Unreinforced concrete masonry for circular construction

Bhooshan S., Dell'Endice A., Ranaudo F., Van Mele T. and Block P.
Architectural Intelligence
doi: 10.1007/s44223-023-00043-y

This paper proposes an effective approach to realise circular construction with concrete and shows Unreinforced Masonry as a foundational building block for it. The paper outlines the importance of circularity in building structures. It specifically focuses on the impact of circular construction with concrete on improving the sustainability of the built environment in a rapidly urbanising world economy. Subsequently, the relevance of principles of structural design and construction of unreinforced masonry to achieve circularity is articulated. Furthermore, the paper presents and summarises recent developments in the field of Unreinforced Concrete Masonry (URCM) including digital design tools to synthesise structurally efficient shapes, and low-waste digital fabrication techniques using lower-embodied-emission materials to realise the designed shapes. The paper exemplifies these using two physically realised, full-scale URCM footbridge prototypes and a commercially available, mass-customisable building floor element, called the Rippmann Floor System (RFS). The paper also outlines the benefits of mainstream, industrial-scale adoption of the design and construction technologies for URCM, including accelerating the pathway to decarbonise the concrete industry. In summary, the paper argues that URCM provides a solution to significantly mitigate the carbon emissions associated with concrete and reduce the use of virgin resources whilst retaining its benefits such as widespread and cheap availability, endurance, fire safety, low maintenance requirements and recyclability.


    author  = "Bhooshan, S. and Dell'Endice, A. and Ranaudo, F. and Van Mele, T. and Block, P. ",
    title   = "Unreinforced concrete masonry for circular construction",
    journal = "Architectural Intelligence",
    year    = "2024",
    volume  = "3",
    number  = "",
    pages   = "7",
    month   = "",
    doi     = "10.1007/s44223-023-00043-y",
    note    = "",

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