With this project, Odisee University College wants to lower the threshold to circular construction methods for contractors. We want to translate the principles of circular construction into hands-on solutions so that they are more easily adopted in practice on the building site.
Specifically, we designed a special mobile unit with which we can literally go to contractors to present circular building principles using a series of life-size models. We work within five domains (wall, roof, floor, joinery and techniques) and the focus is on sustainability, comfort, reuse and disassembly of materials.
With the unit, we want to show contractors the added value of circular construction and also immediately give them the right steps to apply circular techniques. The aim is for contractors to start working in a circular way and thus become ambassadors of circular construction themselves.
We have built a total of some 45 models of circular construction methods at 1/1 scale. In this way, we make the implementation practice of certain techniques and solutions transparent and tangible.
We designed a mobile unit in which all models can be safelytransported and easily presented to visitors.
We calculated the environmental impact of the various models using the Totem tool. For materials not yet present in the Totem library, UGent carried out a life cycle analysis (LCA).
The models can be visited individually, as each model is equipped with technical sheets and a QR code that allows the visitor to retrieve all technical information (drawings, Totem information, instruction videos ...).
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
A well-built team in which members complement each other is of great importance. It is guaranteed to promote the progress of the project and each team member learns a lot.
Circular construction must become cheaper. Currently, building owners mainly look at short-term costs, and circular construction is often more expensive due to the materials and more labour-intensive methods. Long-term gains are not yet taken into account enough.
Circular construction should become an inherent part of construction education. With our team, we are working on a strategy to incorporate the insights into a curriculum.
It would be opportune if the government supported circular construction more, e.g. through lower taxes on circular building materials, certificates that give circular projects a financial advantage, by making circular construction projects more insurable ...
45environmental impact calculations
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
It is important that we keep the maquettes up-to-date with advancing insights. The mobile unit will also continue to be supplemented with other models, depending on the themes of the courses linked to it.
Furthermore, the mobile unit is rented by the research group DUBiT, affiliated to Odisee. They also organise training courses. Training courses can also take place on the Aalst campus site. Our partner UGent has also been using the mobile unit to inspire architecture students on circular building practices since October 2022.