Universities and Institutions collaborate on the development of reusable building components
On October 27, 2017, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Institute for Civil Engineering and Environment (INCEEN) at the University of Luxembourg and the Suisse Federal Laboratories of Materials Science and Technology (Empa) of the domain of ETH Zürich, to collaborate on research on energy efficiency in the construction sector. In cooperation with universities abroad and other partners from industry and consultancies in Luxembourg, they will run their first project entitled “Eco-Construction for Sustainable Development” (ECON4SD), that will focus on the development of novel components and design models for resource and energy efficient buildings based on the construction materials concrete, steel and timber. The project focuses on the development of building components that can be reused after a building has reached the end of its life cycle and is disassembled, in such a way as to reduce energy and resource use (throughout the entire life cycle of buildings and their components).
Factors such as modularity, flexibility, adaptability and upgradability with detachable inter-structural connections will be examined, but it is important that these components require as little maintenance and repair work as possible, and be easily disassembled in order to be re-used.
“The ECON4SD aims to turn buildings into materials and components banks and will allow producers of structural elements to come to a different business model. That would consist in loaning materials or components to customers and take them back after use in a particular building, in order to resell them directly, recondition or recycle them,” said Professor Danièle Waldmann of the University of Luxembourg. “Thereby, the project paves the way for a future CE material or component passport comparable to the already existing energy passport.”
The project is expected to strengthen Luxemburg’s construction sector and contribute significantly to promote the circular economy principles in the country. ECON4SD will also bolster the country’s research and development capacities in domains related to resource and energy efficiency, CO2 reduction, eco-technologies and materials addressing important societal challenges.
Source: University of Luxemburg