On September 9th, the renowned German newspaper Allgemeine Bauzeitung (ABZ) dedicated space to mention our REINCARNATE project in its edition nr.36.

The ABZ is a German trade journal for the entire construction industry. In addition to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, it is sold in 25 countries.

It provides information on the latest news from the construction industry, policy and technology. From construction equipment and machines to building materials, architecture, building law and research — it gives a comprehensive picture of the industry.

At REINCARNATE, we are very proud to be in ABZ and we hope we can keep telling our story to its readers!

Special thanks to our partners at 3L Architects for making this possible.

Access the online version of the article (in German) and see below the article translated into English. 

EU research project REINCARNATE

Aimed at significantly reducing construction and demolition waste

Menden (ABZ) — In Europe, construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for about 25 to 30% of all waste. Its recycling rate is relatively high (over 75%). Still, most of it has to be described as downcycling, as many of the more valuable materials within CDW cannot be separated in a meaningful way and end up in landfills.

One of the reasons for the large amount of CDW is the short lifespan of buildings and infrastructure, which generate large amounts of waste when demolished. A recent study by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, which examined 193 demolished buildings, concluded that the average lifetime of buildings is only 39.1 years.

The reduction of CDW represents an enormous untapped efficiency potential for achieving climate neutrality — if the lifespan of existing buildings and infrastructures can be extended and if materials, construction products and even entire buildings can be reused.

The transformation of the currently linear construction industry processes into circular ones offers significant opportunities to reduce Europe’s material and emission footprint and to create a closed loop of extended use, reuse and recycling. In order to develop the necessary methods and tools to promote this transformation, the European Union has funded the REINCARNATE project, in which 3L Architects is participating as a partner.

Reincarnation, also known as rebirth or transmigration of the soul, is the philosophical or religious belief that the non-physical essence of a living being begins a new life in another physical form or body after biological death. In Buddhist philosophy, the quality of life after death is determined by the cumulative virtues of a being during its previous life.

Following this basic idea, the REINCARNATE project intends to develop the technical and social means to establish a reincarnation practice within the building sector that will enable the following:

  • maximize the cumulative benefits of a building, construction product or building material during its life cycle;
  • establish a transparent track record of these virtues;
  • use this track record – and the high degree of reliability and trust that comes with it – to ensure that a building,

According to the reincarnation philosophy, the REINCARNATE project aims at the European construction industry to significantly reduce construction and demolition waste by providing a Circular Potential Assessment Information Management and Decision-Making platform (CP-IM) and a range of innovations.

The CP-IM will provide a digital representation of building materials and products with methods to track and predict their lifespan. The CP-IM will also enable the assessment of the potential for life extension and reuse and predict circular value streams.

Based on the CP-IM, REINCARNATE will develop and demonstrate eleven selected real-world projects and value chains. From innovations for building inspection to solutions for planning construction and dismantling, automatic identification and sorting of contaminated sites, and decision support for architects and real estate managers. Innovations will use emerging digital technologies such as digital twins, artificial intelligence and robotic automation.

REINCARNATE will also provide social science findings on adoption behavior in the broader construction industry. They will enable to understand how to extend the knowledge that building products and materials can be reused in high product quality to an established sector.

Business process guidelines, an online learning platform with training materials and proposals for standards will also be developed to facilitate the widespread use of the REINCARNATE results.

The REINCARNATE consortium brings together 16 partners from different EU member states and Hong Kong with solid expertise in digital twins, life cycle prediction, material assessment, social sciences, construction management, architecture and real estate management.

The project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme. It started in June 2022 and has a duration of four years.