Research and development

The distinguishing feature of the Mostostal Warszawa Group in the construction industry is consistent research and development. The Research and Development Department, operating since 2005 within the structures of Mostostal Warszawa, deals with the search and development of technologies with the potential to build the company's competitive advantage. It cooperates with many renowned research units in Poland and abroad. By developing new technologies, Mostostal Warszawa invests not only in the development of the company, but more importantly in the development of Polish engineering thought.
In its history, the Research and Development Department has implemented over 30 research and development projects co-financed from the framework programs of the European Commission and structural funds managed by national agencies. High efficiency in obtaining grants has been confirmed by the "Kryształowa Brukselka" prize awarded to Mostostal Warszawa.
The biggest achievement to date is the development of technology for the construction of bridge spans made of FRP composites, sealed in 2018 by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland granting a patent for an invention (No. P 409 367). Mostostal Warszawa has implemented two road bridges using this technology.

Polish projects

Com-bridge - An Innovative FRP Composite Bridge

The Com-bridge project aims to build Poland's first road bridge with the use of FRP composites (i.e. fibre-reinforced polymers). The project will be completed over a period of 29 months (from November 1, 2013 to March 31, 2016) under agreement no. UOD-DEM-1-041/001 of January 17, 2014 for the performance and financing of a project under the "DEMONSTRATOR+ Supporting Scientific Research and Development Works in Demonstration Scale" Pilot Venture.

The consortium consists of four units:

The planned Com-bridge demo facility will be built along county road no. 1411R in Błażowa (Rzeszów County), at the location of an existing bridge requiring immediate repairs. The planned simple beam structure bridge will have a span of 21m and width of 10m. The bridge is to be completed in the third quarter of 2015. 

Multi-Dwelling Urban Building 2030 (MBJ2030)

The Multi-Dwelling Urban Building 2030 project features a holistic approach to improving the technical and performance properties of buildings. It is intended to achieve a goal consisting of two parts:

- To offer new structure, material and installation solutions as per the principles of sustainable construction; this will set the standards for municipal multi-family buildings to be used widely in 2030 – the MBJ2030 standard;

- To build a demo facility for testing the proposed solutions and to communicate the principles of the standard.

The research related issues of the project focus on general optimisation of the building design process and improvement of the existing renewable energy consumption, water consumption reduction and power control system operation concepts in multi-family buildings.

This will provide an opportunity to improve the overall properties of multi-family residential buildings, which will translate into improved quality of life for residents and a significant reduction in the negative impact on the environment. An MBJ2030 building will feature a BBE (Building Environmental Efficiency) indicator of > 1.5 (currently at 1.0).

Buildings erected in accordance with the MBJ2030 standard will be differentiated from existing buildings by a number of innovative features, including:

  • Effective room overheating protection in the summer;
  • Effective building thermal insulation;
  • Heat source in the form of a renewable energy and municipal network-based system;
  • Water and sewage system providing an option to reduce drinking water consumption;
  • Hybrid ventilation system;
  • Indoor air meeting high hygienic requirements;
  • Favorable environmental and ecological characteristics of the building's life-cycle;
  • Limited penetration and propagation of undesirable sounds outside and inside the building; - Integrated building management system.

 
The project envisages the erection of a multi-family building in the new standard as a demo facility. The project is coordinated by Mostostal Warszawa S.A. Project participants: Building Research Institute and Silesian University of Technology.

Other data:

Project start date – March 3, 2010.

Research end date (applied industrial research and development) – August 31, 2013.
Project end date: December 31, 2013.

Composite Footbridge: Development and Implementation of Composite Footbridge Production Technologies

The project was completed under the grant contract no. 4613/C.ZR7-6/2010 for financing the target project no. 6 ZR7 2009 C/07341 entered into with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
The duration of the project falls between 2010 and 2013.

