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New journal paper in Energy & Buildings

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Environmental impact minimization of reticular structures made of reused and new elements through Life Cycle Assessment and Mixed-Integer Linear Programming

Just because components are reused doesn’t mean it is the most sustainable approach. Reality is much more complex, which makes structural designers face some tough choices.

Designers striving for least environmental impact structures may use new or reused elements, or a combination of both. Employing only new (recycled) steel elements gives the most material-efficient and lightweight designs. Reuse instead avoids new steel production impacts. On the other hand, reused element availability may be limited and for instance their refurbishment also causes impacts.

We tackle this issue in our new journal publication in “Energy & Buildings”, which presents methods to design least environmental impact structures made of reused and new elements by combining Structural Optimization and Life Cycle Assessment.

The paper is the outcome of a research stay of Jan Brütting (SXL) at the Architectural Engineering department a Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). This stay was supported through EPFL’s EDCE PhD mobility award 2018.

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