Who we are:

The RecyleBIM project is a Consortium of an international and multi-disciplinary team to develop strategies that use the new methods of collect and analyse Building information to develop tools for enhance the circularity of construction materials. With that purpose the Team is composed by different professionals of many institutions that are specialized in different areas of (des)construction techniques, data collecting, processing and digital information analyses that will allow new methodologies of material survey, analyse and transformation to develop the circularity of raw materials in the construction.

What we do:

RecycleBIM reflects an intention to create a framework for the circularity of raw building materials through the availability and integration of information in BIM (Building Information Modelling) technologies. This development focuses mainly on some key aspects, on the one hand the development of new methodologies for surveying buildings to be demolished based on manual scanning, controlling the costs of creating digital models of them. On the other hand, to establish BIM modelling rules that allow deconstruction to be analysed not only in terms of health and safety, but also of the deconstruction process and the materials it will generate and the creation of IFC tools and a platform for optimization of deconstruction strategies and "Life Cycle Analysis and Life Cycle Costing". These data are integrated with the use of concrete demolition waste for 3D printing and finally integrate these tools for use by municipalities in the management processes of new construction and demolition, keeping track of data about the circularity of materials at the local level.


    The research methodology is strongly anchored in the complementarity of know-how and geographical reach of the partners of the project.
  • The global coordination ‘WP1 - Coordination and management’, is ensured by UMINHO and co-led by TUDa. Even though the research developments of the project shall be initiated simultaneously, the descriptions provided herein follow the workflows envisaged for the framework to be developed, which can be seen in the figure above.
  • The setting up of adequate data to feed the IFC-based tool is dealt with ‘WP2 - BIM data specifications’, led by UMINHO, in alignment with the requirements of ISO-19650:2018 and EN 17412-1:2020, so as to facilitate instructions and to make available to owners the opportunity to set their requirements for information (EIR’s), and for designers to deliver proper models for the several BIM uses, including ‘Design-for-Deconstruction' (track: new construction) or ‘model for demolition’ (track: to-be-demolished). This is a very innovative effort, not only because of scarcity of freely available information on EIR’s, but mostly due to the very recent introduction of the Level of Information Need specification EN 17412-1:2020 (November 2020). The need for creation of a BIMmodel for a ‘to-be-demolished' construction might be perceived as an expensive activity if sophisticated equipment and/or significant manpower were needed to be deployed according to current methodologies in the market.
  • The innovation underlying ‘WP3 - Developing cost-effective SCAN-to-BIM for pre-demolition', led by UVIGO, is precisely targeted at filling this gap, by developing a methodology to assist the semi-automated creation of BIM models basedon technology already available in affordable handheld systems including recent LiDAR-capable mobile phones. The developments will include: (i) methodology for survey and data storage; (ii) software in Python for segmentation and semantic enrichment of data; (iii) method for rapid modelling based on pre-processed data.
  • ‘WP4 - IFC based tool for optimisation and scenario studying’, led by TUDa, will develop a free and open-source tool to be made available to the market (in C#, Python or other, and made available as a webapp), and will be using an IFC BIM model file as input (regardless of being a ‘new construction’ or a ‘to-be-demolished'). By connecting the tool to LCA/LCC databases, and deploying multicriteria analyses (e.g. optimisation algorithms and artificial intelligence), the tool will allow assisted decisions to designers (architects/engineers) regarding design choices of materials and solutions to their designs, considering LCA/LCC, and with specific focus on circularity impacts. In such a context, the tool allows informed decisions to be made and impacts to be quantified in a clear and quantitative manner to the user, also being suitable to communicate to owners and other stakeholders. For the ‘to-bedemolished' track, the IFC-based tool shall assess quantities of materials that can be put into circularity and provide advice to stakeholders responsible for demolition regarding the best choices of techniques and sequences of demolition, so as to maximise re-use and recycling. In parallel, strong efforts will be made to ensure the viability of implementation of the tools developed in RecycleBIM in mainstream BIM Modelling platforms, allowing an even wider reach amongst the practising community.
  • The two further WP’s of RecycleBIM have direct interconnection with the IFC-tool of WP4, particularly in the case of ‘WP5 - 3D printing and new opportunities for circularity’, co-led by SU/UWC. Most work will be developed towards bringing clarity and mainstream application of materials collected fro demolition (e.g., brick, concrete) towards partial replacement of aggregates in 3D printing for concrete/mortar, as well as the use of low-carbon cement as binder, e.g., limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) and waste ashes, while preserving required pumpability, extrudability and buildability. The use of waste construction material indeed aligns with the concepts of urban mining of metals, yet adapted to a different reality/materials. Strong experimental developments are expected in this WP, with direct connection to the materials of interest as defined within the Consortium. Structural elements will be 3D printed in either a smaller 3 degree of freedom (DOF) gantry-type 3D concrete printer with 1 cubic metre print volume, or a 4 DOF larger (2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 m) gantry-type 3D printer designed and built by SU. Larger scale printing developments will be also connected to IFC models in demonstration of the linearity of information inherent to Construction 4.0.
  • The last scientific WP is ‘WP6 - Database proposals and case studies’, led by LEZ, deals with two complementary aspects. Initially, the important matter of definition of the relevant information and parameters to include in a freely accessible web-based database of materials, is aimed for local bidding on a proposed marketplace for materials coming from construction demolition at local level. Even though the use of demolition residues is not necessarily highly competitive at the current stage, it is anticipated that the rules for incorporation of demolition waste in EU/world will bring a significant value to this marketplace, as soon as significant minimum rates of incorporation of residues become mandatory. The business model can be laid out in WP6 and the technical conditions can ensured right away. The other important complementary aspect of WP6 is related to case studies, which are to be applied in all the countries involved with several degrees of implementation. However, in a minimum of three involved countries, the full spectrum of the methodology of the project will be applied on real cases, to be defined according to relevance by the end of the project. These demonstration cases are considered of crucial importance to highlight the usability and impact of the project.
  • The efforts to interface with the scientific, technical, and general communities will be the subject of ‘WP7 - Communication and dissemination’, led by UMINHO. Targeted efforts will be made towards a careful awareness and use of the tools of the project, particularly through events, and publications, but mostly through readily available information on the website of the project, social networks, and YouTube Channel. Connection with EuroNews (‘Futuris’) or similar will also be sought.