Sustainable and safe use of secondary materials as a key to circular built environment

Registration number: LUC23046
Provider: MŠMT ČR – Program Inter excellence
Solver: doc. Ing. Antonín Lupíšek, Ph.D.
Start: 01.09. 2023
End: 30.09. 2026

This project is a follow-up to the international action COST CA21103 Implementation of Circular Economy in the Built Environment (CircularB), which aims to develop an integrated approach to the implementation and assessment of circular economy principles and strategies in the construction industry with a focus on buildings. A key prerequisite for the implementation of circular economy principles in the building sector is the effort to maximise the use of construction and demolition waste, which is however limited by the low demand for secondary raw materials. The reason for this is the variable and difficult to predict availability of these raw materials at the place and time of planned construction, and the variability of their technical characteristics.
The aim of the proposed project is to develop an online tool for the processing of demolition audits and a national deconstruction database linked to it, following the COST CircularB action. The developed software will guide the user through the demolition audit process and help the user to process and publish basic information about the planned deconstruction. This information on the projected availability of secondary materials at a given site will allow a forecast of the supply of secondary materials that can be saved to replace primary materials in new construction projects.
In addition, the software will evaluate planned demolition measures in terms of circular economy indicators and provide feedback to the user on how to reduce potential environmental impacts associated with the end-of-life of construction and demolition waste. The possibility of extracting at least part of the necessary information from Building Information Models (BIM) will also be explored to support the quick and easy implementation of demolition audits. The developed tool will be tested and piloted during the project on real deconstruction cases with representatives of future users, and will be modified and tuned based on their feedback. After the end of the project, the tool will be further maintained and managed by the applicant. The project will be carried out in close cooperation with international teams from ETH Zurich, Graz University of Technology and the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development. In addition to software for demolition audits and sharing information on available materials, the project will result in three impact articles in close collaboration with international colleagues. The knowledge and experience gained will also be presented in four papers at international conferences and will be shared with specialists in the Czech Republic at events of professional organisations such as CZGBC, CKA and CKAIT. The project is a unique opportunity to be proactively engaged in CircularB activities that will allow the team involved to broaden and deepen research competencies in the circular economy.