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Building Synergies with Reincarnate Project in Sustainable Places 2023

The Sustainable Places 2023 conference, held at the School of Architecture in Madrid (UPM) on the 14–16 of June 2023, was a great opportunity for the first in-person meeting with the representatives of our sister project Reincarnate. Samaneh Rezvani from DEMO Consultants and Piotr Dymarski from Mostostal Warszawa were representing the Reincarnate project in the congress, while Elena Goicolea from ICATALIST represented the RECONMATIC project. Both projects are funded under the same Horizon Europe call HORIZON-CL4-2021-TWIN-TRANSITION-01-11 and are in the progress of defining their collaborations.

The conference was the perfect context for the meeting of our representatives, as its objective is to perform as a platform for sharing research, organizing workshops, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and facilitating EU project clustering. Each year the conference explores topics that are shaping the perspectives on cities and the built environment. For this year's event, the topics covered were: smart cities, and urban transition; renewable energy technologies, energy communities and energy transition; sustainable construction, renovation, and circularity practices; climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts; digitalization and artificial intelligence. Attending Sustainable Places 2023 not only allowed for these synergies between projects to occur but also was useful for getting to know different cutting-edge projects in innovation and research in the field of construction, as well as for establishing connections with various organizations that can complement us in future occasions.

In this stimulating environment, the partners met to identify the synergy opportunities based on the two projects’ activities. This encounter was of particular interest as both initiatives share a common objective: Reducing Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW), improving management, and revalorization. More specifically, we identified certain innovations which are common for both projects and where sharing progress and knowledge could be beneficial. Some of these shared areas include:

  • The collection of relevant information for waste management/valorisation. In order to increase the quantity of material that can be recovered for effective recycling or reusing from demolition and refurbishment projects, a database of manufacturer waste / recycling /reusability related data is needed.

  • Integration into Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools. To upscale the circularity of construction, the information needs to be integrated as much as possible into commonly used tools. BIM is one of the available tools for that and the two projects are developing research for this common goal: to create a suite of tools that are synergistically interlinked by BIMs and will share common data. This will allow the effective prediction of waste generation, recycling/recovery possibilities, and their resultant costs from project-specific inputs.

  • Supporting decision-making regarding the management of CDW, and other materials and products already in use. Digital tools facilitate decision-making towards better CDW management and can, for instance, enable comparison of different performance indicators such as value retention, time, and cost based on a digital model of end-of-service life buildings. Supporting decision-making is an important aspect to work on, and the connection between the advancements being made by both groups of experts can be highly beneficial.

  • Defining a classification or ontology of circularity. As a means to assess and assure circularity among the project development and its future exploitable tools, circularity in construction should be clarified and its dimensions and indicators defined. The RECONMATIC project is already working on some general dimensions and subdimensions, which have been shared with the Reincarnate project. The latter is also working in defining specific content, trying to gather the exact layers of information that buildings, products and materials should incorporate to evaluate and trace its circularity.

The exchange of ideas, knowledge, and experiences was truly inspiring, leaving us eager to explore the potential for collaboration. By combining our respective expertise and resources, we can amplify our impact and drive positive change on a larger scale. To continue working on these areas or more that may come up as the projects advance, it was agreed to have an online meeting among the coordinating partners and remain vigilant for possible opportunities to present the projects or organise a joint workshop.

Samaneh Rezvani and Piotr Dymarski from the Reincarnate project with Elena Goicolea from ICATALIST, member of our consortium

We are all very excited about the prospects of this partnership and the potential for further advancements in CDW reduction and sustainable construction practices. Together, we aim to create a more environmentally conscious and resource-efficient future for the construction industry. Stay tuned for more information on our sister project Reincarnate

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