Concepts for a sustainable urban environment
Mineral building materials constitute the largest flow of material needed for our constructions and infrastructure. Modifying this flow can have significant impact on the transition to more circular use of materials and improved climate resitience in cities.
Urban mineral demolition waste is, in fact, building material
Construction and demolition waste (CDW) has long been used as foundation material for new roads. But when the realization of new roads stagnates less CDW can be utilized in foundations, which causes a surplus of CDW. However, new circularity concepts have the potential to utilize CDW waste flows for the building assignment in cities.
Cities need building materials with climate adaptive capacities
Also, climate change confronts cities with new or increased challenges, like heat-stress, flooding caused by excessive rainfall and draught. By adapting the functional properties of recycled CDW in the production process (reflection of heat, color, isolation, water bearing capacity, water permeability etc.), these materials contribute to the adaptive capacity of the constructions in which they are used.
Models for balancing supply and demand
Using models, it is possible to make an inventory of mineral waste generated over time, and of the resources needed for renovation and building projects. Based on the functional and environmental properties of the waste flows, models can also be used to design environmentally safe building materials with the requested functional properties. In addition, environmental safety has to be tested for the performance over a long lifetime, and for recycling onto the next application.
Invest in adaptation an circularity in one go
As built objects have a long lifespan, long term climate resilience has to be considered in today’s investments, When targeting the use of re-cycled CDW with these investments, both adaption and circularity are stimulated. Business models, in which both aspects are combined, are in the offling.
For a description of the application of these concepts, download the ACC report on “Climate Resilience and Circularity in Construction assignments” here.