The essential problem concerning bridge structures, including footbridges, is their durability associated mainly with the corrosion of steel construction elements and concrete reinforcement components. In addition, in the case of new bridge facilities built within urban communication environments, specifically within city limits, the problems related to traffic difficulties and the resulting material losses due to construction work are of a high significance. A technology for producing lightweight, easy-to-transport and quick-to-assemble module composite footbridges will be developed under the project. Polymer composites have a great future in bridge engineering, both in the construction of new and the renovation of old facilities. For new structures, the composites can be used to make load-bearing components (e.g. beams, cross sections, side sections, or rigging). In the case of old facilities, the composites can be applied to strengthen individual structure components in the form of external reinforcement. The main goal set forth by the consortium (Mostostal Warszawa S.A. and Materials Engineering Group Sp. z o.o.) is to introduce new structure materials in the bridge engineering sector to help solve a number of road infrastructure associated problems.  

Innovative Technology for Low-Noise Road Surfaces

Noise is any type of sound undesirable under given conditions that is harmful, intrusive and causing disorders in the recipient.

Currently, noise reduction forms a priority for Europe with special attention being paid to the noise generated by motor vehicles and at the tire-surface interface. Therefore, works are underway to develop technologies that will allow permanent solutions to be implemented for noise control related efforts.

 

The “Innovative Technology for Low-Noise Road Surfaces" project aims to implement the production of mineral and asphalt mixes designed to make a new type of road surface featuring low-noise levels. The basic property of the low-noise surface is its porous structure obtained by increasing the amount of free space in relation to other mixes. The MMA open structure determines other properties that have a favorable impact on the comfort of the pavement user without reducing the capacity of the layers at the same time. A porous mix applied to a road surface reduces the noise generated at the tire-surface interface and allows water to be removed from the surface during rainfalls. It also helps reduce water splashing and aquaplaning.

The noise generated by a moving vehicle starts to dominate the noise of a running engine at speeds above 50 km/h. For this reason, the primary use for the surfaces will be on express roads passing through cities and located in the vicinity of houses.

Noise reduction of 6-7 dB can be achieved by applying porous surfaces while the construction of sound barriers reduces noise by 7-10 dB. The optimum noise reduction is achieved with the use of sound barriers 6-7 metres in height. In addition, the application of a porous pavement reduces infrastructure construction costs and has a positive effect on the landscape.  

A characteristic feature of porous surface technology is that it needs to be adapted to weather conditions at the implementation site. This includes water and frost based designing. In addition, it requires the development of surface cleaning methods (due to possible mix pore clogging) and conditioning in the winter. The research work will last two and a half years. Once the research phase of the project has been completed, prototype sections will be made to allow the laboratory test results to be verified in real-time. Positive test results will enable the completion of the last phase of the project – preparations for the implementation that will last 6 months. The project is being implemented by the consortium consisting of: Mostostal Warszawa – consortium leader, Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology, and Pavement Technology Division at the Road and Bridge Research Institute – consortium members. The unit in charge of supervising the implementation of the project and providing the funds is the National Centre for Research and Development.

Project start date – May 1, 2010.

Project end date – April 30, 2015.

Construction Work Reinforcement Technology for Acts of Terrorism

The aim of the project was to develop technology for strengthening building structures in the event of various types of destruction, such as explosives used in the conditions of a terrorist attack. The threat of terrorism resulted in the need to identify the potential extent of damage to buildings and to create appropriate safeguards to minimize the effects of an attack. Mostostal Warszawa, implementing the project together with the Military University of Technology, developed and tested methods of strengthening structures using FRP composites, increasing the physical security of buildings.


Main assumptions:
- recognition of the possible extent of damage to building structures in the event of a terrorist attack,
- developing a method for assessing the resistance of building structures to destruction factors,
- definition of design methods and reinforcements,
- increasing the resistance of building structures by proposing an appropriate reinforcement system.

European projects

Pursuant to the EU Framework Programmes, we are in the process of completing the following projects: 

LightCoce: Creating an ecosystem to achieve large scale production of lightweight products and concrete and ceramic structures for many applications
The project develops lightweight construction materials - concrete and ceramic materials. Mostostal Warszawa's role is, among others, testing concrete with new properties, adapted to the construction of bridge structures with a concrete bridge slab reinforced with FRP composite bars.

