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6th International Congress on Construction History: the Call for Abstracts is open!
June 2017

6th International Congress on Construction History: the Call for Abstracts is open!

The 6th International Congress on Construction History (6ICCH) will take place in Brussels, from July 9 to July 13, 2018. The congress will be organized by five Belgian universities, including the ReUse-team team of VUB-ARCH. If you would like to participate in what promises to be thĂ© congress of 2018, please send in an abstract by June 15, 2017. More information on the abstract guidelines and selection procedure can be found on the congress website.

Kick-off 'Building Brussels' on June 9
June 2017

Kick-off 'Building Brussels' on June 9

At the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, we recently started an interdisciplinary research project 'Building Brussels". The research project focuses on the evolving role of SMEs in the Brussels city centre from an architectural, historical and urban point of view, with a particular interest in the construction industry. You can find more information on the research project on this page. We kindly you invite you to participate in the kick-off meeting on Friday June 9 2017 in COOP Brussels. Please click on the image to see the invitiation. Entrance is free after registration before June 2 2017 via this form.

Summer Workshop ‘Circular Retrofit Lab’ from 4-6th of July on Reversible Building Solutions
June 2017

Summer Workshop ‘Circular Retrofit Lab’ from 4-6th of July on Reversible Building Solutions

This summer, Anne Paduart and Stijn Elsen are organising a 3-days Summer Workshop in the context of the ‘Circular Retrofit Lab’, the Belgian pilot project of the H2020 project ‘Buildings As Material Banks’. From Tuesday 4th of July until the 6th of July, student design teams will experience with a hands-on approach the challenges involved with the design and assembly of reversible and sustainable solutions.

Each student team will be assisted by a technical TRANSFORM team, in order to successfully integrate innovative reversible wall solutions in an existing building context, i.e. the context of the Circular Retrofit Lab. In four existing modules of the student village, three different wall solutions - each with a different focus on assembly speed, sustainable materials, reversibility and future reuse will be tested in the living lab.

Also, each design team will be challenged to be creative and come up with new future applications for the building components that are used in each solutions.
For instance, how can we create new interior fitting-out elements with the reclaimed components of the walls assembled in the living lab today? A TRANSFORM jury will reward the most promising solutions!

Are you interested to join the student teams? Send a mail to Anne Paduart before 15th of June (apaduart@vub.ac.be) with a short presentation of who you are and why you would like to participate!
Find more information about the program on the project page.

Renji Liu awarded doctoral degree at æ-lab
May 2017

Renji Liu awarded doctoral degree at ĂŠ-lab

Renjie Liu obtained with his PhD ‘Annular Crossed Cable-Truss Structures: Numerical and Experimental Verification’ the greatest distinction. It was the first time that we organized the research of a PhD candidate with the goal to offer a double degree together with Beijing University of Technology. 

The innovative points of this PhD can be summarized as follows

  • The Annular Crossed Cable-Truss Structure has been proposes in view of preventing the disproportionate collapse
  • The geometry formulation of the ACCTS has been derived and the mathematical modelling has been performed
  • A three phase construction method has been proposed for the ACCTS
  • An inverse-forward simulation method has been proposed for simulating the lifting operation
  • The membrane roof effects on the ACCTS primary structure have been evaluated
Lecture by prof. Lancelot Coar
May 2017

Lecture by prof. Lancelot Coar

The Lightweight Structures Lab invites you to the lecture of Lancelot Coar. His lecture is entitled "The future is flexible: searching for construction logic in a pliable world." 

  • Date: 19th of May, 13:30
  • Location: Seminar room ARCH - building K
  • Affiche: click here

Lancelot Coar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, specializing in undergraduate and masters level design studio and construction technology lecture courses and is a researcher at the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (CAST). His research at CAST focuses on exploring the techniques and methods necessary to encourage building materials to assist in the act of form finding through material behaviour.

TRANSFORM is looking for a researcher in Circular Building Economy - Design for Change!
May 2017

TRANSFORM is looking for a researcher in Circular Building Economy - Design for Change!

The TRANSFORM research team is looking for a part-time of full-time researcher in Circular Building Economy - Design for Change for collaboration in a multidisciplinary research team supporting the Horizon2020 project ‘Buildings As Material Banks’ (BAMB).

Please find more information about the vacancy and the procedure in this link (ENG & NL). For additional information, you can contact dr. ir. arch. Anne Paduart (apaduart@vub.ac.be).

ReUse Research Seminar: May 30, 2017
April 2017

ReUse Research Seminar: May 30, 2017

On Tuesday May 30, the annual research seminar of the Reuse research team will take place. We will have a full program, as nine doctoral students and one post-doctoral researcher of the ReUse research team will present their research to their colleagues and supervisors. Dr. Wido Quist will travel from TUDelft to the VUB to look at the research with fresh eyes.

