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Energy Efficient LIghtweight-Sustainable-SAfe-Steel Construction

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Novel building concepts for safe and energy- and cost-efficient buildings

An EU initiative has developed or adapted several materials and technologies for more structurally sound, energy efficient and sustainable steel lightweight buildings.

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Climate change, earthquakes and fires stress the need for building concepts that can reliably address such challenges. With this in mind, the EU-funded ELISSA (Energy efficient lightweight-sustainable-safe-steel construction) project worked to provide solutions for modular lightweight construction that will offer excellent thermal, fire, sound and earthquake protection. Project partners developed prefabricated wall-floor-roof building elements and 3D modules that can be directly used to construct highly efficient modular lightweight buildings. In order to select the most appropriate materials, they tested the thermal, acoustic, structural and fire-resistant properties of preselected nanotechnology-based materials on two building mock-ups. Experiments were conducted to validate these properties in the full-scale building elements. Specifically, researchers analysed and optimised prefabricated lightweight cold-formed steel skeleton/dry wall systems in order to achieve excellent thermal, acoustic, vibration/seismic and fire performance. This was made possible because of the thermal, damping and fire spread-prevention properties of the preselected inorganic nanotechnology-based materials such as vacuum insulation panels and intumescent paints. To minimise damage to non-load-bearing building elements and reduce financial losses in the event of an earthquake, the ELISSA team developed an active damping device that continues to function even during a power failure. The new engineering design concept forms a fully functional modular residential building that can be easily constructed and adjusted for specific purposes. With up to three floors, it is suitable for both private and commercial use. ELISSA building solutions can be flexibly interconnected to ensure optimum thermal, seismic and fire performance, while offering shorter construction times, and light and slim construction. Planners, engineers, architects, private and public investors, and construction companies all stand to benefit from these sustainable living innovations that enhance structural integrity, comfort and safety in new and existing buildings. A video is available on YouTube and via the project website.


Steel lightweight buildings, ELISSA, modular lightweight construction, building elements

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