UTFacultiesETNewsBreakthrough to circular and emission-free building

Breakthrough to circular and emission-free building

The building industry faces enormous challenges. By 2050, the built environment must not only be emission-free, but also circular. Within the NWA programme titled ‘Transition to a circular and emission-free building industry’, UT is contributing to research to facilitate the transition required to meet these challenges. UT researcher Marc van den Berg (Faculty of Engineering Technology) and colleagues are focusing on the digital aspects of supporting material reuse and recycling processes as part of this research.

Renovation projects are complex challenges characterised by intensive decision-making and organisational activities. Such projects connect a variety of otherwise fragmented disciplines, including designers, builders and demolition companies. Crucial for fostering more circular renovation practices with lower emissions is the availability of information on reusable materials and design strategies which factor in the preservation of existing value.

Collaborative, Digitised and Integral Processes to Achieve Circular and Emission-Free Renovation (PACER)

The PACER (Collaborative, Digitised and Integral Processes to Achieve Circular and Emission-Free Renovation) project, in which UT is represented, aims to provide collaborative, digitised, integral processes, tools, and legal and economic frameworks to achieve circular and emission-free renovation practices.

Marc van den Berg

Circular building involves adopting a different mindset. During renovations, for example, many existing materials are considered waste, even though they often have a residual life. That is above all an information problem. For example, there is a lack of clear understanding of how something was originally built. Or which existing materials could replace new ones in projects elsewhere. We are exploring different approaches by utilising new digital solutions to encourage reuse and recycle activities.

Marc van den Berg

Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) 

This programme of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) focuses on existing buildings and invites interdisciplinary consortia to investigate how buildings can be renovated in a circular and emission-free manner by studying a concrete case at the street or neighbourhood level. Societal and technical perspectives of circular and emission-free construction are jointly included.

Transition of the construction sector

The aim of the thematic NWA programme titled ‘Transition to a circular and emission-free building industry’ is to achieve breakthroughs and develop action perspectives that contribute to the transition of the building industry, primarily in relation to renovation projects. The NWA programme is organised in association with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, NWO and the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA.

Within the NWA programme, two broad multidisciplinary consortia will spend the next five years carrying out research to advance the transition to circular and emission-free building, with significant involvement of professional experts in the sector. The total funding awarded under the programme is approximately €2,865,000.

Read also the press release accompanying Marc van den Berg’s PhD research titled: ‘UT provides tools for circular demolition and design of buildings (utwente.nl)’ 

drs. J.G.M. van den Elshout (Janneke)
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