Concrete mortar is an extremely strong binder used extensively for brick construction. The separation and reclaim of brick from concrete mortar, without damaging the brick, therefore is technically challenging and assumed by some researchers to be impossible.
REBUILD has developed and tested two different approaches to over-come the challenge: sawing and punching.
A variety of sawing techniques have been successfully applied to separate and clean bricks from high strength concrete mortars. Tests have shown that the bricks retain their structural properties and could be re-used in new structures.
Reclaimed bricks can also be remanufactured into higher value products, such as brick slips, which are widely used in modern construction methods.
Concrete floors and wall elements are typically fixed to steel frames using welded studs. To deconstruct a steel/concrete designed building requires the ability to remove the welded stud without damaging either the steel or concrete element.
REBUILD has demonstrated how these welds can be removed to enable the steel and concrete elements to be removed and potentially re-used in other buildings or structures.
Further research is being conducted by the REBUILD investigators to design bolts for steel frame structures that avoid the need for welds in order to facilitate deconstruction at the end of a buildings service life.