There is more than just Horta in the capital city!
April 2017

There is more than just Horta in the capital city!

The research of Linsy Raaffels on architects’ houses in Brussels was picked up by Knack Weekend by virtue of her application with her master thesis to the ‘Vlaamse Scriptieprijs 2016’. Her research is elaborated in the edition of 19 April and some lesser known architects’ houses, which are worth a small detour, receive special attention.

Hurry to your local bookshop or read the article online!

"Deconstruction". International symposium at TU Delft (April 24-25, 2017)
April 2017

"Deconstruction". International symposium at TU Delft (April 24-25, 2017)

The Brussels based association Rotor and the Faculty of Architecture and the Environment of TU Delft are coorganising an International Symposium on the Practices of Off-site Reuse in Architecture, entitled 'Deconstruction'. The event takes places at TU Delft at April 24-25, 2017. During the two-day event, it will be gauged where we stand now in relation to deconstruction and off-site reuse, what lies ahead and what progress is within reach, in terms of engineering, design and overall policy. The speakers include Lionel Devlieger and Maarten Gielen (Rotor), Annette Condello (Curtin University, Perth), Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB, ae-lab), Wessel de Jonge (TU Delft), Anne Nicklin (Building Materials Reuse Association, US), Ted Reiff (The ReUse People of America), Jan Jongert (Superuse Architecten, Rotterdam), and many more. The complete program and more details on the event can be found on the website deconstructionconference.nl

Circular economy in the construction industry
April 2017

Circular economy in the construction industry

Postdoctoral researcher Waldo Galle was invited by the CSTC-WTCB-BBRI at Greenbizz Brussels for a presentation during the conference ‘Circular economy in the construction industry’. This conference provided to various actors of the construction industry, among which product manufacturers, contractors, architects, engineers and researchers, an overview of different aspects of the circular economy such as urban mining and circular business models. Waldo brought his insights on how to design and build circular buildings during his presentation entitled ‘Design for Change, towards a circular economy in construction’, which can be downloaded here.

Lecture series on ‘Les métaux ferreux dans la construction’. Day 5/6
April 2017

Lecture series on ‘Les mĂ©taux ferreux dans la construction’. Day 5/6

FABI-Patrimoine et Histoire organises lecture series on the history of construction materials. After a successful completion of the series on ‘concrete’ a new series focussing on ‘iron and steel’ is organised in the course of 2015 - 2017. The fifth afternoon, which covers ‘Les mĂ©taux ferreux dans la construction. De 1914 Ă  1945' takes place on April 25th in Beez. Topics that will be discussed include structural and technical aspects and innovations related to the use of iron and steel in architecture and engineering, thematic publications and case studies of some of the renowned 20th century buildings and structures in iron and steel. To see the full priogramme, please click on the image.

ReciPlyDome: a temporary, lightweight structure in Copenhagen
April 2017

ReciPlyDome: a temporary, lightweight structure in Copenhagen

In the frame of a successful cooperation with Prof. Olga Popovic Larsen at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK), Stijn Brancart, Niels De Temmerman (Velux visiting professor at KADK) and Lars De Laet constructed the ReciPlyDome, a temporary lightweight structure with identical plywood components. The project is part of the research on the utilisation of elastic deformation for the development of rapidly assembled, reconfigurable and demountable structures. A successful experiment, since the assembly took only half a day. You can visit the structure until half of May at the KADK in Copenhagen, soon also in Brussels?

Read more

Block Research Group gives seminar on new "compAS framework"
March 2017

Block Research Group gives seminar on new "compAS framework"

In addition to the morning lecture of Prof. Philippe Block (ETH_ZĂŒrich) in the course of Spatial Structures, dr. Tom Van Mele gave an introductory seminar to our PhD students on the new 'compAS framework'. This framework gives access to the source code of many structural geometry and design modules developed at the Block Research Group and facilitates to the connection between self-developed research code and CAD and FEA tools. We are looking forward to see how we can contribute to this framework!

Lecture by prof. Philippe Block
March 2017

Lecture by prof. Philippe Block

As part of an ongoing collaboration and yearly tradition, professor Philippe Block (ETH-ZĂŒrich) gave on March 24 a lecture during the course of "Spatial Structures: design and analysis". During his lecture, prof. Block illustrated how to learn from the Master Builders to construct efficient and expressive shell structures for the future. 

