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Sustainability with no compromises – Dismountable connections enabling circular economy

June, 3, 2019

Circular economy is the latest buzzword in the construction industry, and there’s a reason for it. Cities play a major role in making the global economy more sustainable. While occupying only 3% of land surface globally, urban areas use 75% of resources and produce 60-80% of global greenhouse gases. But, while the need for more sustainable solutions is huge, no one wants to compromise on other factors when building in urban areas.

But what if there was a concept where sustainability was not a limiting factor but rather an enabler that triggers new solutions and unorthodox applications of existing materials and techniques? GAAGA Architects have managed to create such concept in Buiksloterham, Amsterdam.

Even though Buiksloterham is located only five minutes away from the city center, it has had many empty lots and only a few monumental buildings. Because of this, it was the perfect candidate for a large-scale test bed for a new kind of a sustainable and circular city.


Re-using precast buildings – from theory to practice

Dismounting and re-using precast buildings has sounded more or less theoretical until now. The two residential buildings at lot 20E in Buiksloterham will turn the theory into reality. In order to create a dismountable precast frame, choosing the right kind of connections for the elements is crucial.

Lievense structural designers suggested a full set of Peikko concrete connections to go with DELTABEAM® Composite Beams. In the finished buildings, HPKM® Column Shoes, HPM® Anchor Bolts, SUMO® Wall Shoes, BECO® Beam Shoes, COPRA® Anchoring Couplers, and PCs® Corbels ensure that the buildings can be easily dismantled when the time comes.


Circular will be the new normal

The precaster Bestcon is very satisfied with the installation of Peikko’s concrete connections and affirms that this system is very interesting for similar projects in the future. “Normal grouting would make dismounting next to impossible. But when the time comes, thin layers of non-shrink mortar can be removed to get access to the bolts. After that, it’s an easy job to unbolt the connections to separate beams and columns,” says Site Manager Rolf Koper from Vink Bouw, the contractor in this project.

The project will be completed in 2019. And in years to come, Buiksloterham will probably be seen as one of the trailblazer areas – a place where the circular building movement took off.

Joris van Hezewijk

Peikko Benelux B.V.

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