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Automated tools for the valorisation of construction waste (RIA)

Based on volume, construction and demolition waste (CDW) is the largest waste stream in the EU. Considering that most of the waste share is glass, concrete, steel and aluminium (or other metals), the embodied energy and embodied eq. CO2 emission in the CDW is significant (8.5 MT eq. CO2 for construction in Sweden in 2015). By reusing and recycling CDW in new constructions, the sector would come closer to the targets of becoming fully circular and climate neutral. Precise quantitative and qualitative waste estimation is crucial for waste management. This could be achieved by utilising digital technologies for instance Building Information Modelling (BIM), material and component tracing, dedicated apps for construction/de-construction and optimize site management. Such tools could provide data about material type and composition (e.g. whether there are hazardous materials that require special care) and quantities, and thus an estimation of the logistics needs, cost, etc. and make waste separation easier and faster, e.g. by combining with automated equipment and robots.

Proposals should:

  • Develop, test and promote the necessary digital tools for material and/or component tracing and CDW management in different types of construction or demolition sites. The proposed tools should use as far as possible existing databases for waste management;
  • Develop automated solutions for de-construction and waste separation process;
  • Implement cross-sectorial holistic solutions involving glass, concrete, steel, ceramics, non-ferrous, etc. from the construction product and material side but also waste management, transportation and construction equipment and machinery side;
  • Produce all required training material for the proper use of the developed technologies The content should be sufficiently inclusive and encompass the diversity of different users;
  • Demonstrate all developed solutions (reutilisation, recycling, transformation, etc.) in at least four implementation sites across different European countries, considering the material recovery, transformation and utilisation;
  • Assess the value of the solutions in terms of the additional monetary value/reduction of eq. CO2 emissions produced;
  • Besides the new solutions benefits, safety should be considered (on construction issues, hazardous materials, etc.)
  • Proposals should consider the development of learning resources for the current and future generations of employees, with the possibility to integrate them in existing curricula and modules for undergraduate level and lifelong learning programmes. The projects should provide contributions to relevant standards or best practices.
  • The projects should provide contributions to relevant standards or best practices.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.

In order to achieve the expected outcomes, international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with Asian countries.