ECOBULK - Demonstrators for a circular economy

ECOBULK - Demonstrators for a circular economy
DateProject completed
The ECOBULK project aims to develop innovative solutions in a circular economy logic in 3 sectors: automotive, construction and furniture. FCBA is involved in the field of furniture and construction to work on prototypes integrating recycled materials, to evaluate the environmental, economic and social performance of the prototypes, and to participate in the development of tools to raise awareness among manufacturers (Mooc, serious game). ECOBULK is part of the European H2020 programme and has 29 partners in 11 countries.

Environmental, economic and social performance

Logo Ecobulk

Pilot demonstrators are being developed, notably in the furniture sector with a piece of furniture composed of a multifunctional element that allows the creation of different types of furniture. Conceived in an eco-design approach, the work focuses on new business models such as rental or maintenance services for furniture. FCBA is evaluating the environmental, economic and social performance of this demonstrator (Life Cycle Analysis, Life Cycle Costing, Cost Benefit Analysis and Social Life Cycle Analysis). A social life cycle analysis methodology is being developed to define the social issues related to the life cycle of furniture products, the impact indicators used and how to evaluate them. This approach should eventually lead to a simplified method for displaying the social performance of a product over its life cycle. The work is based in particular on the UNEP guidelines and on the “Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment”.

The use of recycled materials

The use of recycled materials on an industrial scale still raises many technical, logistical and societal questions. What is the performance of these materials? How can supplies be secured? What is the social perception of the consumer?

FCBA is working in collaboration with professionals to test composites developed in the framework of the ECOBULK project and wood panels with biobased and/or low formaldehyde adhesives. The prototypes will be tested by a panel of users during the spring and summer of 2021.
After conducting a Europe-wide survey on consumer perception of the use of recycled materials in consumer products, FCBA has developed and applied an experimental protocol to test consumer perception of the presence of recycled materials in furniture. These results will feed into a methodology for integrating the sensoriality of materials into the design process.