Grant agreement in the Horizon 2020 program no: 814632

Implementation from 2019-01-01 to 2022-12-31
 
CREATE: Compact, advanced thermal energy storage for thermomodernization applications
The technology developed in the CREATE project is advanced thermochemical heat energy storage, adapted for use in residential buildings. The main element of the system is a tank containing a special salt that can be hydrated to become a hydrate or a reverse reaction occurs, i.e. water separation. These reactions are accompanied by energy release or storage, respectively. A prototype energy tank was developed in the project, which is a system of salt tank, heat exchangers, pumps, buffer tanks and associated devices.
The role of Mostostal Warszawa in the CREATE project was to integrate the heating installations of a single-family house with a prototype energy storage system. The experimental system was designed and made. A single-family house (the so-called demo building) was equipped with a solar collector installation, a ground heat exchanger and a prototype heat accumulator connected via a properly designed hydraulic system. The experimental installation thus created, further equipped with an extensive control and measurement system, operated under normal building use. The test operation lasted from July 2019 to June 2020, being a source of very valuable information about the system's behavior under real operating conditions.
 
Grant agreement in the Horizon 2020 program no: 680450
 
INNOVIP: Innovative multi-functional vacuum insulation panels (VIP) for use in construction

VIP vacuum panels are rarely used, mainly because of the high price. The dissemination of this technically good solution is possible by improving the production technology as well as the product itself.
The European Commission, through its Horizon 2020 program, supports research and technical development in many areas, including actions to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. The INNOVIP project (grant agreement No. 723441), implemented by an international scientific and industrial consortium, sets ambitious goals for the development of VIP vacuum panels, including:


- development of new films with significantly reduced air and water vapor permeability to increase longevity by slowing the loss of vacuum,
- improvement of ultrasonic welding technology to reduce air leakage at joints and to reduce production costs,
- use of a new foil solution with a modified structure at the panel edges to reduce heat bridges,
- developing material solutions and adapted panel edge construction to further reduce thermal bridges,
- development of a complete set for using VIP panels for building insulation, including a series of panels of various sizes, fastenings adapted to various substrates.


The above technological issues of VIP production may seem irrelevant from the user's point of view, but they illustrate the level of difficulty of the challenges faced by producers and make us aware of how advanced the product is.
The scope of the INNOVIP project also includes the use of the developed VIP panel technology in practice and the validation of the insulation system based on them. For this purpose, a herpetarium building located in the Warsaw Zoo was chosen. The building is intended for breeding amphibians and reptiles, which results in the required internal temperature of 26 ° C. The energy efficiency of this building is therefore extremely important. In 1996, the building underwent thermomodernization, as a result of which it met the standards then in force. Insulation using VIP vacuum panels, implemented as part of the INNOVIP project, involved two cases: wall and roof. The Mostostal Warszawa S.A. Research and Development Department is responsible for carrying out construction works and assessing the user-friendliness of the new product. Temperature and heat flux sensors are built into the partitions, enabling precise monitoring of thermal parameters.

https://innovip-h2020.eu/

HIT2GAP: Highly modern building monitoring tools, reducing the differences between the designed and real energy efficiency of the building

The project is co-financed under the Horizon 2020 program, EeB 7 - 2015, no. Project co-financing: 680708. The consortium consists of 24 partners, representing scientific units, local governments, companies from the construction and IT industries. Four pilot installations were created in France (Paris), Spain (Donostia - San Sebastian), Ireland (Galway) and Poland (Warsaw).
The goal of the HIT2GAP project is to create completely new building monitoring and management tools based on advanced data processing techniques. This will allow you to know exactly the characteristics of the work of the building in order to reduce the gap between the planned and actual energy efficiency.
Existing building management systems (BMS) have limitations which may include:


- inability to adapt to the specificity of a given building and changing operating conditions;
- inefficient data collection;
- limited possibilities of analyzing data on the behavior of building users that may have an impact on reducing energy efficiency.


The HIT2GAP project was created to develop an innovative energy management system (complementing existing systems) that could reduce or even completely eliminate the problem of discrepancies between the designed and actual energy efficiency of buildings. This goal is implemented through three components of HIT2GAP:


- data platform - enabling data collection and storage;
- modeling - energy consumption forecasting models, modeling user behavior;
- modules - data interpretation and presentation adapted to different groups of recipients.

