Department of the Built Environment

Innovative Structural Design

Integral design
The chair of Innovative Structural Design (ISD) focuses on the basic knowledge and understanding of structural principles, in combination with specific materials properties, in order to develop innovative and sustainable structural design solutions. One of the group’s key goals is the study of the integral structural design process and the relationship between architecture, structural design and other building-related disciplines.

Resource-efficient structural design
The building and construction industry are by far the most resource-intensive sector in the European Union. This sector, which is based on a very strong responsibility of architects as well structural engineers, consumes approximately 50% of all primary raw materials and is, therefore, substantially exhausting natural resources. In recent decades the construction industry focused mainly on the reduction of buildings’ energy consumption as well as use of renewable energy. However, the impact of material use will also be in the spotlight in the future.

Recently the Dutch government formulated the program ‘Nederland Circular in 2050’, which states the ambition to use 50% less primary materials in 2030 and to have a full circular economy in 2050. As one of the consequences as of 1st of January 2018 the Dutch municipalities will check compliance with a so-called MPG calculation (in Dutch: MilieuPrestatie Gebouwen; in English: Environmental Performance Buildings) for all new buildings. This mandatory material impact evaluates the total effect of the weighted environmental impacts of the total building’s materials. To meet these ambitions, resulting from the Paris Climate agreement, it is essential to re-think the use of materials in structural systems. Various approached can be followed. ISD focuses on the following three.


Reduce – Reuse – Renew/Recycle

1. Reduce use of materials:


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