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Buildings as Material Banks: Integrating Materials Passports with Reversible Building Design to Optimise Circular Industrial Value Chains

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BAMB (Buildings as Material Banks: Integrating Materials Passports with Reversible Building Design to Optimise Circular Industrial Value Chains)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2018-03-01 al 2019-02-28

The BAMB – Buildings as Material Banks- project brought 15 parties throughout Europe together for one mission – enable a systemic shift in the building sector by creating circular solutions.

Today, building materials end up as waste when no longer needed. To avoid destroying ecosystems, increasing environmental costs and creating risks of resource scarcity, the building industry needs to move towards a circular economy – and BAMB provides the tools.

Usually, worthless materials become waste, while valuable materials are reused. BAMB created ways to increase the value of building materials. Dynamically and flexibly designed buildings can be incorporated into a circular economy – where materials in buildings sustain their value. Instead of being to-be waste, buildings function as banks of valuable materials – slowing down the usage of resources to a rate that meets the capacity of the planet.
Guiding BAMB, the current construction value chain system has been investigated in a State-of-the-art report, identifying barriers and opportunities for Materials Passports and Reversible Building Design. This has been a significant step towards a shared vision and blueprint for a future circular building system configuration, including the identification of actions to be taken and short and long term leverages. In order to reach a large number of stakeholders, the vision has been developed as a story on the interactive website Reburg.world. Through storytelling, it explains, in a visual and tangible way, the identified key systemic changes through fictive inhabitants of the city of Reburg.

One of the key concepts fueling the future vision is that of Materials Passports (MP). These are digital sets of data describing defined characteristics of materials and components in products and systems that give them value for present use, recovery, and reuse. Working towards an operational MPs Platform (MPP), a MPs Framework and software platform proof of concept have been developed. The software platform has been tested through the BAMB pilot projects and in collaboration with different types of stakeholders, resulting in an operational MPP hosting 428 Materials Passports. Stakeholder feedback and lessons learned have enabled refining the framework and developing the basis of a summarised property set for the standardisation of a data format.

The second pillar of BAMB is Reversible Building Design (RBD), which aims to develop strategies, design tools and guidelines for dynamic and flexible buildings, and the assessment of the potential to reduce waste in new and existing constructions. RBD permits structures to be transformed, disassembled and broken down to the set of initial elements, which can in turn be re-used. At the core of this design approach are: transformation capacity - the ability to transform spaces to meet new requirements; and re-use potential – the ability to reuse elements and components. 4 different tools have been developed: a Re-Use Potential Tool, a Transformation Capacity Tool, a Design Protocol and Guidelines for Dynamic & Circular Building and a Virtual Simulator. These tools have been tested in the BAMB pilot projects amongst others.

To bridge the gap between concepts and practice, BAMB has investigated new design, manufacturing, construction and maintenance approaches for dynamic and circular buildings through 6 real scale construction and refurbishment projects in 4 EU countries. All pilots have developed a feasibility study, analyzing the different aspects related to MPs and RBD, the construction process, logistics and financial conditions. Through prototyping, innovation strategies, technical requirements, transformation improvements and resulting design adaptations have been further investigated for 4 pilots to prepare the construction, refurbishment and/or transformation phase. In parallel, stakeholder involvement and the development of innovative business models have been explored. The construction and transformation of 4 pilots, as well as aspects related to environmental and financial impact, logistics, and collaboration between stakeholders, have been described in an easy to read final report. The pilots have demonstrated that the implementation of the BAMB vision and tools permits the decreased production of construction and demolition waste by up to 75- 90%, resulting in a reduction of as much as 50% of GHG emissions.

To facilitate the future applications and exploitation of BAMB results, an integrated decision making model and BIM resource productivity prototype, called the Circular Building Assessment (CBA) tool, has been created by integrating aspects on materials recovery/re-use and health, and the re-use potential and transformation capacity tools. Having such information at key stages of a building’s life (design, product selection, procurement, operation, maintenance, refurbishment, deconstruction), will enable better decisions to ensure the value of buildings and their parts is enhanced, not deteriorated. The CBA tool integrates RBD indicators, environmental impact and life-cycle costing to inform decision makers on the impact of different choices in regards to circular economy.

To ensure uptake of BAMB outputs, new business models based on reversed logistics and circular building value networks have been developed based on existing case studies, frontrunners interviewed, feedback from business model developments within the pilot projects, and relevant references and materials.

Policies and standards have also been given attention to ensure that they support reverse logistics and circular value chains in buildings. A framework for policies, regulations and standards has been drafted based on a State-of-the-art analysis of existing policies, an impact assessment of selected policies identifying success factors, an analysis of best practices, interactions with policy platforms, as well as feedback from stakeholders and pilot projects. To better support the circular transition, the framework provides 24 recommendations for policy makers at different policy levels.

To reach out during the project itself, a communication strategy has been implemented, resulting in interest in BAMB on the web, in printed press and at international events. In addition, to permit direct interaction with stakeholders and to ensure outputs’ relevance, the Consortium established the BAMB Stakeholder Network and Special Interest Groups. In addition to workshops, two annual Stakeholder Network meetings and BAMB final event have brought together approximately 628 Network members.
As described in more detail above, Materials Passports, and Reversible Building Design tools have been developed beyond the state-of-the-art. Setting the BAMB project apart from other initiatives is its focus on preventing waste and reducing the use of virgin resources from the early stages of the building life-cycle and the fact that these goals are tackled through a systemic approach, utilizing: Building Information Modeling (BIM) to bring outputs together, the support of new business models and policy recommendations, and a plan for exploitation. A particular strength of the BAMB project is the place given to the input and needs of the actors within the building industry and policymakers, engaging these stakeholders in the process of output development.