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New European Bauhaus

ELEMENTerial bus stop

Can a bus stop encourage zero-waste and circular economy aspirations?

ELEMENTerial bus stop
ELEMENTerial bus stop
© European Union, 2021

Can a bus stop encourage zero-waste and circular economy aspirations?

YES! ELEMENTerial believes it is feasible.

An Estonia-based project, ELEMENTerial challenges the concept of modular construction by giving human-scale spatial features.

The project is one of several submitted for the 2021 New European Bauhaus award prizes in the "Techniques, materials and processes for construction and design."

ELEMENTerial utilises algorithmic design techniques, which allow for the incorporation of material properties and structural calculations early in the design process.

The proposed modularity could be a novel method for modular timber building that does not leave any material leftovers.

Because Estonia is Europe's most prominent timber home exporter, ELEMENTerial wants to propose a solution or product to valorize the waste material accessible in the national timber sector.

When cutting off wooden wall pieces from plate materials such as CLT (cross-laminated timber), remnants such as window and door apertures are common.

Because of this remaining material, the wood can be viewed as mid-scaled construction blocks — neither a log nor a whole wall, but a new LEGO piece for sustainable zero-waste design. 

Standard elements were created that can be cut from average production remainders and used to create designs in the shape of miniature architectural forms.

A bus stop is one example of a specific output, but it can also be expanded into a structural facade system.

This small architectural shape indicates a viable method or product for valorizing waste material in ELEMENTerial and redefining the future building block, which can function as a roof, wall, and seats in space, producing apertures and spatial patterns for better interpreting the architecture.

The project's researchers applied circular economy theory to architecture by valorising factory leftovers. This prototype employs Yakisugi, a traditional Japanese method of wood preservation. The bus stop's outside surface and roof are burned to promote wood durability.

📸 © European Union