ERS SEED FUNDS- Background

The Exploratory Research Space @ RWTH Aachen (ERS) is a section within the university that supports the generation of new and unconventional ideas. It will comprise activities which give a leeway for creativity to both senior and junior researchers and which foster interdisciplinary exchange and discussion. One activity is the funding of Seed Fund Projects. The typical duration of a Seed Fund Project is 6 to 12 months.

Robotic Façade Disassembly and Refurbishment System (RFDRS)

The RFDRS was developed between the chairs Reuse in Architecture, Individualized Production and Environmental Compatibility of Building Materials at the Institute of Building Materials Research.The overall goal of this research is the creation of a Robotic Façade Disassembly and Refurbishment System (RFDRS). For this, three major aspects are important. First is the conservation of resources to minimize to environmental impact of construction and renovation processes. Second is the creation of new disassembly and assembly methods for building envelopes to ensure economic competitiveness, thus increasing acceptance in industry. Third is the evaluation and application of a new material, foamed concrete, towards refurbishing as an example plastered façade in a fast and efficient way while also offering customization options for an individualized aesthetic result.

In this project common façade systems will be analysed so that appropriate assembly and disassemble criteria can be proposed. Based on these criteria, the disassembling processes are evaluated economically if the harvesting of urban resources is feasible and sustainable or not. Within the scope of this project one façade system will be chosen to test the RFDRS principle on a mock up model as a proof of concept. The disassembling process will be developed and analysed in depth. Additionally the new proposed thermal insulation by foamed concrete will be applied and its properties analysed. As an output, the complete process chain of RFDRS will be demonstrated, showing its innovation potential.