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Manchester expert helps secure £1 million for major re-think on building

23 Nov 2016

A University researcher from has helped secure £1 million funding for a pioneering project that aims to boost efficiency in the construction industry – partly by being more creative in re-using valuable materials rescued from demolished buildings

Professor Yong Wang, from Manchester’s School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, has supported colleagues Professor Peter Hopkinson and Professor Dennis Lam, both from The University of Bradford, to secure funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Their successful REBUILD project proposal will take a close look at the construction industry and how high value materials can be reused in new developments.

With 50,000 buildings demolished in the UK each year the REBUILD project will bring together key players from the construction, logistics and manufacturing sectors with local authorities with the joint aim of:

  • reducing costs in new builds;
  • reusing high value materials;
  • creating new jobs in innovative technologies of deconstruction, repair and manufacturing;
  • reducing environmental impacts.

“The UK has a huge legacy of buildings, including cement mortar-based masonry, reinforced concrete, and steel-concrete composite structures, which account for the vast majority of UK building construction tonnage and cost,” said Professor Yong Wang.

“Currently, these buildings are demolished at the end of their service life and their materials are recycled - but this is a difficult process.

“This project will investigate methods of extracting high value from such end-of-service-life buildings by upgrading low-value recycling to high-value reuse of building components.

“This project will give us an opportunity to explore different techniques of cost-effectively reclaiming and re-manufacturing building products from hard to deconstruct buildings.”