Disconnecting and reconnecting precast concrete wall elements to establish reuse of precast concrete

This project aims to further the reuse of precast concrete elements by exploring the optimisation of disconnecting and reconnecting and if necessary development of new retrofit connections.

The horizon 2020 ReCreate project is a European research project that looks into the reuse of precast concrete elements. It is a collaboration between four universities, in The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Finland. Each has its country cluster in which a pilot project is achieved of an actual building that is disassembled and a new structure where the elements of this building are reused. Each country also has its industry partners which perform these tasks such as precast concrete manufacturers, engineering companies, deconstruction companies, research institutes, in the Netherlands these are VBI, IMd, Lagemaat and TNO respectively.

Illustration source: A Demountable Connection for Low-Rise Precast Concrete Structures with DfD for Construction Sustainability-A Preliminary Test under Cyclic Loads (mdpi.com)

The project will start with a literature review on connections in walls and facades, reusable and retrofit connections, and deconstruction techniques. Following this the common techniques for disassembly for reuse will be determined and the resulting edges of the elements of each connection. Next will be looked if the existing connections that can be reused and which retrofit options could be used. Next is looking into designing new retrofit connections to reconnect the elements. Depending on the depth the student is able to achieve, the possibility of a connection between walls and other element types can also be looked into. There might be a possibility for lab tests but this may depend on the eagerness of the student and the availability of the elements or budget. The goal is to determine the structural behaviour of this connection and the stability of a wall structure with these types of connections.

We are looking for a person who is keen to further the reuse of concrete, and who is interested in bringing it into practice with both an engineering and a design interest. Supervision The project will be supervised by Simon Wijte (TU/e), Thijs Lambrechts (TU/e) and Marcel Vullings (TNO). For more information please contact: Thijs Lambrechts (t.s.k.lambrechts@tue.nl)


The contact for this job posting is Thijs Lambrechts.