Fundamental research areas of the ZAG
Area 1: SUSTAINABLE USE OF RESOURCES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The field introduces the principle of circular construction, which covers material efficiency, waste evaluation, industrial symbiosis, cascade recycling, substitution of critical and hazardous substances, sustainable use of natural materials, digitization of value chains and operations, circular business modeling, etc.
- circular economy (new materials, recycling, reuse, cascade recycling, circular business models, industrial symbiosis),
- green infrastructure, use of sonar construction techniques (water retention in materials, reinforced soils, geosynthetics),
- sustainable evaluation of the built environment,
- the use of natural materials (earth materials and materials with low “embodied” energy – wood, straw, etc.) and their composites,
- analysis of the life cycle of used construction materials, buildings, engineering structures and construction technologies,
- water reuse and soil remediation,
- modular construction that enables deconstruction instead of demolition.
Area 2: ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The field covers the efficient management of energy in the built environment, in the production of materials, systems and processes, in construction and the comprehensive operation of buildings and infrastructure. It also includes the introduction, exploitation and management of renewable energy sources.
- the dynamic thermal response of buildings,
- the quality of the construction of the building envelope,
- material efficiency in combination with energy efficiency, for example water purification (reuse of water and other materials),
- renewable sources and energy storage (e.g. shallow geothermal energy, obtaining energy products from light energy using photocatalysts as renewable energy sources, batteries, fuel cells…).
Area 3: SAFETY, RESILIENCE AND ADAPTABILITY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
This area deals with ensuring the mechanical and fire resistance of construction facilities and transport infrastructure. It includes the prevention of their damage during constant and frequent impacts (constant weight, earth pressure, traffic, wind), ensuring safety for users and the environment during extraordinary impacts (earthquake, fire, landslide, storm, flood) and their resistance and adaptability to climate change and new requirements of urban mobility. The field includes the development of new materials and technologies, as well as directing the development of new types of structures and modular construction.
- development of new and modification of existing materials and technology for resistant and stable facilities (buildings, engineering facilities),
- development of new materials and modification of existing ones to increase the resistance of the structure and other elements of buildings,
- seismic resistance of existing constructions, including cultural heritage,
- protection against the effects of climate change (avalanches, storms, floods, changes in temperature due to increased temperatures, etc.),
- innovative materials, technologies and constructions based on sustainable resources (e.g. wood, soil),
- green construction facilities – sonar techniques (water retention in materials, reinforced soils, geosynthetics),
- advanced methods for monitoring the properties of materials and structures and for effective management of the built environment,
- advanced methods of monitoring the built environment and the environment and climate change for early warning, prevention and management of disasters,
- advanced materials and methods for transport infrastructure adapted to climate change and the new requirements of urban mobility and increased traffic loads,
- fire-resistant structures and systems and facade fire – experimental and numerical treatment,
- reaction to fire of materials and flame retardants,
- toxic flue gases,
- evacuation of buildings,
- risks related to mobility (fire of batteries or hydrogen tanks),
- advanced methods for ensuring the safety of transport infrastructure).
Area 4: HEALTHY RESIDENTIAL / BUILT ENVIRONMENT
The area creates the conditions for the construction of construction facilities and infrastructure, which enables a healthy living environment. In doing so, it includes all vitally important components of the environment: air, water, noise, heat, moisture, light, vibrations, ergonomics… and works in the direction of eliminating harmful factors and substances.
- investment in construction facilities and its impact on materials and people,
- protection against noise and vibrations of the internal and external environment,
- healthy drinking water,
- indoor and outdoor air quality (including the effects of flue gases from burning and in case of fires),
- daylight in buildings and artificial lighting,
- development of advanced responsive materials as indicators for moisture, CO2, pathogens, etc.,
- dangerous components (substances) in buildings (asbestos, PHB, VOC, radon, microplastics, nano and microparticles),
- soil remediation/immobilization,
- the influence of the quality of the building envelope on hygrothermal comfort,
- sustainable evaluation of buildings,
- development of new materials to reduce noise and vibration emissions due to traffic loads.
Area 5: NEW TEST METHODS AND DIGITALIZATION IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The field develops and implements new test methods, observation techniques of construction facilities and infrastructure, and analytical tools with the support of new information and communication technologies.
- the use of artificial intelligence in the construction industry,
- remote detection of damage to buildings and engineering structures of the transport infrastructure,
- digitization/automation of control and monitoring processes in connection with the use of AI in the construction industry,
- advanced monitoring methods, including remote detection of damage to buildings, engineering facilities, transport infrastructure and the environment/environmental events for early warning and management of the built environment (drones, SHM, B-WIM, SLT, etc.),
- hybrid infrastructure (physical and virtual representation of physical) as support for new mobility, autonomous driving and vehicles, I2V connections, CCAM.
- hybrid test methods (combining testing with modeling)
- use of the building information model for planning, construction, management and decommissioning of construction facilities;
- digital twins for building management, including cultural heritage.