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RECONMATIC Clustering event boosts EU projects’ collaboration for Circularity in Construction




The RECONMATIC project successfully coordinated a virtual clustering event, hosted on the BUILD UP platform on February 28, 2024. The event attracted the interest of the community working on circularity in construction, bringing together about a hundred reseachers and professionals in the industry. Representatives of the invited projects Beeyonders, CircularB COST Action, Reincarnate, RobetArme, REDOL and Valrec participated in two insightful panel discussions alongside their counterparts from the RECONMATIC project. The purpose of this event was to pinpoint collaboration opportunities and lay the groundwork for future independent workshops that will focus on specific research topics.


Projects participating in the clustering event


A notable number of attendees from Europe to South America, joined online, expressing their interest with specific questions, concerns and proposals addressed to the speakers. The reuse of recycled materials in construction was confirmed to be still limited in South America’s market as it is in Europe’s, while a very interesting suggestion from the audience was to organise joint conference for European projects related to circularity in construction, “so that we can present our outputs and discuss common pathways for the future” and have a greater impact after all.

 

Moreover, several projects’ partners and key stakeholders gave the thumbs up to this initiative, mentioning that it was very enlightening regarding similar activities run by other projects and initiatives. The key conclusion of the event was indeed the collaboration potential among European projects. As said by Jan Valentin, the RECONMATIC project coordinator, “there is no need to reinvent the wheel but to use other projects’ results and solutions that are already in place!”

 

After welcoming the participants, Ing. Jan Valentin from the Czech Technical University in Prague, gave a short overview of the RECONMATIC project, before passing the floor to Anna Palaiologk, the impact leader of the project.


Main speakers & moderators


Anna from Future Needs Management Consulting, opened her presentation with the announcement of the Circular Construction Cluster. This Cluster is an initiative of the RECONMATIC project that aims to bring together European projects related to circularity in the construction sector, to promote research collaborations, knowledge and results sharing, and to organise joint activities at various levels.



As an Economist and an expert in EU research funding, Anna then provided an overview of the European directive and the Horizon Europe umbrella under which the participating projects are funded. She focused on the potential synergies among the participating projects of the clustering event, providing an in-depth presentation of the relation between them, lying there even before the birth of the specific projects under the scope of the Horizon Europe programme and more specifically under the call for Twin Green and Digital Transition: A New way to build, accelerating disruptive change in construction.


Speakers in the first panel discussion


The first panel discussion moderated by Jan Valentin, at the core of the event, provided the panelists the opportunity to share a summary of their project focusing in their way to address circularity in construction.  The invited sustainability experts and key stakeholders in construction, IT, automation and business disciplines, leading various tasks in the projects, provided insights on different but complementary approaches to the challenges for sustainability in construction. Namely we listened to Antonio Alonso Cepeda, Adriana Salles, Fotios Kostantinidis, Konstantinos KokkalisSamaneh RezvaniDimitrios Giakoumis and Jaime Moreno Juez.


Synergies identified among EU projects


During the discussion, various synergies related to different topics of the construction sector, were identified among projects. Namely, the topics of wide interest included the digitalisation in construction processes and waste management, the automation in waste management systems for Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW), the sustainability and circularity in the construction life cycle and the CDW valorisation and resource optimisation. More specific topics mentioned, were related to the integration of life cycle waste management into BIM solutions and tools, the digital twins and their use in the building life cycle, and the robotics in construction and CDW processing. These topics were agreed among the participants to be the most interesting points of further discussions and collaborations.


Communication and dissemination representatives of the invited projects


In the second part of the event, a discussion among communication experts was moderated by Georgia Nikolakopoulou from Future Needs Management Consulting, the RECONMATIC’s leader in Dissemination and Exploitation for Business and Education. The aim of the discussion was to identify future research dissemination and conference opportunities, where joint activities can be organised and the projects can be mutually supported. In this context , workshops, events, training activities and educational material creation were mapped as such on the below timeline, and additional information was provided as a first step.


Joint Dissemination opportunities as mapped by the invited projects


Moreover, it was mentioned that dissemination synergies started already within the Tech4EUConstruction Cluster for BEEYONDRERS, RoBétArmé, Reincarnate and RECONMATIC. Georgia Nikolakopoulou, Sofia Finzi, Estefânia Gonçalves, Adriana Salles, Francesca Monaco, Carmen Serna and Jaime Moreno Juez, promised that these activities will continue and will be extended also through the new Circular Construction Cluster. Synergies between CircularB and RECONMATIC regarding training activities have already started, as part of this initiative, and are planned to continue. 

 

The RECONMATIC clustering event aimed to contribute to narrowing the gap between the research community members and industry stakeholders who were invited to share their hurdles and experiences in implementing circularity along various construction life cycle stages. Given the high potential social impact of the project on European society, this event was open to the general public. We aspire that this was an initial step to take the research for circularity and sustainability in the construction sector to the next level. Join us to find out what the next steps will be! 


 

RECONMATIC works on providing solutions to digitalise and automate construction and demolition waste management (CDWM) aiming to mitigate or reduce waste and foster higher added value reuse of construction and demolition waste materials.

 

Stay tuned with us by subscribing to the RECONMATIC and Circular Construction Cluster newsletter and visiting the news webpage, where we will continue to share the results of this project. 

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