In Western Europe, the construction sector contributes to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions and worldwide one third of the total extraction of raw materials goes to the construction sector. Sustainable biobased building materials have enormous potential, both from an environmental and economic perspective for companies.
In the past period, the various project partners have focused on the development of various promising biobased technologies and their potential applications. However, the construction industry is very conservative. Before supporting structures made of biobased building materials can be used, insight must first be provided into the preservation of the structural reliability over a longer period of time.
The Living Lab Structural Health in Biobased Constructions project will give substance to this. The project partners (TU / e, Avans, Hogeschool Zeeland), SME companies (Millvision, Van Mierlo Ingenieursbureau, Nature Nomads, Double2, Zeeuwse Stromen and VolkerWessels) will first conduct a material and sensoring study in which the different combinations of natural fibers such as flax and hemp, bio resins. production methods and sensors will be tested in accelerated degradation experiments. The results of this will be implemented and evaluated in three different load-bearing constructions (Nature inspired Living Lodge Biesbosch – Wall construction; Beach pavilion in Renesse – Roof construction; Smart Circular Bridge – pedestrian bridge construction across the river Dommel). The knowledge and experience gained from this will be communicated through various communications (Massive Open Online Educational Course, participation in the sustainability festival in Renesse in September 2020, publications and film material). In addition, an economic and social feasibility study will be conducted to accelerate adoption of these new materials in other construction companies.
Specific project tasks for CoE BBE
Within the project, the Center of Expertise Biobased Economy at Avans more specifically takes on the following tasks: performing environmental life cycle analyzes (cf. ISO 14040) around the composite materials used, including the application of molecular recycling, molecular recycling of thermoset biocomposite materials from flax and bioresin , aging tests in a climate chamber and setting up a MOOC for employees in the business community and students.
In this project, HZ focuses on the mechanical recycling and renewed extruding of the thermoplastic composite materials into product. They will thus demonstrate that a new product can be made after the end of life of the first thermoplastic biocomposite product.