REBUS - Reuse of Building materials - a USer perspective

Despite a rapidly growing interest in the transition to a circular economy, there is still a lack of research on how to achieve it in various industries. 

 

The contruction sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also holds a lot of potential in terms of material reuse and circular design. The scientific literature on this topic is still scarce, especially for the Norwegian context. The current knowledge is mostly in the form of industry reports for practitioners, based on anecdotal experiences. There is a clear need for more and better information on how to make the most sustainable choices when selecting materials and designing a building.

 

Another barrier is the lack of reuse-oriented regulation and documentation. Existing legislation and assessment methods are overwhelmingly geared towards new materials and products, and a linear economy model. How can the safety of a reused material be evaluated and documented? How can we judge whether it is more sustainable to reuse a product or to pick a new one? How can the different stakeholders in the construction process communicate and collaborate on approaching circularity in the construction sector?

 

The main objective of REBUS is to develop knowledge that will enable wider and more efficient implementation of reusable building materials for a transition to a circular built environment. 

Project structure

The REBUS project work is divided into five work packages that each addresses a different aspect of the project objective. The figure on the right shows how the work packages relate to and interact with each other. 

  1. User requirements: analyse user awareness, knowledge, needs, social practice to find solutions and create a knowledge platform
  2. Assessment of construction products for reuse: Identify best methods for assessing both technical performance and content of hazardous substances in construction products or components that are considered for reuse

  3. Life cycle sustainability assessment: Identify how existing evaluation and labelling methods can be developed for communicating reusable materials in a life-cycle perspective

  4. Pilot testing and toolbox: Co-produce implementation of practical knowledge of assessed methods and solutions through pilot projects
  5. Networking and procurement: Develop network strategies and recommendations for incitements through procurement and regulations
WP structure
REBUS work package structure

Expected output

  • Contribute with new knowledge of several aspects of reuse of building materials including legal procedures and quality assurance schemes of multiple technical, environmental, economic and social performance and how these aspects are related
  • By cooperating with the industry, the project aims to find practical solutions and develop more relevant methods for faster implementation of reuse of building materials
  • Pilots testing will build in-depth knowledge of how to deal with implementation issues such as suitability of test and evaluation methods, policies and requirements, and markets for reused products
  • Research on network strategies are another new aspects to ensure high level of engagement among users and stakeholders in co-production of common knowledge

Project participants

Selamawit Mamo Fufa

Senior Research Scientist
466 34 780
Name
Selamawit Mamo Fufa
Title
Senior Research Scientist
Phone
466 34 780
Department
Architectural Engineering
Office
Oslo
Company
SINTEF AS

James Kallaos

Research Scientist
463 53 864
Name
James Kallaos
Title
Research Scientist
Phone
463 53 864
Department
Architectural Engineering
Office
Oslo
Company
SINTEF AS

Kristin Fjellheim

Research Manager
918 01 159
Name
Kristin Fjellheim
Title
Research Manager
Phone
918 01 159
Department
Architectural Engineering
Office
Oslo
Company
SINTEF AS

Thale Sofie Wester Plesser

Senior Research Scientist
932 15 067
Name
Thale Sofie Wester Plesser
Title
Senior Research Scientist
Phone
932 15 067
Department
Science Communication and Certification
Office
Oslo
Company
SINTEF AS

Christofer Skaar

Senior Research Scientist
414 49 522
Name
Christofer Skaar
Title
Senior Research Scientist
Phone
414 49 522
Department
Architecture, Materials and Structures
Office
Trondheim
Company
SINTEF AS

Åshild Lappegard Hauge

Førsteamanuensis, INN
952 30 172
Name
Åshild Lappegard Hauge
Title
Førsteamanuensis, INN
Organization
Handelshøgskolen Innlandet (INN)

Idar Wiik

Fagansvarlig klima og miljø, Boligbygg Oslo KF
97062165
Name
Idar Wiik
Title
Fagansvarlig klima og miljø, Boligbygg Oslo KF
Organization
Boligbygg Oslo KF

Erlend Seilsjær

Fagrådgiver, FutureBuilt
90 07 19 85
Name
Erlend Seilsjær
Title
Fagrådgiver, FutureBuilt
Organization
FutureBuilt

Olav Westgaard Sunde

Partner and advisor at Resirqel | Sustainable real estate
93206858
Name
Olav Westgaard Sunde
Title
Partner and advisor at Resirqel | Sustainable real estate
Organization
Resirqel AS

Harpa Birgisdottir

Senior Researcher, SBi
+4551904845
Name
Harpa Birgisdottir
Title
Senior Researcher, SBi
Organization
Danish building research institute at Aalborg University in Copenhagen (SBi)

Nilay Elginöz Kanat

Researcher, IVL
Name
Nilay Elginöz Kanat
Title
Researcher, IVL
Organization
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Project facts

 

REBUS is a research project financed by the research Council of Norway through MILJØFORSK programme. The project started in January 2020 and will continue until December 2024. The project is interdisciplinary collaboration between architects, engineers and environmental psychologists from SINTEF AS and Inland Norway University of Applied Science together with Boligbygg Oslo KF, FutureBuilt, and Resirqel AS. International research collaboration and comparisons of the reuse market in other Scandinavian countries is secured through cooperation with the Danish Building Research Institute at Aalborg University in Copenhagen (SBi) and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.