Due to the resource and environmental relevance of the construction industry (50 % of total raw material extraction in Germany, over 50 % of waste volumes), increasing urbanisation with rising demand for housing, the building stock in need of renovation and political objectives the entire construction industry is undergoing change.
With the use of composite materials, complex functional, economic and ecological requirements can be met due to the combination of material properties. In the construction industry, among others, this is leading to increased development and use of complex multifunctional high-tech materials that will supplement or replace conventional materials in the future. Composite materials are used in all areas of the construction industry.
When implementing the Circular Economy concept in construction, which aims to preserve the value of products, materials and resources and reduce waste through reuse and recycling, as well as taking into account external consequences for people and the environment, the use of composite systems must be critically questioned and examined over the entire life cycle. Due to often inseparable compostes, the material fractions can no longer be separated and therefore cannot be recovered at the end of life with conventional recycling processes, or only at very high cost. Another challenge is the possible contamination of classic material streams (e.g. mineral building materials) by composite materials, which makes recycling of these material streams difficult or impossible.
For this reason, the research college Verbund.NRW aims at validating where and how the use of composite systems is possible in a sustainable, resource-efficient and cycle-friendly manner.
Verbund.NRW addresses the validation with eleven doctoral projects and two concrete application cases from practice, which are considered representative of the broad application field of composite systems as joint inter- and transdisciplinary objects of investigation in "Transfer Labs". The Transfer Labs each involve practical partners, so-called "case partners", who represent the research areas and objects with direct practical relevance, e.g. via materials, information on supply chains or production and contacts for the discussion of sustainability aspects vis-à-vis customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Research focus at the Chair of Controlling
Building on the results of the first phase of the research college (Verbund NRW 1), the chair is investigating methods for recording the three sustainability perspectives (ecological, economic, social) for the purpose of a comprehensive and holistic evaluation of specific building materials or business models. Specific recommendations for action for science and practice will then be derived on the basis of these assessments.
For more information please visit the Website of the project (www.verbund-nrw.de).
Structure and stakeholder integration in the research college Verbund.NRWCopyright: © Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft