The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products is pleased to lead the DISRUPT project (Delivering Innovative Steel ReUse ProjecT) which seeks to explore the innovative reuse of structural steel in construction and encourage the adoption of new circular economy business models that can help tackle the climate emergency.
The project has received funding via Innovate UK’s Circular Economy for SMEs competition, in collaboration with the NICER programme, a four-year £30 million investment from UKRI consisting of one hub and five specialist research centres aiming to grow the circular economy community through a significant programme of outreach and collaboration.
The DISRUPT project team is made up of steel reuse experts Cleveland Steel and Tubes Ltd, global construction company ISG and the National Federation of Demolition Contractors. Supporters of the project include the Grosvenor Group, one of the world’s largest privately-owned international property businesses.
Cleveland Steel and Tubes are one of the largest stockholders of repurposed steel tubes in Europe and have partnered ASBP on a number of circular research projects over the past 10 years, in addition to supporting the ASBP’s Reusable Products and Buildings Network.
Steel is one of the most widely used and resource intensive materials used in construction. Although commonly recycled at end of life, the reuse of steel is minimal despite the apparent environmental, carbon and circular economy benefits. The high value of steel at end of life can be realised by being reused in a wide range of construction applications.
Previous studies have shown that there are barriers to reuse including economic factors, supply chain issues, availability, and lack of demand. New business models are required to ensure that the benefits of steel reuse are accrued across the value chain and underpin the activities of existing and new actors.
DISRUPT seeks to address these challenges by bringing together the leading actors involved in steel construction reuse – client, contractor, and stockist, and those that will be particularly impacted by the transition from a recycling to a reuse model, such as demolition contractors.
A detailed feasibility study will be undertaken focusing on real life case studies which track the ‘journey’ of reused steel from start to finish, providing a rich data source covering different sizes and types of projects, and variability in geographical location across the UK.
The project will deliver new costed circular business models that can act as a blueprint for other companies interested in entering the reuse sector, ultimately to achieve a greater supply of reuse steel into the marketplace. If steel reuse is to become mainstream, it is imperative that new business models are profitable and equitable to the whole value chain, and that reused steel is readily available and easy to specify within construction projects.
DISRUPT aims to prove that steel reuse can have a major role to play in mitigating climate change. To find out more about the project please contact DISRUPT project manager, Richard Broad – firstname.lastname@example.org.