Overcoming the limits of sustainable construction

The development towards energy-efficient construction practice is still in its infancy in many regions of the world. In the ReBuMat cooperation project, Prof. Dirk Schwede and colleagues from Vietnam and Germany are investigating how scientific results from interdisciplinary networking, research and practical orientation can be incorporated into building planning and construction in the tropical regions of the world.
Researchers in the German-Vietnamese cooperation project on resource-efficient construction with sustainable building materials (ReBuMat), led by Prof. Dirk Schwede from the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences, have set themselves the goal of researching and developing building materials and construction methods for energy-efficient, resource-saving and generally sustainable building promote in Vietnam.

Recycling and bio-based building materials

At the TH Lübeck, the two-day project focused on resource-efficient and sustainable construction in Vietnam. Prof. Dirk Schwede welcomed his Vietnamese and German project partners to a workshop led by the President of the TH Lübeck, Dr. Muriel Helbig, was initiated. “I am very pleased to welcome you all here in Lübeck.”

Afterwards, the participants got straight into the technical discussion. In 20-minute lectures, the construction experts presented various aspects of sustainable construction. Nguyen Tien Dung, for example, presented approaches on how construction and demolition waste can be recycled and used to produce porous concrete. How building material can be made from recycled glass or how plastic waste can be used in houses were just a few of the other topics of the lecture.

On the second day of the conference, the participants dealt with bio-based building materials, how they can be tested and characterized, as well as straw bale construction, presented by Virko Khade, and building with clay with contributions from Prof. Heiner Lippe (TH Lübeck), Prof. Dr. Bui Quoc Bao (TDTU in HCMC) and Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan (HUCE in Hanoi). In a panel discussion, the scientists exchanged views on how bio-based building materials behave in hot and humid climates and how they could be used permanently.

From Lübeck via Berlin, Dessau and Leipzig to Stuttgart

Not only two workshop days in Lübeck were part of the one-week exchange program – the Vietnamese scientists* undertook (almost) a small tour of Germany with Prof. Schwede. In Berlin, they visited the German Energy Agency, the German Institute for Building Technology and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development. The next stations were the Federal Environment Agency in Dessau and the Building Education Saxony eV Finally, the group traveled to the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics and the Material Testing Institute in Stuttgart. A visit to the Institute for Building Energetics, Thermotechnology and Energy Storage was the last stop for the researchers. “In a certain sense, we have overcome the limits of sustainable construction to a certain extent with the delegation trip,” summarizes Prof. Dirk Schwede.

About ReBuMat

In many regions of the world, the development of energy-efficient building practice with today’s comfort and quality standards is still in its infancy. Due to the demanding climatic conditions, extensive structural engineering and building physics issues have to be clarified for sustainable building. The parallel German-Vietnamese project “Climate-Adapted Materials Research for the Socio-Economic Context in Vietnam” (CAMaRSEC) is also currently working in this field. At the same time, however, the demand for raw materials and the immense consumption of resources in the construction industry endanger ecological functions, biodiversity and, in many cases, the local economic basis of life. Therefore, the ReBuMat project presented here focuses on “resource-efficient construction with sustainable building materials” in a tropical climate. ReBuMat promotes the development of German innovative strength abroad and, together with the research partners, the global knowledge society as a contribution to solving global challenges. The ReBuMat project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the CONNECT program “CONNECT Education-Research-Innovation”.

ReBuMat project partner