The network develops solutions for making construction more sustainable and flexible in three innovative fields of technology.
Sustainability in construction is increasing significantly.
At present, buildings are largely constructed from non-recyclable materials. The production of suitable building components often involves the use of finite resources that cannot be supplied back into the materials cycle, or that can be supplied back only with some difficulty.
To promote sustainability in construction in the long term, the network intends to develop new construction materials made from renewable raw and residual materials. For instance, it aims to produce wall and roof elements, elastomer bearings, insulation materials, glues, paints, and so on, from renewable raw and residual materials. The intention is for the new recyclable construction materials to replace current construction materials. The objective for the material developments is that the components made from the new materials have a comparable or better level of functionality. The new solutions will be gentle on the climate and the environment.
The benefits of materials are combined with each other in innovative hybrid constructions.
Every material and every type of construction has its own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, metal has excellent static properties and is 100% recyclable. However, it has a high level of heat-conductivity and leads to undesirable thermal bridges. On the one hand, wood is a renewable resource that is easy to work with. Special attention must be paid to protection against moisture when using wood in construction. On the other hand, plastics have a low level of thermal conductivity, which means they are particularly suitable for thermal engineering applications. However, plastics are petroleum-based and sometimes difficult to recycle.
The clever combination of different materials will help to develop innovative hybrid constructions. One particular challenge in this regard is to develop techniques for bonding the various materials. Hybrid constructions combine the benefits of the different materials, and the resulting synergies create new solutions for construction.
Closed-loop material cycle construction can be achieved by using recoverable and recyclable components.
When planning and erecting buildings, we frequently take only their planned use into consideration. As a result, it usually takes a lot of resources to convert or extend a building. In terms of the subsequent recycling of construction materials and high-value reuse of construction elements, it has proven difficult to separate the materials used up to this point.
That is why facilitating closed-loop material cycle construction is one of the key objectives of the network. This includes the ability to dismantle new hybrid constructions and recycle new materials. The building elements developed should also be designed to provide adaptability and flexibility in structural design. It should also be easy to disassemble the building elements.