The minor Circular Structural Design (CCO) of the Academy for Sustainable Built Environment (ADGO) at Avans University of Applied Sciences is an in-depth minor in the field of construction and a great example of the link between education and research at MNEXT. For the Future Rethinker envisioned by ADGO, it is a natural part of their development to learn how to create a structure with new materials: what is involved, what do you need to know, can you look it up, or do you need to measure and experiment? In the CCO minor project, the focus is on the latter two.

Publication date
4 March 2024

1000 liters? No problem for biobased material!

The students are tasked with creating a biobased supporting structure for a 1000-liter barrel. They will design and test their structure with a challenge: don’t use wood. A maximum of 1% of the material used may be non-biobased. This year, it resulted in 2 constructions made of biocomposite, 3 constructions of bamboo, and 1 construction of cardboard. As the project progressed, students became more enthusiastic and moved away from the traditional. Designs became more unique, and there was a growing critical evaluation of material usage.

The results of 20 weeks of prototyping and refining were recently tested. Some students were anxious; based on calculations, their supporting structure might not hold 1000 liters. However, almost all creations could withstand more than required, to the delight of students and teachers! Only one structure failed under pressure. Due to the large mass the supporting structure can handle, a critic might say that too much material was used, but in reality, only 4 cardboard tubes with 2-millimeter-thick walls were used!

Positive reactions

For Marcel Mosterd and Wil Mertens, this project, based on the Future Scenarios course of the CO2-negative Design minor, was a test for the implementation of future projects. Student feedback is positive: “by far the coolest project we’ve ever done,” “when you’re building like this, you suddenly see the problems that arise,” and “you really want to know why something isn’t working.” In short, students were extremely positive, so the project will continue next year!

Thanks also to Roy Luft, David Naeyé, and Marco van Ras, who enthusiastically assisted our students with their material tests, and to Hans de Wit and Joris Deliën, who supported them with good advice and deeds throughout those weeks. You contributed significantly to the enthusiasm!

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