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Circular Innovation in the Building Industry

We are calling for innovators among students at VIA University College to invent and rethink solutions for the building industry to promote circular economy.

How can we reuse materials in an efficient and easy way after a building´s end-of-use? And how can new technologies and digitalization help us do this?

Submit your idea or solution and help us rethink the future of the building industry.

Talent program



Submit your idea

Evaluation and selection of winner

Evaluation and selection of winner

VIA University College


This challenge seeks solutions and ideas involving advanced technologies and digitalization to overcome the barriers that are seriously holding back the expansion of circular economy.

These solutions should provide benefits by increasing the efficiency of tasks in the renovation projects of existing building stock, or should enhance circularity through solutions in design, construction, or detailing new buildings to be prepared for adaptability or disassembly after the end-of-life period.


“Natural resources are scarce and construction industry accounts for 40 percent of the material and energy consumption in Europe” (Building a circular future, 2016).

In order to achieve significant reduction in the consumption of resources and to move towards a circular economy, new technologies and digital tools can be developed and implemented for this purpose.

Through changes in the way we design, construct and assemble our buildings, and the way we carefully remove the buildings after the end-of-life period, we are able to keep much more resources in the loop and prevent them from being downcycled or treated as waste.

Each of the four given challenges seek for innovative solutions to embed the potentials of Build 4.0 technologies in the building process with the purpose to provide new strategies for a circular (construction) economy:

  • Solutions and new applications with “precision GPS”: How can TAPAS (Testbed i Aarhus for Præcispositionering og Autonome Systemer) be used for technological innovation in the building industry, e.g. regarding robot control, drones and monitoring, etc.? TAPAS operate with a precision of 1 cm3 on street level
  • Solutions for new building designs to secure materials to be easily and effective reusable after building’s end-of-life period
  • Solutions for the existing building mass: embedding and using new technologies and methods to improve reusing ”harvesting” materials after buildings' end-of-life period
  • Wildcard: Solutions on how ”precision GPS” can contribute and be used to “harvest” materials from buildings in the future

The teams and the names of the group members are announced on Monday the 11th of March.

How to take part in the challenge:

Step 1:
Form an interprofessional team of students to get different perspectives on the challenges.

Step 2:
In your teams define the context (or practice setting) you will be working in.

Step 3:
Formulate and frame the specific challenge you will be working with in relation to the context defined above.

Step 4:
Develop an idea or a potential solution to the specific challenge.

Address the rationale for your ideas/solutions and how they will be transferable to the building industry

Submission guidelines

To participate in this challenge, you have to upload your idea/solution here on before 15th of March. If you do not have a profile, please sign up for a profile here.

Please note that this challenge is only open for students at VIA University College.

Submit your idea to at the top of this page.

Your submission should include:

  1. A title and a short description. If you update your idea while attending the workshops, please edit your original upload rather than creating a new submission
  2. One visual representation A3 poster (landscape format) of your solution in the form of an illustration

Your submission may include additional documents attached to the submission.

Selection criteria

Your idea/solution will be assessed based on your ability to explain it, both in text and visualizations, on your ability to create a compelling and sound argument for the idea/solution, and on the value it could generate.

Your idea or potential solution is assessed based on the following criteria:


  • Is the solution original and new?
  • To what extent does it set itself apart from existing solutions?


  • Is the solution desirable?
  • Will it really solve the challenge?


  • Is the solution possible?
  • Can it realistically be implemented?


  • How costly will the solution be - will the benefits be worth the investment?
  • What are the most important desired outcomes and how will you measure success?

Please note that you do not have to answer all of these questions one by one, but please do consider them when developing your idea/solution. This way, your solution will be appropriate, actionable, and deliver tangible results.


The Jury consists of a panel of experts from VIA as well as Anders Sørensen from Enemærke & Petersen and Birgitte Christine Rosenkranz from The Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency.


Ideas for this challenge (14)

BSafe- An app for building site safety

Tapas is precision positioning system with an accuracy of 1cm3. We have developed a product that will make the building site a safer place for workers and will help coordination between workers and machines.

It is done via GNSS (Global National Satellite System) which sets the position of workers and the machines and then the data is send back to the app.


RFID chips embeded into building construction elements in the production stage to better manage, track and reuse elements from deconstructed buildings to make new ones. At the same time developing a database containing building data on each element used.

Drone with Self healing concrete filling

Thermal scanning of the building or element via Revit

AI technology

saves time, eco friendly.


"Smart-con" er beton der er tilsat sporbar Nano DNA.

Nano DNA indeholder informationer om betonens styrke og kvalitet.

Nano DNA spores ved "Re-con" behandling, og sorteres i styrker og kvalitet.

Re-con behandling sker i forbindelse med nedknusning af betonen.

Quick Cut 4.0 er en robotarm der kan anvendes til fx skæring af elementer og mursten med henblik på genanvendelse.

Quick Cut 4.0 skærer med enten laser eller vand.

Armen kan nemt sættes på fx. maskiner..

Quick Cut 4.0 er en robotarm der kan anvendes til fx skæring af elementer og mursten med henblik på genanvendelse.

Quick Cut 4.0 skærer med enten laser eller vand.

Armen kan nemt sættes på fx. maskiner..

Denne maskine er i stand til at suge glasset ud inden demontering af selve vindues rammen. Knuser glasset og opsamler, der gør det muligt at sende det rene glas direkte til genbrug.

Everywhere in the world, there are large areas where asbestos is deposed that need maintenance and take up valuable land. It is possible to re-use the materials that are contaminated with asbestos, and even turn asbestos into a reusable material

Et produkt
En løsning
En vinder

ITSS introducerer forbedret sikkerhed I trafikken ved at kombinere bilernes software, chip-registrering i individer med præcis GNSS.

Med ITSS kan kollisioner mellem bløde og hårde trafikanter forebygges, selv i tætbebyggede og befærdede områder.

A nervous system for your house that monitors the condition of the building and the state of the materials concerning the reuseability of the different materials.
All data is being stored and can be accessed by people that wants to reuse material.