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21st century solutions for the construction sector

Printed buildings, energy from atmospheric humidity, earthquake resilience – some of the novel ideas taking age-old construction techniques and making them fit for the future.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

Insights and ideas

Here’s a conundrum: Just heating and cooling existing houses generates 36 % of our total emissions. Building results in a vast carbon footprint, according to the European Environmental Bureau. Products such as cement, steel and insulation are responsible for 250 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in the EU annually – equivalent to flying around the world 38 million times. On the other hand, more and more people are living in cramped spaces, or have no home at all. Eurostat reveals that 16.8 % of people living in the EU were in overcrowded households in 2022, and many of us know of adults who have moved back in with their parents as prices in the rental sector skyrocket due to demand. So, how can we balance our need for more buildings while reducing the environmental impact of the construction sector? Perhaps our three guests, all of whom have received support from the EU, have some answers. With us today are: Abdelghani Meslem is senior research engineer in Hazard and Risk Modelling at NORSAR. He is also associate professor in Structural Dynamics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). His work is focused on earthquake risk modelling, risk reduction and management, which he explored through the TURNkey project. Paweł Sikora is an associate professor from the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Poland. The Ultra-LightCon-3D project helped fund his research into additive manufacturing, lightweight concretes and nanotechnology. Andriy Lyubchyk is assistant professor of Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials at the Research Center in Industrial Engineering, Management and Sustainability, part of Lisbon University. Andriy was the coordinator of the SSHARE project which focused on harnessing nanoengineering to advance the generation of renewable energy.

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CORDIScovery, CORDIS, buildings, construction, earthquake, TURNkey, Ultra-LightCon-3D, SSHARE, printed buildings, lightweight concretes, nanotechnology, nanoengineering, renewable energy