Construction Demolition Waste Management in Mega Cities

Abstract

The world is changing. Big cities are attracting more and more population, millions every day and growing. Who among the megacity dwellers would want to wake up in the morning staring at a construction demolition site, dusty, rusty and noisy? The increasing need for an improved infrastructure within the mega cities evokes a big industry of building replacements. The complex combination of building materials and methods is making the de-construction and recycling the demolition waste material very difficult. Today's methods are very complex, time consuming and the end use of the by-products are very limited. Moreover all of these methods are further limited by governmental regulations and laws. These laws are held in order to keep the dynamic city life to be able to cope with the de-construction jobs running around the city. Reinforced concrete being the most celebrated and used structural element, how might we find a smarter way to de-construct it and re-use the byproduct more accurately?

Inspiration and Method

We design for people in the end, so for the project, I have gone through a variety of different users and experts who work in construction business. Architects, Construction Field Engineers, Project Leaders, Recycling experts, Mechanical engineers were my primary interviewees. I have done several on site observations and interviews both in Sweden and Moscow, Russia. After observing the work environment and the needs, I have analyzed the data, added my online research on top and I have moved on to concept generation stage during which I have created diagrams and schemes to map out the problem areas to be able to create concepts to solve them. Sketching and physical moke-up test models were a big part of the next step that was the concept development stage. I have shared my explorations and ideas with my collaborator Atlas Copco Design Competence Center. After the feedbacks from engineers and Atlas Copco Design team, I have moved on to concept finalization.

Result

The final product is a smart autonomous de-construction robot that uses Hydro-demolition as its core technology. Instead of using brutal mechanical force and pulverize the volumes manually, it blasts the micro cracks on the concrete surface with high pressure water jets. By doing so it literally takes the reinforced concrete wall apart and separates the mixed aggregate from the chemicals and filters the water and re-feeds it back to the blasting system. The clean aggregate then is vacuumed by a main unit outside the construction site, grinded into smaller bits, packed into industrial big bags an labeled ready to be sent to concrete pre-cast stations. The Slurry from the filtering operation then also is vacuumed separately and contained. This way instead of creating waste, we will produce assets from the de-construction operations. We won't have to landfill anything and the end use of the byproduct will increase. A cleaner and a smarter future is coming.