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Innovative materials and techniques for the conservation of 20th century concrete-based cultural heritage

Project description

Innovative preservation of concrete-based landmarks

Concrete-based monuments constitute a substantial proportion of the most significant and culturally important historical landmarks from the 20th century. However, as time passes, the necessity for efficient maintenance methods becomes increasingly critical. The EU-funded InnovaConcrete project aims to develop various innovative technologies to effectively preserve these monuments in the long term. To accomplish this objective, a team of specialists in fields such as simulations and nanomaterials synthesis has been assembled. They will explore multiple solutions, including novel manufacturing methods for Calcium Silicate Hydrate (CSH) gel and biotechnology-based self-healing options. Lastly, extensive assessment and enhancement of the products will be conducted.


InnovaConcrete is an innovative and ambitious proposal that aims at preserving concrete-based monuments, the most significant tangible Cultural Heritage (CH) in the 20th Century. To achieve this goal, we have recruited an interdisciplinary team presenting a strong scientific background in simulation techniques and nanomaterials synthesis, combined with a wide knowledge of CH conservation from Humanities disciplines and, a sound industrial perspective. Specifically, a completely innovative approach based on producing C-S-H gel, responsible for the engineering properties of cement paste in cracks of decayed concrete monument, in situ, will be developed. Complementary, other innovative solutions giving rise to superhydrophobicity and corrosion inhibition will be also investigated. In addition, InnovaConcrete will explore an approach based on biotechnology: enzyme-assisted self-healing of damaged surfaces. The optimization of the solutions proposed will be carried out by the use of theoretical tools (multi-scale modelling approaches) together with experimental tools (laboratory and in situ validation). Significant 20th century monuments, such as the spectacular building, Centennial Hall, the open-air sculptures of Eduardo Chillida, War Memorial Towers and concrete shell structures, typical construction in communist period will be used as case studies to validate the performance of the solutions proposed. These monuments, a clear representation of European CH, will be employed to study economic and other societal effects of the proposal and to promote citizens' awareness of 20th century European heritage. Finally, the activities required for the future commercialization of the InnovaConcrete products, including standardization, certification, life cycle assessment, scaling up and exploitation strategies will be carried out.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 601 506,25
11003 Cadiz

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Sur Andalucía Cádiz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 614 331,25

Participants (32)