Start date: May 1, 2012
End date: April 30, 2015
Total project value: ~ 3.7 Million €
Project coordinator: TECNALIA
Total number of partners: 14
Contact person (name/email):
Project webpage R-Tech/EU-VRi:
General overview of the Lyfe Cicle of the MNMs in the construction sector
Description: Manufactured nanomaterials and nanocomposites are being considered for various uses in the construction industry and related infrastructure industries, not only for enhancing material properties and functions but also in the context of energy conservation.
Despite the current relatively high cost of nano-enabled products, their use in construction materials is likely to increase because of highly valuable properties imparted at relatively low additive ratios, rapid development of new applications and decreasing cost of base MNMs as they are produced in larger quantities1,2.
Recent studies suggested that workers handling with nano‐products mostly worked with cement or concrete products, coatings or insulation materials. Other product types, including road‐pavement products, flame retardant materials or textiles, were only indicated by some 3 . However, a survey developed by FIEC and EFBWW (2009) showed that the majority of construction workers and their employers (~75%) are not aware that they work with nano-products (Figure 1).
Occupational exposure to these emerging risks may be accidentally or incidentally produced at different stages of the construction industry life cycle (Figure3). Due to the novelty, these same nano-products might pose new health and safety risks to the worker on‐site, which scientists are only just starting to understand. Detailed information about the product composition and their possible nano‐specific health and safety issues though, is generally lacking and the information available to the raw material manufacturer is often lost while stepping down the user chain. As a consequence, for the average construction company it will be very difficult to conduct a proper risk assessment and organize a safe workplace for its employees.
Despite the potential risks, the use of nano‐products in the construction industry is a reality and can be expected to grow in the near future (Technology is always working ahead of risk). Consequently, there is a general uncertainty with respect to health and safety risks and how to properly manage them to protect workers and be in compliance with OHS legislation.
EU-VRi Specific Role: Delphi Workshops will be conducted by the EU-VRi experts.In order to develop a common vision and ensure consensus partners and stakeholder groups involved in the project, several one-day Delphi workshops will be organised to reach these goals.
EU-VRi will organize the dissemination by developing a Dissemination Plan at the beginning of the project that will be updated when necessary during the project meetings. This plan will consider specific chapters for
general dissemination activities, activities targeted to the construction sector, activities coordinated with the EU-Nanocluster and non-European partners and other activities such as pre-standardisation.
The dissemination activities will be organized using four channels:
a) the dissemination at large using the project website and a partnership with other initiatives at EU and non-EU level,
b) the targeted dissemination towards professionals from construction sectors and experts thanks to dedicated training programs,
c) the scientific dissemination to update the state of the art, and d) providing inputs to standardization activities at EU and on an international level.