Brussels Academy invites Inge Bertels and Stephanie Van de Voorde at Bozar
March 2017

Brussels Academy invites Inge Bertels and Stephanie Van de Voorde at Bozar

The Brussels Academy organises a monthly ‘Agora Urban Master Class’ at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts. On Tuesday March 14, Inge Bertels and Stephanie Van de Voorde will be talking about ‘Architecture and Heritage in a City in Transformation’. The lecture starts at 6.30 PM and will be in English. Free entrance. More information can be found here.

Sixth International Congress on Construction History: the Call for Sessions is open!
March 2017

Sixth International Congress on Construction History: the Call for Sessions is open!

In July 2018, Brussels will be hosting the Sixth International Congress on Construction History. If you would like to participate in this magnificent event, by presenting a paper or organising a thematic session, please check out 6icch.org. The first deadline is coming up soon: if you want to organise a thematic session, please send in a motivated proposal by April 1, 2017 to info@6icch.org

Architects' houses: evolution throughout time
February 2017

Architects' houses: evolution throughout time

The research of Linsy Raaffels, Bruface alumna engineer-architect, on architects’ houses in Brussels between the late 18th and the 20th century was picked up by the Flemish newspaper De Standaard. The architectural history research was  complemented with interviews of some contemporary architects such as Leo Van Broeck (article of February 25, 2017). The  newspaper is sold out by now, but you can read the article here.

Lecture by prof. dr. Manuela Martini
February 2017

Lecture by prof. dr. Manuela Martini

The joint VUB-ULB research group CHsB (Construction Histories Brussels), VUB-research team HOST (Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes) and ULB-research team LIEU (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire en Etudes Urbaines) are delighted to welcome prof. dr. Manuela Martini for a lecture (English, with Q&A in English and French) on Monday, 6th of March:

For a small scale history of construction industry. A discussion about: Manuela Martini, BĂątiment en famille. Migrations et petite entreprise en banlieue parisienne au XXe siĂšcle (CNRS Ă©ditions)

Manuela Martini is professor in contemporary history at Université Lyon 2 and specialises in the following themes: labour migration in the Atlantic space (19th-20sth centuries); wages and use of time by women and men during the industrialisation; crises, gender and household economies in mediterranean Europe (18th-20th century). Her most recent publication investigates the interaction between migration, small scaled enterprises and construction in 20th century Paris.

Architects' houses in Bruzz
February 2017

Architects' houses in Bruzz

The master thesis of Linsy Raaffels, Bruface alumna engineer-architect, on architects’ houses in Brussels was picked up by Bruzz. This resulted in an article in the Bruzz paper of this week (February 1, 2017).

Linsy explains how she composed her inventory of 252 architects’ houses in Brussels and what the qualities of these remarkable houses are. Also the design part of her thesis, on the personal house of architect Louis Herman De Koninck in Ukkel (1924), is discussed. The house, where De Koninck lived for 60 years, can be considered as the autobiography of the architect. Linsy turned this house into a house museum in her portfolio.

The article ties in with one of the objectives of Linsy’s doctoral research Architects’ houses in Brussels. Strategies for valorisation (supervisors Inge Bertels and Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB ae-lab), in collaboration with B. Van der Wee Architects). It is important to communicate the qualities of this heritage to a wider audience to raise public awareness. As Linsy says in the article, because of the expected increase in population and the growing pressure on the urban space, the time is now to document these architectural gems.

Hurry to one of the distribution points of Bruzz or read the article online (p. 22).

Linsy Raaffels receives Doctiris grant
January 2017

Linsy Raaffels receives Doctiris grant

Bruface alumna Linsy Raaffels received a Doctiris grant. With this grant the Brussel's Innoviris agency aspires stimulating collaboration between academics and professionals in the city's Capital Region.

In particular Linsy's doctoral research Architects’ houses in Brussels. Strategies for valorization will examine 19th and 20century architects’ houses and study how to valorise them through architectural practice. Therefore, Linsy will identify the characteristics and qualities of architects’ houses in the Brussels Capital Region and elaborate strategies for qualitative restorations and renovations. She will do this under the supervision of prof. Inge Bertels and prof. Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB, department of Architectural Engineering), and in close cooperation with Barbara Van der Wee Architects. With her research she will be able to promote this particular part of the Brussels patrimony to a broad audience by means of best practices, innovative restoration techniques and recommendations for architectural designers, owners and many other interested stakeholders.

Brussels’s Buildings: an opportunity to recover valuable building materials for the future!
January 2017

Brussels’s Buildings: an opportunity to recover valuable building materials for the future!

