International consortium develops guidelines for the construction industry for the reuse of steel structures

Project news

The recently finished joint EU project PROGRESS led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, developed a comprehensive package of tools, guidance, and protocols to support recovery, and reuse of steel components from single storey steel buildings. VTT is now leading a new project, which combines the previous findings with similar activities worldwide. The aim is to produce extended and updated guidance for constructional steel reuse supported by newly developed technical standards and digital tools.

The construction and demolition sector creates Europe’s largest carbon emissions and waste flow. Although end-of-life constructional steel is almost entirely collected, its recycling is very energy intensive, and therefore reuse of the material without its re-melting offers environmentally efficient solution. Rationalization and harmonization of deconstruction methods and, utilization of material reuse requires regulations, guidance, assessment methods for cost and environmental impacts as well as other technical data to be developed and implemented with the correct measures and actions. 

“The aim of opened ADVANCE project is to develop practical guidance for the industry. For instance, the new Building Act in Finland in 2025 will establish the control of carbon footprint in new buildings and renovations. Similar type regulations are developed in several European countries at the time. The ADVANCE project will provide a clear methodology to calculate these impacts and guidance how to design and execute a successful reuse project,” says Senior Scientist Petr Hradil from VTT . 

Instructions for reusing steel structures and components, already exists in Finland, Sweden and in some other European countries. However, on EU level, these common specifications are still missing. ADVANCE project will develop such guidance and translate them for several different European languages. The existing mobile application will be developed for a web tool with BIM functionality.

The key results of already finished PROGRESS project have been presented in the publication “PROGRESS 2017-2020 – European recommendations for reuse of steel products in single-storey buildings”, which can be downloaded at the link below. The industry is still missing the technical standardization regarding the design and execution of construction or demolition works. For the development of these, the ADVANCE project will give some impact and thus helps the development and proceed of these. 


The ADVANCE project was started in the beginning of September 2023, and it will end in the end of August 2025. The project budget is about 1.5 million euros, of which EU is funding 0.8 million euros. The project is coordinated by VTT from Finland, where partners are Teräsrakenneyhdistys TRY (Finland; Finnish Constructional Steelwork Association), Purkupiha Group Oy (Finland), The British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd. (BCSA, United Kingdom), RWTH Aachen University (Germany), Arcelor Mittal R&D Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Industrial Technical Centre of Metal Construction CTICM (France), Bauforumstahl e.V. (BSF, Germany), Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), University of Coimbra (Portugal), Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara (Romania) and ECCS, European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (Belgium).

Link to ADVANCE web page:
Link to the finished PROGRESS web page:
Blog: Reuse of building components fights waste

Picures: Purkupiha Oy

Petr Hradil
Petr Hradil