The reuse of load-bearing components

Load-bearing systems of buildings are poorly valued when they reach functional obsolescence. Still, they contribute the most to the material weight and embodied impacts of buildings and infrastructures. The reuse of structural components therefore offers great potential to save materials, energy and resources. While historic and contemporary projects highlight the environmental, time or cost benefits of building with reclaimed elements, many technological challenges remain. This paper gives an overview of buildings that efficiently reuse structural components as well as a review of current research efforts addressing structural reuse. The first case study is the design process of an elastic gridshell made from reclaimed skis. This project demonstrates the potential of ensuring structural performance while working with uncharacterized and heterogeneous materials. In general, designing structures from a stock of reclaimed elements entails reversing the conventional structural design process. The synthesis of structures has to follow the availability of elements and their mechanical and geometric properties. Developed tools that facilitate such design from reused elements while minimizing embodied environmental impacts are presented in this paper. A second case study demonstrates the relevance of such tools through a conceptual train station roof made from electric pylon elements. Lastly, some key challenges related to the design of structural systems from reused elements are presented. These research initiatives constitute a first step to understand and support the design of load-bearing systems from reused elements and hence to bring the construction industry closer to circular economy.


Published in:
Proceedings of SBE19 - Buildings As Material Banks - A Pathway for a Circular Future
Presented at:
SBE19 - Buildings As Material Banks - A Pathway for a Circular Future, Brussels, February 6-7, 2019
Year:
Feb 07 2019
Publisher:
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-02-05, last modified 2019-08-12

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