Circular Wood for the Neighborhood wins AUAS Research Award

31 Mar 2023 13:56 | Communication

The Circular Wood for the Neighborhood research project is the winner of the AUAS Research of the Year Award. This was announced on 30 March 2023 at the annual Knowledge Parade in the DeLaMar Theatre. The project investigates how used wood left over from house renovations can be given a new life.  

When homes are renovated or demolished, many thousands of kilos of wood are left over. This wood comes in a wide variety of sizes, types and qualities. It also contains nails or other pieces of metal making it more difficult to re-use and it is generally discarded. The Circular Wood for the Neighborhood project shows that this can be done differently and the wood can be re-used.

A group led by the AUAS developed smart design and production technologies to help re use wood. The Circular Wood for the Neighbourhood project designed three case studies for housing associations in which robots were used. It also developed a model to analyse the impact of using ‘circular’ wood.

The jury of AUAS professors, chaired by rector Geleyn Meijer, praised the AUAS’s collaboration between a carpentry and furniture making college (Hout- en Meubileringscollege Amsterdam, MBO) and scientific knowledge institutions such as The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), TU Delft technical university and Metabolic sustainability consultancy. Collaboration with senior secondary vocational colleges (MBO) is still uncommon and the research is also relevant to and complements AUAS's sustainability ambitions.

The jury said: “It is an innovative multi-level approach, with prototyping and circularity. The research is also a great example of how applied research is ‘learning by doing’. It shows that for the (sustainability) transition, we have to dare to experiment in order to innovate. The inter- and trans-disciplinarity of the research is also a strength. It is demonstrator research that shows what the possibilities are, but at the same time the research is still limited in terms of its knock-on effect, which is yet to come.”

The win for Circular Wood for the Neighbourhood means there are two runners-up: Hospital2Home (a research project on recovery care and rehabilitation after hospitalisation) and When Business Meets The Doughnut (Kate Raworth's doughnut model applied to businesses).