Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Innovative Circular Economy Based solutions demonstrating the Efficient recovery of valuable material Resources from the Generation of representative End-of-Life building materials

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ICEBERG (Innovative Circular Economy Based solutions demonstrating the Efficient recovery of valuable material Resources from the Generation of representative End-of-Life building materials)

Reporting period: 2021-11-01 to 2023-04-30

EU28 generates around 350 Mt/year of construction, renovation and demolition waste (C&DW), excluding excavation wastes. It represents 1/3 of all generated waste. It is mainly inert and non hazardous but its heterogeneity and low-purity makes difficult its subsequent recycling.
The main reason for this situation is that current buildings were not designed with circularity apporaches, so there is difficult to recover their products and materials for reuse and recycling options. This causes a major loss of resources, together with the need of extracting (and sometimes importing) new raw materials to produce new building products.

The ICEBERG project proposes integral recovery solutions for End-of-life Building Materials (EBM) overcoming the main barriers hindering the Circular Economy (CE) in buildings throughout the whole building value chain.
Under this context, its main objective is to develop and demonstrate novel cost-effective circular smart solutions for an upgraded recovery of secondary building raw materials along the entire circular value chain: from EBM to new building products prepared for circularity, resource-efficiency and containing 30wt% to 100wt% of high-purity (>92%) recycled content. This will be undertaken through 6 pilot circular case studies, covering building materials accounting for more than 85% by weight of the European built environment. ICEBERG will also contribute to raising building circularity awareness among the stakeholder communities (local authorities, professionals, students and final building users).
At the end of the 3rd year, most of the ICEBERG solutions have been achieved and they are being validated in several case studies. This a summary of the activities performed in the 2nd reporting period (from month 19 to month 36).

Digital tools to support the preparatory activities before demolition works, the identification and authentication of materials and the traceability of them from the End-of-life building to the new products including secondary materials have been developed and integrated. There are active functional versions of all these tools. They are being demonstrated in 6 case studies to assess their performance in realistic scenarios.

Prototypes of cost-effective sorting, refining and processing advanced technologies have been developed. This includes the upscaling of pre-industrial prototype for sorting, processing and quality assessment systems upto TRL 7.

Prototypes of new cost-effective building products designed for easy disassembly and replacing virgin raw materials by (30-100 wt%) of high-purity recycled building materials have been completed. Adjustments and optimization from previous lab scale development have been performed during the 2nd reporting period. Industrial prototypes are being produced at representative manufacturing lines (TRL7), to be installed in new and refurbished buildings in the cases studies along 3rd reporting period.
Three digital tools have been developed : i) a new BIM-aided-Smart Pre-Demolition (BIM4DW) tool to enable a higher accuracy estimate of End-of-life Building Materials (EBM) in pre-demolition waste audits; ii) an innovative Identification and Authentication Toolkit (IAT) to store, ensure the quality and wirelessly update properties of both reused building components and recovered EBM from the EoL building stage to new buildings; and iii) a novel digital EBM traceability service based on a Cloud Traceability Platform (CTP) covering the whole circular building supply chain. Functional versions of the three tools have been developed and separately demonstrated in lab conditions (IAT for concrete), virtual cases (CTP) and full-scale demolition projects (BIM4DW).

A mobile automatic sorting tool for the industrial scale processing of building demolition waste was developed. The technology relies on the use of Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging (HIS) to identify the composition of individual fragments in mixed fractions. Wavelength scan of 200-2500 nm of the unmixed materials was performed obtaining UV-VIS-NIR spectra. The HIS camera parameters were adjusted for an optimal scanning and acquiring hyperspectral images of the reference materials. The design and manufacturing of the mobile sorting prototype has been completed.

The diverse technologies for purification, recycling and quality assessment of the six (6) building waste streams addressed in ICEBERG have been developed.

Formulations for new circular green building products with high quantities of recovered building materials have been tested:
• Formulations and properties of eight (8) blended cements, compared to cement CEM I 42.5.
• Concrete formulations with up to 100% of recycled aggregates, 3 different strength classes and conventional and eco-hybrid cement.
• Preliminary analysis, experimental test and numerical models on precast structural concrete elements and demountable connections.
• Ultra-lightweight concrete formulations (2 groups of 8 and 7 dosages, respectively) for later non-structural elements.
• Woodchip concrete (10 formulations) mixing and testing.
• Recycled concrete fines and fine aggregates compaction and carbonation at specimen level for later hollow blocks.
• Characterisation of ceramic and non-ceramic materials and trials on mixes under different sintering temperatures.
• Phenolic resin formulation using the bio-oil produced during the pyrolysis of wood waste.
• Insulation materials produced from wood waste for later insulating panels.
• Preliminary assessment and impact on productivity of plasterboards increasing the recycled gypsum content to 35 wt% at industrial scale.
• Integration of available recycled polyols (>10 wt%) in the formulation of PU aerogel and optimization of the reaction conditions.
• Screening of different polyols for later PU-based panels.

Later all these solutions will be demonstrated and validated in 6 large case studies and their environmental and economic impacts will be assessed.
ICEBERG CTP will specifically feed public data on circular building resources into RMIS.
ICEBERG will engage with EBM supply chain stakeholders to formulate design guidelines and policy recommendations for circularity of buildings and components preparing for a transition to a viable and informed deconstruction.
Until present, the project has produced 11 acepted scientific publications and 1 patent.
ICEBERG concept