The year 2016 has several seen successful results of the TRANSFORM team’s expertise in transformable building design at international level. Anne Paduart and Niels De Temmerman obtained international funding for both the European HORIZON 2020 project Building As Material Banks (BAMB) as for the Brussels’ project Brussels’ Buildings: Source of new Materials (BBSM) funded by the European regional development fund (EFRO/ FEDER). In this second project - in collaboration with Architecture et Climat (UCL), BBRI and ROTOR - the focus is on the Brussels building stock when considering buildings as a source of (building) materials for the future. In order to manage these ‘urban mines’ in a sustainable way, the project aims to give better insights about existing building typologies, building systems and materials that were used, and opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials imbedded in our Brussels’ building stock. Waldo Galle started as a postdoc researcher on this project in October 2016 and will reinforce the consortium with his expertise in Transformable Building and Life Cycle Costing. The TRANSFORM team will make different publications on how to implement Transformable Building in the everyday construction practice.

Best thesis award 2016
December 2016

Best thesis award 2016

During the graduation ceremony of the faculty of Engineering on Friday, December 16th alumni Frederik Vandyck and Quinten Dewinter have been awarded the price for the best master’s thesis in the field of Architectural Engineering for their typology of Antwerp’s suburbs. They conducted this research under the supervision of prof. Haike Apelt and Stefan Braun. (Picture: John Stapels)

In their work Frederik and Quinten discuss how “type as a base ingredient for mixed-use development strategies serves as a tool for micro-central densification of Antwerp’s suburbs”. In their work ‘Triggering Suburbia’ starts with the elaboration of the past and current discourse on ‘suburbia’, ‘mixed-use development’ and â€˜typology’, followed by an in-depth analysis of existing architectural types in Antwerp and concluded with testing hypotheses, derived from the discourse, during a detailed design exercise. After their analyses Frederik and Quinten concluded that the strategy of intensifying existing or new micro-central places in the suburban fabric is very feasible when using types as the basic ingredient for mixed development.

Are you too interested in a master’s thesis within the broad expertise of ARCH? Do not hesitate to contact one of the research supervisors.

Two FWO-SB grants for ARCH researchers
December 2016

Two FWO-SB grants for ARCH researchers

Elise Elsacker and Camille Vandervaeren have been awarded by the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen (FWO) a strategic research grant. This grant gives them the opportunity to conduct independent research at our department.

Elise Elsacker, Master of Science in Architecture (KULeuven Sint-Lucas Brussel, 2012) will study the heterogeneity of materials cultivated with living organisms (e.g. fungal mycelium composites) under the supervision of prof. Lars De Laet (VUB, department of Architectural Engineering) and prof. Eveline Peeters (VUB, department of Applied Biological Sciences). Applying robotic additive manufacturing will allow her to deposite variations in form, strength and elasticity and build lightweight and biodegradable architectural elements.

Camille Vandervaeren, Master of Science in Architectural Engineering (ULB-VUB Bruface, 2016) will develop a practical method for assessing the lifelong impacts of transformable design decisions under the supervision of prof. Niels De Temmerman (VUB, department of Architectural Engineering). Compatible with Building Information Modelling (BIM), her method will determine to which extent a building can be adapted to respond to changing needs instead of being demolished. These insights will allow current practice to continue the transition to efficient building and material reuse.

Are you too a promising master student and interested in doing a PhD within the expertise of ARCH, don’t hesitate to contact the research supervisors.

Vacancy Phd-position
December 2016

Vacancy Phd-position

The interdisciplinary research team Building Brussels seeks for a full-time PhD-researcher. The candidate is motivated to conduct research and prepare a PhD-thesis that studies the historical evolution and viability of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the Brussels’ construction sector from a locational, business-historical and heritage perspective. The researcher works in an interdisciplinary team, will present his/her research to peers at international conferences and will publish the results of the research in scientific journals and publications for a wider audience.

Pieter Herthogs awarded doctoral degree at æ-lab
November 2016

Pieter Herthogs awarded doctoral degree at ĂŠ-lab

November 25th, VITO-fellow Pieter Herthogs defended with success his thesis “Enhancing the adaptable capacity of urban fragments”. Consequently he was awarded the degree of Doctor in Engineering Sciences by the jury of experts. Congratulations Pieter!

In his thesis Pieter presents a holistic, methodological framework to study the effects of an adaptable materialisation on the development of urban neighbourhoods. With this framework he addresses the gap separating dynamic theories of urban development from concepts of adaptable materialisation. Within the developed framework, two research methods are proposed as a proof of concept. SAGA, an assessment method and accompanying software tool that uses graph analysis to quantify the generality and adaptability of building layouts. And Materialised Futures, a participative design exercise to explore the benefits and drawbacks of adaptability on the neighbourhood level. Together they provide understanding and concrete design guidelines for architects, planners, policy makers and other stakeholders.

