Standing among the most popular building materials globally, concrete also is responsible for a large percentage of construction and demolition waste, which has an effect on the environment. When a building is torn down, where does the concrete go? Commonly, a landfill. Yet the answer might be on the horizon.

In Europe, a good number of concrete buildings are constructed with precast concrete elements. If the aged elements could be repurposed on these sites as opposed to creating new ones, it would deliver benefits for the environment.

The international ReCreate project, overseen by Tampere University, Finland, was instigated in April 2021 under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme to discover new applications for the concrete components of condemned buildings in the building of new ones. The four-year project intends to deconstruct these concrete parts without hindering them and reusing them in new structures in a profitable manner.

Through the process of reusing concrete elements, we can save a considerable quantity of energy and raw materials, said Satu Huuhka, adjunct professor at the Faculty of Built Environment at Tampere University, who guides the ReCreate project. Researchers here also will enrich the project with their specialist expertise in circular economy business models, building rules and law, and occupational sociology.

The ReCreate project counts involvement from universities and regional company clusters in a quartet of countries – Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany. The communications partner is the Croatia Green Building Council. All of the national clusters will execute their own pilot projects where they take apart precast concrete elements intact and recycle them in a new building.

Huuhka specifies that the main objective of the project is to explore the reuse of concrete components as a whole, and not as a raw material for a new structure—and, for that manner, to discover ways to use them responsibly, sustainably and effectively.

 

Source: Architecture and Design.Com.Au