SCI is co-ordinating the EU-funded project REDUCE (REuse and Demountability Using steel structures and the Circular Economy), which is now in its final year.
The scope of REDUCE is wide, exploring issues such as life cycle assessment, BIM, and the circular economy but the main focus has been on developing and testing new demountable, composite floor systems, as well as providing design guidance and practical information on the fabrication and detailing of such systems, for the first and second cycles of use.
Push-out and beam tests have been carried at the Universities of Bradford, Luxembourg and Delft on new, demountable shear connection systems. Tests have been conducted on precast and composite decking systems using friction bolts and embedded couplers, with some systems using injected resin to reduce initial slip. In addition, a large-scale demountable car park trial has been conducted at the Delft University of Technology comprising four (7.2m 2.6m) prefabricated concrete decks on three 14.4m tapered, steel beams. Composite action was achieved using resin-injected embedded couplers. The tests were designed to understand the practicalities and costs of assembling, demounting and re-assembling composite car park floor systems.
Composite beam tests with different demountable shear connection systems and in different arrangements, have also been conducted. After elastic, first cycle testing, some slabs were cut longitudinally, demounted, reassembled and tested to failure.
In addition, testing has been undertaken on standardised connections that facilitate deconstruction and reuse of the beams. These included a slotted beam-to-beam connector and a block connector.
Detailed analysis and numerical modelling of all the testing is underway before the work will be written up in the form of design guidance. The research demonstrates that the sector is not just talking about the circular economy but is developing new, innovative systems to make it a reality.
SCI and the other REDUCE partners, will host a workshop later in 2019, to present the project findings in detail.
If you would like to be informed about the workshop date and agenda please click here.