More information

Aushim Koumar awarded doctoral degree at æ-lab
November 2016

Aushim Koumar awarded doctoral degree at ĂŠ-lab

The 21st of November Aushim Koumar presented his thesis "Multi-criteria optimisation of adaptable deployable shelters for disaster relief" in front of a jury of experts and the gathered audience. On the jury’s approval Aushim was awarded the degree of Doctor in Engineering Sciences. Congratulations Aushim!

The result of Aushim’s research is a method and tool that allows optimising the design of scissor structures. Because such structures are very mobile and can be easily erected, they can be an important asset during the first stages of disaster relief. However, to enable their sustainable reuse while guaranteeing their compactness and minimal weight, the developed method tackles various questions. Is it for example feasible to design scissor structures using only a minimum number of different components as to create versatility? Or is it required to oversize elements to enable reuse during different relief stages? Concrete challenges you can read everything about in Aushim’s doctoral thesis.

More information

2 new books on post-war housing
November 2016

2 new books on post-war housing

Hot off the press: two new books on post-war housing in Brussels! One book deals with the construction history of the student homes by Willy Van Der Meeren on the VUB campus (written by Stephanie Van de Voorde, Ine Wouters and Inge Bertels), the other one deals with the apartment building Miramar by Claude Laurens in Sint-Joost-ten-Node (by Stephanie Van de Voorde and Tristan Boniver). 

More information on the research project and how to obtain a (paper/digital) copy of the books, can be found on the project webpage.

TRANSFORM organizes workshop with industry for joint development of the Circular Retrofit Lab  as a European pilot project
November 2016

TRANSFORM organizes workshop with industry for joint development of the Circular Retrofit Lab as a European pilot project

As a follow-up of the 1st industrial stakeholder meeting – held on the 21st of March - the TRANSFORM group organized a subsequent meeting with industrial stakeholders to define how within the Circular Retrofit Lab all partners can beneficiate from collaboration between industry, research institutes and government.

After a visit of the student modules on the VUB campus where the Circular Retrofit Lab will be constructed as a living lab that demonstrates possible functional building transformations – sustained by reversible and reusable solutions – Anne Paduart and Stijn Elsen organized a workshop at the ARCH department with all participants. Clearly, this lab will be part of larger sustainable developments that are taking place on the Green VUB campus, amongst which the construction of new student houses, class rooms, etc.

During this workshop, better insights were gained about the benefits of playing a pioneering role in the Circular Retrofit Lab as an industrial player. As a partner, the development of new reversible solutions can be observed closely, as well as the business models and material passports that are required to support those products towards a circular building economy. Many building products of industrial stakeholders that were present during the meeting showed already great potential to be implemented in the Circular Lab, ranging from roof and façade solutions, to window solutions and sanitary solutions.

In conclusion, the workshop wrapped up how different actors from the industry and the VUB could beneficiate both from this bilateral collaboration. The workshop session was closed with a discussion and network drink, giving the opportunity to the attending stakeholders (product manufacturers, sustainable banks, construction federations, etc.) to give feedback and get involved in the Circular Retrofit Lab as an active partner.

Pictures of the workshop can be found here.

Lightweight well represented at Novel Structural Skins symposium
November 2016

Lightweight well represented at Novel Structural Skins symposium

From the 26th till the 28th of October, the ‘Novel Structural Skins’ symposium took place in Newcastle. The symposium was a collaboration between TensiNet and the COST Action TU1303, both chaired by the Lightweight Structures group. ARCH was well represented with no less than eight participants. Marijke Mollaert, Lars De Laet, Maarten Van Craenenbroeck, Stijn Brancart, Jimmy Colliers and Elien De Smedt presented their work on lightweight and transformable structures through various presentations and thematic sessions.

The proceedings can be found here.

Lecture series on ‘Les métaux ferreux dans la construction’. Day 4/6
November 2016

Lecture series on ‘Les mĂ©taux ferreux dans la construction’. Day 4/6

FABI-Patrimoine et Histoire organises lecture series on the history of construction materials. After a successful completion of the series on ‘concrete’ a new series focussing on ‘iron and steel’ is organised in the course of 2015 - 2017. The fourth afternoon, which covers ‘Les structures mixtes au XIXe et au dĂ©but du XXe siĂšcles’ takes place on November 22th in Beez. Whereas previous days focused on the use of iron and steel, this study day focuses on mixtes structures: iron-glass, iron-timber and iron-stone. Next to general overviews of structural mixed systems, a wide variety of 19th and early 20th century case studies will be discussed such as the Palace of Justice and the Antoine Wiertz museum in Brussels, the Balat glasshouse in Meise, the renovation of the Panorama of the battle in Waterloo and the glasshouse in Mettet. For PhD student Louis Vandenabeele it’s the ideal occasion to disseminate his research on ‘Les charpentes en fer et bois au XIXe et dĂ©but du XXe siĂšcle’ to the expert audience. The full program and the subscription form are available below.

