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Tata Steel wins award for its circular economy thinking

5 January 2016 No Comment

Tata Steel has scooped a World Steel Association ‘Steelie’ Award for its contribution to a new 31,000m2 logistics park development near Schiphol airport.  Working closely with Dutch company Trade Association Bouwen met Staal (BmS) and developer Delta Development Group they won the ‘Excellence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)’ category in this year’s 2015 ‘Steelie’ Awards.

The ‘Steelie’ Award was presented to Tata Steel at a presentation ceremony in Chicago following the World Steel Association Annual Conference.  This prestigious award was recognition of Tata Steel’s thinking on the use of LCA to demonstrate the impact of steel in a world class Circular Economy (C2C) building, showcased through the new 31,000m2 Fokker 7 +8 Distribution Centre.

Fokker 7 +8 Distribution Centre is a shining example of how a Circular Economy based construction can benefit the long-term future and re-use of a building at the end of life when forward thinking and forethought are given to the components used to build it.

The Fokker 7 +8 Distribution Centre – a 100% circular economic building

It may be hard to think of your office or factory building being procured and developed using Circular Economics, but the Fokker 7 +8 building at Schiphol Airport is a 100% circular economic building.  With more and more developers looking to adopt Circular Economy models into the built environment and with greater importance being placed on the end-of-life and environmental credentials of buildings, there is a newer modern way of thinking that looks to create buildings that not only last but are easily adaptable for future use.

Tata Steel and BmS recognised the enormous opportunities for steel to facilitate Circular Economy based construction. Through the re-use of materials they developed a number of new construction practices and details with Delta Development Group (DDG).  With more and more developers looking to adopt Circular Economy models in the built environment, it was important to design and build the showcase Distribution Centre for long-term adaptability with demountability in mind.

The move away from the old style ‘take, make and waste’ philosophy to one of designing for re-use and the provision of a 100% circular economic building, meant that careful consideration had to be given to the use of materials that can be re-used in the future.  This included a building design that incorporated modular/standard structural column and beam dimensions; bolt and screw connections that require no welding; demountable cladding connections; horizontal steel trusses (instead of flooring) for shear stability and most importantly a ‘Building Material Passport’ database of the entire project that itemises all steel specifications and dimensions of the components used, vitally important at the buildings end of life and for long-term efficiency and future re-use.

In order to facilitate this Circular Economy based construction and re-use of materials, Tata Steel, BmS and Delta Development Group (DDG) worked together to design the Fokker 7 +8 Distribution Centre for demountability with built-in flexibility aimed at the future re-use of the building’s components.

It was Tata Steel’s use of LCA methodology that allowed them to demonstrate the importance of the steel industry’s involvement at the earliest stage. They set out to provide design guidance that looked to improve the environmental credentials of steel by 20-40%, helping provide a massive 18-36% improvement on the environmental footprint of steel.

Now in operation, the Fokker 7 +8 Distribution Centre is a shining example of how a Circular Economy based construction can benefit the long-term future and re-use of a building at the end of life when forward thinking and forethought are given to the components used to build it.

If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact Bauke Hoekstra Bonnema via email: Bauke.HoekstraBonnema@tatasteel.com

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