IPHA Technical Seminar 2023 – Amsterdam

Over the last 24 years, IPHA has regularly held a Technical Seminar for members to explore latest ideas and share knowledge. On 12-13 October, IPHA’s 14th Technical Seminar was held at Hotel Van der Valk A4, only a few kilometers from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The headline of this year’s seminar was the “Re-Use of Hollow-Core Slabs”. 55 delegates from 17 countries participated, exploring and learning more about the re-use of hollow-core slabs.

On Thursday morning, delegates were able to visit a site where the circular dismantling of an office building nominated for demolition by the Port of Amsterdam is taking place. This comparatively new and well-maintained building currently sits in the Port of Amsterdam’s safety zone. However, with the port scaling up production and the use of hydrogen and biofuels to meet demand for renewable energy across the Netherlands, the safety zone needs to expand, the office must be dismantled, and the materials will be re-used in a new building. Delegates were thus able to see the re-use of hollow-core slabs first-hand in actual practice.

Thursday’s schedule continued after lunch with the opening of the seminar by IPHA President, Seamus McKeague. Thereafter, Wim Jansze, President of the Technical Committee, took over and guided attendees through the seminar excellently on the two following days. The first keynote speaker was Peter Musters, who delivered an interesting speech about the topic of hollow-core flooring in circular construction.

Secondly, Aren van de Beek, Program Manager Circular Economy at demolition and reassembly company Lagemaat (the company demolishing the building on the site visited in the morning), gave a presentation regarding the “remolition” of buildings including hollow-core flooring.


Main topic: “Re-Use of Hollow-Core Slabs”

Then it was time for the first of four workshop discussions, where Wim Jansze split up the delegates into seven groups and introduced them to the workshop format. Thereafter, the last keynote speaker of the day, Thijs Lambrechts, presented on the topic of design for re-assembly. The first day of the seminar ended with the second workshop, with the topic “How does circular construction change our product features?” set for discussion.

During the evening, a private dinner was arranged for all delegates in one of the hotel’s restaurants. Good food was enjoyed in a warm atmosphere around several tables.

Friday morning began with the first keynote speaker of the day, Marcel Vullings, who spoke about codes with re-used elements and elements with alternative binders, followed up by Ton van Beek with a protocol for the re-use of hollow-core slabs.

After the keynote speeches, it was time for Friday’s first workshop, where the topic to be discussed was “Circular economy: opportunity or threat? What weakness should we improve?”. Following a short break, the conference continued with a speech on designing and adapting re-used hollow-core slabs for buildings delivered by Hans van Steen and a case study of the “Upcycle Mall” project presented by Thies van der Wal. During the afternoon, Ronald Klein-Holte was the last of the keynote speakers presenting on the future role of the structural engineer in hollow-core design. The two-day long seminar came to a close following the fourth workshop, which discussed the question “What will circular construction do to the product life of our hollow-core slab?”.

After the workshop, Wim Jansze and IPHA Executive Director, Kjell-Ole Gjestemoen, thanked all delegates for their participation and contribution during the two days in Amsterdam. The seminar’s focus on codes, designs and protocols will help the hollow-core industry become an important part of the wider move towards circular and sustainable construction.

Participation in the Technical Seminar was open and free to all IPHA members, and all presentations from the keynote speakers are now available to members via the Knowledge Center on the IPHA website.



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