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Sustainable development - Valorisation of industry residues in the construction of buildings and infrastructure

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Climate Action; Affordable and Clean Energy


Worldwide there is a call for action to promote sustainable development by addressing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as defined by the United Nations. Construction, particularly of buildings and infrastructure, needs to be part of that process, as the construction industry is responsible for significant carbon emissions. Aiming to promote Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12), solutions for minimising the consumption of natural resources, maximising reuse of resources, and using renewable and recyclable resources are urgent. In addition, such resources need to meet adequate technical requirements and to enable building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation (SDG9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure). Achieving inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities is thus possible (SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities).

The challenge

Our challenge aims to help local industry create new value chains and markets by proposing solutions for reusing, recycling, and/or repurposing industry residues as constructions materials for buildings and infrastructure. A particular focus will be given to solutions aiming at replacing good quality soils.

Expected impact

We hope to have useful initial solutions for the valorisation of industry residues in the construction of buildings and infrastructure and that may trigger deeper technical development by interested partners.

The expected impact can be grouped into:

» Environmental – reducing carbon emissions by the valorisation of industry residues to replace natural resources and by using locally available materials;

» Economic – promoting circular economy by reusing, recycling or repurposing industry residues, and creating new value chains and markets;

» Social – Enlarging businesses and business areas with potential for employment and training.

Target groups

All the students affiliated with one of the Universities belonging to ECIU can apply. A commission appointed by UA will select the solvers. Regional business, municipalities, and citizens may benefit from the proposed solutions.

Expectations from students

Each team will explore the current problem of finding alternatives to natural resources as construction materials replacing them by industry residues, by creating and answering questions about the topic of the challenge. After having analysed the answers obtained, teams will focus on the definition of a solution that can be explored in more detail by local industries to promote the valorisation of industry residues as construction materials.

During the challenge, participants will work in teams of 3 to 4 members. The work will be done remotely, with synchronous and asynchronous moments.

Start/End/Structure of challenge:

» Start: 7th november 2021

» End: 25th november 2021

» Duration: 3 weeks

Format of challenge: nano

Deadline for application: 18 October 2021

ECTS or Certification information: 1 ECTS


University of Aveiro

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