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Reusing precast concrete for a circular economy

Project description

A concrete transition towards circular construction

Concrete – the most widely used construction material – underlies nearly every permanent structure on the planet. What happens to concrete when buildings are no longer needed? The EU-funded ReCreate project will investigate the systemic changes needed in the whole ecosystem of construction and demolition to make these practices more circular. By drawing from partnerships covering the entire value chain, the project will demonstrate deconstruction of intact precast structural components from condemned buildings for reuse in new buildings in real-life innovative pilots. The potential volume of the supply and demand for secondary concrete components in the EU will also be assessed. The project’s overall goal is to boost concrete reuse and help the EU reach its ambitious energy and climate targets.


Concrete is the most significant construction material and C&D waste stream globally and in the EU. ReCreate aims at closing the loop for concrete at the highest level of utilization by demonstrating the deconstruction and reuse of precast structural components, which retains the secondary material at its highest value. Compared to virgin production, aggregate recycling and backfilling, reusing can reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint by 93-98%. The main objective is to pilot deconstruction and reuse towards maturity as a socio-technical system. The project develops the transition towards circular construction by investigating the systemic changes needed in the whole ecosystems of construction and demolition. Drawing from partnerships that cover the entire value chain, ReCreate will demonstrate deconstruction of intact precast components from condemned buildings and reuse thereof in new buildings in four real-life innovative pilots. The pilots examine the challenge of circularity against the feature of the industry being relatively local, taking into account differences in precasting technologies, building types, construction industry structures and regulatory environments in the different countries. To develop technology and integrate the value chain so that the businesses can become viable, the project advances smart pre-deconstruction audit and deconstruction methods; rapid low-cost quality assurance and standardization; logistics, traceability, and BIM and digital market place integration; and novel design practices and reassembly techniques. In addition ReCreate analyses the potential volume of the supply and demand for secondary concrete components in the EU; reviews how concrete reuse can help the EU to reach its ambitious energy and climate targets for 2030; investigates how secondary components can become socially acceptable for relevant stakeholders and citizens; and elaborates on the changes needed to the regulatory environment to support reuse.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 2 658 228,09
33100 Tampere

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Manner-Suomi Länsi-Suomi Pirkanmaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 658 228,09

Participants (23)