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Design for adaptability, re-use and deconstruction of buildings, in line with the principles of circular economy (Built4People Partnership)


Based on the integration of innovative tools, products and techniques, to enable construction and renovation that embeds the principle of extending the service life of buildings, and facilitate adaptability to changing user needs (e.g. for optimal use of indoor space or to improve working and living conditions), reuse, and deconstruction, in a life-cycle optimisation and circular economy perspective.

Proposals are expected to address all of the following:

  • Validate construction and renovation solutions based on the integration of innovative tools, products, techniques, processes and methods, that facilitate deconstruction and reuse, based on life-cycle approaches across the value chain.
  • Ensure the solutions validated:
    • Consider the adaptability and reversibility of buildings and building units to changing uses, and to other relevant factors (e.g. evolution of surroundings).
    • Improve the ease of reuse of construction elements and products from existing buildings, also facilitating recycling when reuse is not possible.
    • Develop building elements and products that can be disassembled and reused, including those made from CO2-storing materials such as sustainably sourced long-lived bio-based materials and products and, innovative lower emission materials /aggregates.
    • Address all components of buildings, including structural elements, envelopes, interior fixtures and fittings, and technical building systems.
    • Are rooted in local and regional value chains, based on participative approaches for social acceptability of innovation, in particular with regard to the workforce’s practices and skills.
    • Can flexibly adapt to local / regional sourcing of innovative products and materials to increase replication.
    • Address climate change mitigation, minimising emissions.
    • Allow to minimise any negative impacts of pollution and biodiversity loss from renovation and construction works.
  • Validation of the solutions in a relevant environment (real-life or close to real-life) that:
    • Covers residential and non-residential projects, half of which at least should be renovation projects.
    • Covers at least two different countries, with diverse climatic conditions.
    • Involves local and regional values chains, in particular SMEs, based on participatory approaches to increase innovation buy-in from users.
    • Results in clear and, where relevant, quantified and measurable indicators on the improvements due to the use of the solutions.
  • Deliver guidance and recommendations for technology providers, regulatory authorities, certification and standardisation bodies, and define and implement ambitious dissemination actions, to promote the approaches demonstrated and support their replication.
  • Where relevant, contribute through specific and targeted actions to standardisation and regulatory evolutions that can foster reuse and deconstruction of buildings materials and products.
  • Contribute to the activities of the Built4People partners and to the Built4People network of innovation clusters.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘People-centric sustainable built environment’ (Built4People). As such, projects resulting from this topic will be expected to report on results to the European Partnership ‘People-centric sustainable built environment’ (Built4People) in support of the monitoring of its KPIs.