Concrete has been used in construction for almost 3,000 years, it is THE most versatile building material on the planet, it’s also the least green. Our use of concrete in building is beyond extensive, by weight you’d need every other building material combined, then doubled to get even close to our reliance on this versatile composite.
The next most-used substance on the planet is water, of which concrete also consumes an unhealthy amount of.
The main component of concrete is cement, the manufacture of which is one of the major contributors of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Cutting back on our use of cement and concrete is a hardship, the stuff is tough and relatively cheap compared with alternatives.
Recycling concrete is becoming much more common, in of itself however, it’s not such a green practice. Concrete demolition usually ends up with as much discarded landfill as recyclables, once concrete reaches the recycling yard it’s reprocessing takes almost as much energy as making the stuff from scratch.
Imagine a machine, a robot that could recycle concrete structures without all the heavy machinery, a single deconstruction process. World meet Omer Haciomeroglu’s ERO Concrete De-construction Robot ::::
Factoid: 20 percent of landfill is concrete based waste.
ERO is only a concept at the moment, but the principles for the Concrete Deconstruction Robot are clues to the near future of demolition and recycling possibilities.
Omer Haciomeroglu’s concept replaces several pieces of heavy machinery, it erases buildings a section and layer at a time. The ERO’s would be deployed on site, moving about on it’s clever omnidirectional tracks – developed by Osaka University – like a crab. Haciomeroglu says the tracks allow ERO a freedom of not only movement, but also simplify the mechanics and loses the need for heavy hydraulic stabilizers.
“The challenge with this project was to separate materials at the same time as de-construction.” Haciomeroglu said. “Concrete is usually reinforced with a metal mesh inside. Current techniques tend to pulverize with brute force which creates a lot of dust and uses a lot of energy. The main goal of the ERO project was to provide a smart, sustainable near future approach to the demolition operations that will allow recycling as much as possible.”
As well as saving the planet, the other side of ERO is cost saving, demolishing a building often costs as much as erecting the one pegged to take it’s place. ERO is designed to deconstruct efficiently, losing the need for multiple material separators, the robots separates all of the buildings materials via Hydro/Centrifugal Decanter.
High pressure water is jetted against the surface to scarify the concrete, leaving the reinforcing steel intact. The Centrifugal Decanter then spins the slurry at speed, separating the materials from water, which is recycled through the system.
“This project is an excellent solution for the complexity of today’s demolition techniques which consumes a lot of energy to create a lot of waste.” Haciomeroglu said. “Around the world, concrete structures are being demolished to make way for new concrete structures every day, ERO simply turns Waste into Asset.”
Strategically placed in a building ERO would scan the environment, determine the optimal route of operation and execute the demolition with no human intervention. The robot – or team of robots – cleverly switches between pulverizing and smart deconstruction modes, tearing buildings down layer by layer. The robots are also super power efficient, with it’s own hydro-electric generator.
“The packaging unit provides the system with vacuum suction and electrical power, turbulence dynamos placed within the air suction route also produce power.” Haciomeroglu said. “ERO uses less than what it gets, nothing is land filled or sent away for external processing.”
Omer Haciomeroglu studied industrial design at Istanbul Technical University, the robot was designed for construction equipment company Atlas Copco. ERO won the 2013 Industrial Designers Society of America – IDSA – Student Design Award, while studying Advanced Product Design at Sweden’s Umeå Institute.
Haciomeroglu currently freelances his superlative talents, check him out on Linkedin: linkedin.com/omer-haciomeroglu
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