RE4 project: designing solutions for circular buildings, integrating recycled materials from construction and demolition waste

RE 4 logo
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Sonia Saracino

The EU-funded RE4 project has developed prefabricated energy-efficient building concepts containing up to 85 % of recycled materials and reused structures from construction and demolition waste (DMW). The RE4 concept enables the easy assembly and disassembly of buildings for future reuse.

The project’s solutions were integrated, validated and showcased in the construction of two-storey demo buildings in Spain and UK, demonstrating also the strategy for disassembling and reusing structures from end-of-life buildings.

The project’s approach can also be used to refurbish existing buildings. RE4 solutions for refurbishment were applied to demo buildings in Italy and outside the EU, in Taiwan, taking into account climatic and structural factors in different geographical zones.

Main results
  • Development of an advanced robotic sorting system to improve the quality of sorted materials with main focus on those with high economic value and new quality classes for CDW-derived aggregates, and identified optimal recycling strategies for each of these
  • Development and up-scaling of 5 new concrete materials, 4 new components (blocks, tiles, timber, and insulating panels), and 4 new prefabricated elements (concrete and timber facade panels, load-bearing concrete elements, and internal partition walls). In all of these products, between 50-85 % of virgin material was replaced with recycled material
  • Innovative design concepts for a fully prefabricated, easily dismountable RE4 building
  • Building Innovation Modeling-compatible Decision Support System for CDW management improvement.