 

Bill Addis has received a Visiting Research Fellowship for 2017-2018
November 2016

Bill Addis has received a Visiting Research Fellowship for 2017-2018

In October 2017-January 2018, Bill Addis (UK) will be joining the ae-lab research team. He has received a fellowship from the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies, and will be doing research on the post-war urban heritage in Brussels. His research will provide new insights for those architects, engineers and contractors engaged in conservation and extending the life of existing buildings, by drawing upon similar experience gained in the UK and other European countries. More details of his stay and related talks, events, etc. will be announced in the autumn of 2017.

Bill Addis is actively involved in the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Construction History Society, and he is the editor of the journal 'Engineering History and Heritage'. For 15 years, Bill was a Sustainability Consultant with the engineering consultancy Buro Happold.

ARCH participates in French research project on post-war heritage
November 2016

ARCH participates in French research project on post-war heritage

Together with research teams from 6 Architectural Schools (ENSA) in France (Bretagne, Nantes, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Strasbourg, Normandie), ARCH has submitted a two-year research proposal for the 2016 call of the French Ministry of Culture on 'Architecture du XXe siĂšcle, MatiĂšre Ă  projet pour la ville durable du XXIe siĂšcle'. Our proposal, entitled 'Smart French. Le logement collectif du second XXe siĂšcle, au prisme de l'Ă©nergie' has been selected as one of the five awarded proposals. The team is headed by RaphaĂ«l Labrunye (ENSA Bretagne). The contribution of ARCH will focus on the construction history and building materials (Stephanie Van de Voorde) and the energy use and comfort (Filip Descamps) of the post-war housing heritage in France. 

The BAMB team grows!
October 2016

The BAMB team grows!

The H2020 project BAMB (Building As Material Banks) held its latest consortium and workshop meeting at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford (UK) during the week of 17 th -21 st of October.

This was the perfect setting for Anne Paduart (project leader for VUB) to welcome Camille Vandervaeren to the European BAMB team! As a member of the TRANSFORM research team, Camille will investigate how reversible design protocols can be developed for the Belgian context in strong collaboration with TuTwente, BRE and Sarajevo Green Design Foundation (Work Package 3).

During their stay in UK, Anne and Camille attended the BAMB team presentations, as well as an organized visit of the BRE Innovation Park, and interactive workshops concerning ‘Leading principles’ (VITO) and ‘Exploitable research results’ (BRE) held in the Saint-Gobain Center in London together with all BAMB partners.

We hope you enjoyed your first BAMB meeting, Camille!

Alumni-avond van de Architectuur en Bouwkunde 2016
October 2016

Alumni-avond van de Architectuur en Bouwkunde 2016

Op donderdag 17 november 2016 zal de zevende editie van de “Alumni-avond van de Architectuur en Bouwkunde” doorgaan in de lokalen van de vakgroepen ARCH en MeMC.

Met dit initiatief willen we de contacten tussen onze opleiding en de alumni, en tussen de alumni onderling versterken in een informele sfeer.

Na een inleiding door Paul de Knop  zullen er ook dit jaar twee lezingen worden gegeven (door Denys N.V. en ORIGIN). Aansluitend volgt een feestelijke receptie in de lokalen van ARCH.

  • Locatie: Auditorium Paul Janssens, gebouw K, 2de verdieping, campus Etterbeek
  • Datum: donderdag 17 november 2016
  • Aanvang: 19u00
  • Registratie: vóór 11 november, via ahermina@vub.ac.be
  • Programma: download

Met dank aan de Faculteit van de Ingenieurswetenschappen en onze sponsors:  Denys, Phenix Group, AGC Glass Unlimited, A.G. Plastics, Kubus, Daikin, SchĂŒco, Brea, Protect, Tuc Rail, Sweco, Victor Buyck, Cogghe & Co, Besix en VUB alumniwerking.

Geen e-mailuitnodiging ontvangen? Schrijf je in op onze LinkedIn groep en blijf op de hoogte van onze Alumni-activiteiten.

INVITATION Lecture by Sara Wermiel (MIT, USA)
October 2016

INVITATION Lecture by Sara Wermiel (MIT, USA)

Thursday October 27th visiting research fellow at the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies and the research lab for Architectural Engineering dr. Sara Wermiel will lecture on ‘The historic Preservation Movement in the United States: from ownership to regulation’. Colleagues and students interested in the topic are welcome to participate in this event.

