Urban Habitat Award Finalist: Barangaroo South / International Towers, Sydney

The presentation aims at setting up an infinite cycle of use of materials by their reuse and answering in particular to the problems of circular economy. Future urban development must be more virtuous and sustainable to match the problems of depletion of raw materials. Moreover, structural work and foundations represent the majority of the embodied energy of a building. The research effort is therefore focused on the structural elements. Allowing the reuse of structural elements provides an opportunity for long-term sustainable development for the city.

Reuse is here defined as the reuse of an element without transformation, unlike recycling which induces a new industrial cycle of transformation of matter. It is therefore about reducing the consumption of materials and lowering GHG emissions.

The methodology we are implementing aims at designing structural elements by increasing the BIM parameters (6D, LCA), to attach the mechanical information, material durability, ageing to each object of the digital mock-up. A digital and physical traceability (RFID chips in the material) makes it possible to follow the evolution of the element over years and to feed a database in parallel. At the end of its life the database is accessible and searchable for the design of a future building. A development of tools and gateways will then allow from a model of calculation to go to query the database to find an element resulting from the deconstruction that can be reused in the future construction. The challenge of this work is to ensure that the element of the database has all the characteristics to meet its new structural function.

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