Prognosis of building stock potential for the upcycling REuse of cast-in-place reinforced conCRETE panels.
This project explores the possibilities and the potential to reuse obsolete cast-in-place reinforced concrete (RC) building parts for new structural applications. This uncommon upcycling reuse approach consists in carefully cutting the parts from soon-to-be demolished buildings, rehabilitating or strengthening them, and eventually reassembling them with custom connections and minimal transformation. The strategy reduces the need for new cement production, which is responsible for 8-9% of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions worldwide. It also effectively prevents the generation of construction and demolition waste.
We will address common misconceptions on the durability and deconstructability of cast-in-place RC parts through state-of-the-art reviews, including interviews with practitioners. Material availability will be studied through an historical analysis of the RC building stock, RC construction techniques and design standards. The reconstructability of reclaimed RC elements will be examined by identifying existing techniques available to assess, prepare and reassemble the elements. Points of attention are the ability of the reused parts to utilize their embedded reinforcement bars efficiently and the environmental impacts of the solutions, measured through life-cycle assessments.
At the crossroads of architecture and civil engineering, this pioneering project brings together three research fields: Component Reuse, Structural Design & Rehabilitation, and Construction History. It opens up a whole new field of research on the reuse of RC construction elements. The expected results will allow planners to have a better view of the potential stock of RC parts available for reuse and will provide preliminary principles for architects and engineers to develop structures with reused RC elements.