Wermiel’s lecture will cover the early history of the U.S. Preservation Movement, including how changes in the understanding of property rights, and extensive urban renewal and highway programs after World War II, have shaped today’s preservation framework. Further, parallels between U.S. history and that of Western Europe will be drawn.

  • Venue: VUB, Building K, Auditorium K2 (2nd floor)
  • Date: October 27th, 2016 from 2 to 3 p.m.

Participation is free, after registration by mail to secretary Ann at ahermina@vub.ac.be.
This lecture will be given in English.

ARCH grows further
October 2016

ARCH grows further

A new academic year brings new faces. Not only students, also new researchers start their journey at ARCH. From October 2016, our department of Architectural Engineering is enriched with four promising researchers (left-to-right).

Linsy Raaffels, MSc in Architectural Engineering (VUB-ULB Bruface, 2016), is appointed as a researcher for the IRP-project Building Brussels. This project studies the evolution of small and medium-sized construction enterprises throughout the 19th and 20th century as well as the role these SMEs could play in Brussel’s ongoing redevelopment.

Frederik Vandyck, also MSc in Architectural Engineering (VUB-ULB Bruface, 2016), is hired as assistant at the ARCH department. During his research he will tackle the idea of the ‘productive city’, an emerging research expertise that requires thorough architectural imagination as much as historical reflection.

Camille Vandervaeren, MSc in Architectural Engineering (ULB-VUB Bruface, 2016), prepares a doctoral research that combines her expertise about Building Information Modelling and Design for Change. Pending adoption of her grant application, she is working on the Horizon2020 project Buildings as Material Banks.

Romain Wibaut, also MSc in Architectural Engineering (ULB-VUB Bruface, 2016), is currently engaged on an FWO-project in the field of Structural Renovations. The application he submitted for a personal research grant focusses on the assessment and renovation of metal roof structures of churches built between the 1830s and 1930s.

Linsy, Frederik, Camille en Romain will regularly assist the teaching staff in the bachelor and master programmes of our department. Their main task however is conducting research. This way research and education are closely entangled in all our fields of expertise.

Exposition on prestressed concrete
October 2016

Exposition on prestressed concrete

The UCO-factory in Ghent (1947) is one of the earliest remarkable buildings constructed with prestressed concrete. Anticipating the refurbishment of the building, the history of the factory and the construction technique is documented in a small exposition in Ghent, at the office of the urban development company 'sogent' (October 2016 - March 2017). Stephanie Van de Voorde and Luc Taerwe (UGent) were responsible for the scientific support of the exposition. The exposition includes some models, a part of an original prestressed beam, a video installation and 4 posters telling the history of the building: visitors can take along these posters, to create numerous 'daughter exhibitions' elsewhere!

More info on www.sogent.be 

Lightweight and Transform in Tokyo
September 2016

Lightweight and Transform in Tokyo

The annual IASS (International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures) Symposium was held from the 26th till the 30th of September in Tokyo. Our Lightweight and Transform departments were represented by Marijke Mollaert, Niels De Temmerman, Lars De Laet, Kelvin Roovers, Maarten Van Craenenbroeck en Lennert Loos who all presented their research in one or more contributions.

Our students on 7th Concrete Design Competition
September 2016

Our students on 7th Concrete Design Competition

In the fall of 2015, the 7th Concrete Design Competition asked students of architecture and engineering to explore the potential of concrete’s properties with respect to the notion of METAMORPHOSIS, a change in appearance, character, condition, or function. 

The international jury, chaired by Dirk Jaspaert, acknowledged that four students of the VUB department ARCH did this successfully. The design of Bruce Forton, Lennert Van Rompaey, Thomas Schoukens and Bastien Damsin for a series of concrete tiles is according to the jury “surprisingly easy and feasible” and “revisits an old technique with a nice innovation”.

The competition culminated last September in a week-long master class hosted by the TU Berlin and facilitated by Bureaubakker at the historic Peter Behrens Hall. During that week the plasticity of concrete was combined with fabric formwork resulting in a prototype of a modular façade element. This was definitely an inspiring experience for Bruce, Lennert, Thomas and Bastien.

