from Cirkel, the most modern regulations for heat insulation can be fulfilled in a single-skin construction without the need for additional insulation.

We are currently working on developing the use of CIRCOSIL® as a highly effective substrate in waste water treatment. The goal is to establish the long term and economic recovery of phosphorous from sewage sludge and with that, to contribute to a sustainable and environmentally friendly relationship with what is a finite raw material.

Extensive optimisation of the production of CIRCOLIT® has allowed an increase of 12.5% in the amount of solid content contained in CIRCOLIT® slurry. This new generation of products has increased the economic efficiency and has had a positive influence on the logistics network.

By our 100th anniversary in 1998, the Reunification boom had long ended and the construction industry faced another uncertain time. Meanwhile: an innovative team does not scare that easily. After all, state-of-the-art manufacturing plants provided a productive hardware to cope with all of the company's future tasks. In addition, the optical signal of the new corporate design gave the company a distinctive identity.

In 1997, the company was awarded certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001 for the materials produced in the Flaesheim plant, giving the brand name Cirkel a new quality as an independent trademark. The certification process in itself welded the employees together and strengthened their team mentality tremendously.

At the beginning of the 1990's, the success of the diversification into other industries became apparent. Because the capacity of the Emsdetten location no longer was sufficient for the production of the Catsan preliminary product, Cirkel constructed a new plant with state-of-the-art production in Bad Salzdetfurth in 1995. Meanwhile, the employees in Emsdetten began specialising in the development and manufacturing of the specialized CSH products CIRCOSIL and CIRCOLITE.

However, the company's roots were not neglected, which proved to be correct after German Reunification at the beginning of the 1990's. The cooperation in a lime sand brick plant in Cottbus provided the possibility of being involved in the "Aufbau Ost", the reconstruction of the former GDR.

In 1994, the plant in Flaesheim, which was more than crowded, was expanded by 25,000 m² and a new gas concrete plant was added.

There was an increased demand for easy-to-use PORIT bricks in the building of homes, leading to the construction of new gas concrete equipment incorporating the latest manufacturing technology of the early 1980's. This step nearly doubled capacity. However, company executives recognized that the construction recession would bottom out in 1988. The company had few chances for expansive development only with construction products. On the other hand, the company was aware of its special know-how in the use of limestone, sand and water and therefore tried to utilize this CSH competence in new divisions. Consequently, in-house development led to the concerted production of various calcium-silicate-hydrate crystalline for wide-ranging applications as fillers or pigments, as well as highly-absorbent material. Thus the preliminary product of Catsan, the leading brand of cat litter, went into production.

In the expectation of a further increasing market volume, the existing plant was not only completely modernised and expanded at the beginning of the 1970's, but the KS plant in Emsdetten acquired in 1964 was totally converted for PORIT production at the same time. Full speed ahead, the company was sailing in good company: lime sand brick had already become number one, replacing clay brick. 1972 was a record year with incredible sales figures for sand lime brick plants and 700,000 constructed residences - a result that was never again reached, even in the German construction boom following Reunification.

However, due to the oil crisis and heat insulation regulations passed as a consequence, the demand for heat insulating construction materials grew in the late 1970's. This was the beginning of the era of the Cirkel system elements physically optimised for construction use. The statically supporting PORIT-shell also bears the function of heat insulation in the multi-shelled exterior walls which can be constructed with these materials. CIRCOSICHT facing stones, introduced in 1977, act as the ideal complement to the product line.

In the mid 1960's, the motor of the building industry sputtered for the first time in the post-war era, causing many workers again to shift to working in other, still-booming industries. Having another lack of labour in the building industry prompted Cirkel to make the adjustment to a large format once and for all. The "lime-sand light brick" PORIT, originally produced in 1966, heralded a new era in the company's corporate history. With the size of hollow concrete blocks, but nevertheless very light, easily manageable and very well heat insulating PORIT bricks, construction work became much faster while using less mortar.

In 1963, the company headquarters were moved from Rheine to Haltern-Flaesheim.

After the monetary reform, economic floodgates were opened. Restrictions were lifted and all enterprises' courses were set on growth. This positive development generated an increased demand for building materials. The thus necessary expansion of both plants' production capacities made the company into the largest sand-limestone producer in Northrhine-Westphalia in the 1950's.


On January 1, 1937, the Ltd was converted to the Rheiner Kalksandsteinwerke Cirkel & Co. KG. Christian Cirkel and Dietrich Wehrmeyer became individually liable general partners. Just two and a half years later, the company celebrated a new milestone in its history. In 1939, production began at the plant built in the middle of green fields in Flaesheim. The construction of this sand-lime brick plant in Southern Münsterland, near the clay brick stronghold in the Ruhr Valley was rightly considered a pioneer act.

However, the uncompromising destruction of everything of value during World War II included the plants. The plant in Rheine was severely damaged during bombing of the city, and the plant in Flaesheim lay more or less on an island after the destruction of the bridges over the Lippe and the Weser-Datteln canals. Thus it could neither be supplied with lime, nor was it possible to dispatch the bricks. After repairs of the most essential damage to the plant in Rheine, production began again in 1945. In Flaesheim, a temporary street was constructed so that lorries could drive through the canal.

Even the almost four-year interruption of operation during World War I could not break the innovative power of the up-and-coming young company. In 1919, the long-desired railroad connection finally arrived. Thus, new sales areas could be added, especially in the direction of the Ruhr Valley.

The commercial success of the originally-founded sand-lime brick plants started a wave of new foundations. The competition's attempts to discredit by claiming alleged lacks in fire protection proved to be boomerangs as sand-lime brick producers were able to convince even the most skeptical professionals and officials of the resistance and durability of their products by the use of spectacular fire experiments. The catchy slogan "Build safely - with sand-lime brick" is not the invention of modern advertisers, but was at that time a required guarantee from the Association of Sand-Lime Brick Producers of the resistance and durability of their products.

Managing director Christian Cirkel pushed for the formulation of the Sand Lime Brick Norm DIN 106. At its publication in 1925, it provided the first binding guidelines for brick qualities - very much to the advantage of construction consumers and the disadvantage of all "other-colored" building brick suppliers. The advantages of sand-lime brick especially in comparison with clay brick were officially fixed for the first time: constant compression strength of at least 150 kg/cm², mortar-saving dimensional stability and sharpness of edges. All that, and reasonable production and delivery costs.

1898, the Royal Prussian Notary Ludwig Roling gen. Havixbeck announced the foundation of the Rheiner Sandsteinwerke GmbH, a factory for the manufacture and sale of sandstone and sandstone products. The founders together invested the stock capital of 150,000 Reichsmarks.