upcycling concrete rubble

Despite the enormous emissions and raw materials needed to produce concrete, healthy structures made of concrete are demolished daily under the jaws of hydraulic excavators and energy-intensive crushers. We propose to upcycle large irregular concrete rubble pieces from demolition sites into walls with the help of digital tools and through minimal material processing.

Wall 2.2m x 2.7m built using large irregular concrete rubble pieces with the help of a digitally-hacked crane and a drill mounted on a robotic arm – credits : Maxence Grangeot – SXL & CRLC – EPFL

Our real-scale demonstrators are walls of approx. 2.5m tall, 2.7m long, 30cm thick, built out of large “off the pile” concrete rubble pieces. Digital tools are used to harness the geometrical complexity inherent to found irregular concrete rubble pieces and to precisely assemble them into a slender yet stable wall. Due to its commodity and environmental potential, using unaltered concrete rubble as a new construction material hints at new possibilities for circular construction.

Scientific paper:

Rising from rubble – Leveraging existing construction tools for upcycling concrete waste into slender walls

M. Grangeot; Q. Wang; K. Beyer; C. Fivet; S. Parascho 

2024-05-24. ROB|ARCH Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art, and Design, Toronto, Canada, May 21-25, 2024.

Latest demonstrator

Earlier demonstrator

Sourcing

Design process

Construction process

Tools

Research by Maxence Grangeot

 

With the supervision of:

Prof. Corentin Fivet (SXL)

Prof. Stefana Parascho (CRCL)

 

With the support of :

SXL: Dr. Maléna Bastien-Masse

EESD: Qianqing Wang, Prof. Katrin Beyer

GIS: Gilles Guignet, Luca Mari, Frédérique Dubugnon, Gregory Spirlet

Tinguely: Benjamin Mamzer

Sika: Cédric Chetelat