Prof.dr.ir. Suduo XUE gave a lecture at ARCH about Spatial Structures in China
September 2016

Prof.dr.ir. Suduo XUE gave a lecture at ARCH about Spatial Structures in China

Prof.dr.ir. Suduo XUE gave a lecture Development and Innovation of Spatial Structures in China for the members of ARCH and MEMC on the 25th of August. Prof.dr.ir. Suduo XUE is Dean of the College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Head of the Spatial Structures Research Center, Beijing University of Technology and Chairman of the Membrane Structures Committee, China. In the afternoon the Lightweight Structures group organized a research seminar:

Waldo Galle awarded doctoral degree at æ-lab
September 2016

Waldo Galle awarded doctoral degree at ĂŠ-lab

September 9th, researcher Waldo Galle presented with success his thesis “Scenario based life cycle costing, an enhanced method for evaluating the financial feasibility of transformable building” and was awarded the degree of Doctor in Engineering Sciences.

In his thesis Waldo proposes an advanced method for comparing the long-term financial consequences of different material and design choices. Because future costs of transformable buildings are difficult or even impossible to predict, his method relies on diverging scenarios. These scenarios reveal which design choices are futureproof and which are not. Based on such insights designers can make also financially sustainable decisions.

Congratulations Waldo!

new publication on the history of the student homes
September 2016

new publication on the history of the student homes

Those of you who have walked around the VUB campus lately, might have noticed the gaping hole next to the swimming pool, where the blue student houses used to be... 12 homes had to disappear for the swimming pool, but we hope the rest of the homes can be saved! Ine Wouters and Stephanie Van de Voorde are doing research on the history of the homes, investigating the materials that were used and assessing the heritage value of these iconic buildings. Parts of the research have been published in the latest issue of the bimonthly journal 'M&L. Monumenten, Landschappen en Archeologie', published in August 2016 (see www.menl.be). More publications on the construction history of the homes are coming soon!

Mieke Vandenbroucke awarded doctoral degree at æ-lab
August 2016

Mieke Vandenbroucke awarded doctoral degree at ĂŠ-lab

The 25th of August Mieke Vandenbroucke presented her thesis "Design, dimensioning and evaluation of demountable building elements" in front of a jury of experts and the gathered audience. On the jury’s approval Mieke was awarded the degree of Doctor in Engineering Sciences.

The result of Mieke her research is a practical method for designing demountable, reusable and thus sustainable building elements. The method discusses which materials can be used to build demountable walls and other building elements, and how they should be dimensioned. Because these dimensions are the input for environmental life cycle analyses, Mieke could also demonstrate the related environmental savings and give designers concrete advices.

Congratulations Mieke!

DynamicWall built in Brussels apartment, watch the movie
July 2016

DynamicWall built in Brussels apartment, watch the movie

As a demonstration of the DynamicWall research project Anne Paduart and Stijn Elsen built an adaptable and reusable wall in the high-rise apartment of a Brussels-based architect.

The DynamicWall was developed as a sustainable alternative for conventional masonry and plasterboard lining. The wall’s reversible connections enable the reuse of its wooden and metal components in analogy with Do It Yourself kits and IKEA furniture. After prototyping models have been tested successfully on their impact resistance and acoustical performance, this demonstration validates the wall’s applicability for upgrading existing apartments.

The DynamicWall is the result of our collaboration with the industrial partner Tecnibo and the support by INNOVIRIS in the context of the BXL RETROFIT PLATFORM.

Watch the video of the DynamicWall's assembly following this link
youtube.com/watch?v=FojZLBvMoyU

Find project details and contact information via
vub.ac.be/ARCH/ae-lab/projects/dynamicwall

New Website Launch Construction Histories Brussels
June 2016

New Website Launch Construction Histories Brussels

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our new website “Construction Histories Brussels”: http://www.constructionhistory.eu/ An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the UniversitĂ© Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) combines expertise on construction history. We are proud to present current projects and new events to a wider public.

  • We invite you to start exploring our website
  • Our mission statement
  • The participating teams
  • The participating people and their publications
  • The contents of current research projects

In “News and activities” you will find links to upcoming events, presentations, lectures, workshops, 
 Links are provided to Construction History Societies in other countries. We hope you will enjoy the website. Check it out here: http://www.constructionhistory.eu/

Anne Paduart lectures about Circular Economy in Flanders
June 2016

Anne Paduart lectures about Circular Economy in Flanders

Researcher Anne Paduart was invited on 24th of June by OVAM, Flander's public waste agency to give a lecture about the Circular Economy in Flanders' construction sector.

During here presentation Anne gave more information about the Circular Building Lab situated at the VUB campus Etterbeek. This lab includes the transformation of some existing student residences and serves as one of the pilot projects within the HORIZON2020 project BAMB - Buildings As Material Banks. The pilot's goal is to acts as an example of how to introduce circular building concepts in building practice. This is one of the main aims of the TRANSFORM Research Team.

Project details and updates can be consulted via
vub.ac.be/ARCH/ae-lab/projects/bamb

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