The construction sector uses 50 percent of all extracted resources and produces 35 percent of the waste in Europe. In addition, the production of construction materials is responsible for about 10 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hence, the industry is a major part of the problem regarding the overconsumption of natural resources and GHG emissions – and as such, it also holds an important key to being a part of the solution.
The section for materials and durability focuses on this challenge, and the research strongly supports the transformation to a circular economy for the use of materials in the construction sector.
The strategy toward circular economy is to:
- use less material for construction, maintenance, and repair
- extend the technical lifetime of the construction materials
- close the materials cycles by creating circular resource flows through reuse and recycling
Our mission is to base the transformation to a circular economy on solid fundamental knowledge. Our research aims to enable the best possible ground to select construction materials based on their properties and environmental footprints for each specific case.
We need high-quality construction materials produced with the lowest possible negative impact on the environment. High quality includes high durability, a prerequisite for a long lifetime of buildings. To have this, there is a need to improve the current construction materials, and there is a need to design new materials, which fulfill this goal.
In the section, we combine fundamental and applied research, and we work with science-based innovation. We have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for developing, improving and testing materials. We have strong competencies in different types of modelling. We develop new innovative materials and design known materials with innovative characteristics and improved environmental footprints.
We collaborate with the industry and participate and lead tasks in international networks and projects, organize international conferences and participate in standardization.