REnnovates: Flexible active zero energy districts

REnnovates mission is to reduce the negative impact on the natural environment by reducing energy consumption by residential buildings and maximizing the efficient use of renewable energy sources.
As part of the project, we explore the potential and capabilities of zero-energy buildings. The concept is based on the idea of ​​the Dutch program "Stroomversneling", which assumes that both energy consumption and its production should be balanced over a period of one year. The key is to reduce energy demand for heating purposes by using effective building insulation and the application of photovoltaic panels to meet the demand for hot utility water and electricity.
The project extends the above ideas with the use of an intelligent control system affecting the interaction between buildings and the power grid. In addition to reducing energy consumption and generation, we also plan to optimize its consumption in buildings and at the estate level. In order to effectively use these energy streams, we follow the expected market structure (Universal Smart Energy Framework) and the use of intelligent control.
In addition to examining operational aspects, we also focus on analyzing the feasibility of assumptions. Developing a business model and establishing development guidelines is also part of the project.

SESBE: Intelligent facade elements for sustainable buildings
The SESBE consortium was working on a new type of sandwich prefabricated facade. Partial project results include new materials and surface engineering solutions:

- a new formula for very high-strength concrete (RPC / UHPC),
- ultra-light aerated concrete and foam concrete (density 120 to 150 kg / m3)
- low-cost aerogels,
- concrete surface shaping technology giving it hydrophobic properties,
- coatings that give surfaces self-cleaning properties,
- infrared reflecting coatings,
- moisture absorbing materials.

Using modern solutions, such as developed very high-strength concretes, FRP composite reinforcement, or mineral insulating materials (foam concrete), façade elements were developed for thermomodernization of existing buildings or construction of new curtain walls.
Mostostal Warszawa in the SESBE project has developed a dedicated reinforcement of FRP composite panels. We also made buildings (mock-ups) to present the use of new type facade panels.
Grant agreement in the FP7 program No. 608950
 
H-House: Eco-friendly, innovative construction products for a healthier life in residential buildings
Four years of research have led to the development of innovative, ecological panels and finishing materials that allow you to increase the comfort of use and energy efficiency of residential buildings. The international research project was carried out by 12 units from four countries (Poland, Sweden, Germany and France). The consortium leader was the Swedish Cement and Concrete Research Institute (CBI). The project was co-financed by the European Union's Seventh Framework Program in the fields of research, technological development and demonstration.
As part of the H-House project, both solutions suitable for direct application on construction sites (e.g. plasters based on natural materials) and more advanced ones, requiring further development work (e.g. self-cleaning, hydrophobic ultra-high strength concrete) have been developed. The elements of external walls (prefabricated concrete panels with a layer of insulation made of autoclaved concrete or foam concrete) and components related to interior finishing (partition walls, internal plasters) were analyzed. The basic parameters that were tested were strength parameters, heat and sound insulation as well as moisture sorption. Life-cycle environmental analyzes (LCA) were also carried out.
Building facade elements - innovative prefabricated concrete panels were also developed. They can be used both for new constructions, for external partitions, as well as for thermomodernization of existing buildings. Their big advantage is high thermal insulation combined with complete non-flammability. They are also environmentally friendly. The Research and Development Department participated, among others in developing the internal structure of the panels. Newly developed concrete mixes were used for their production. At the Instytut Techniki Budowlanej Mostostal Warszawa also built two one-story demonstration buildings, which were monitored for hygrothermal parameters.
 
Grant agreement in the FP7 program no: 608893
 
EINSTEIN: Effective Integration of Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage Systems in Existing Buildings

The main objective of the project is to develop, assess, and demonstrate a low-energy heating system based on seasonal heat energy storage combined with a heat pump system. The system will provide heat energy for central heating and hot water needs within the existing buildings to considerably reduce on-site power consumption. The integration of the energy storage system with heat pumps will form one of the key achievements under the project. Thermal energy storage systems are known mainly across northern Europe and heat pumps are being applied worldwide. However, the integration of the two components is yet to be refined. A suitable heat pump does not exist, nor can anyone assess objectively the efficiency of the planned system. Both of these issues will be solved under the project.

Under the EINSTEIN project, two demonstration facilities will be completed. One of the facilities, bearing appropriate parameters to ensure energy for several buildings, will be completed in Poland. Mostostal Warszawa is one of the key participants in charge of this implementation. 

Own projects and implementations

Park footbridge in Ozorków
Pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Nowy Sącz
Steel is widely used for bridge construction, but for decking panels that are particularly exposed to corrosion, it is advisable to use more durable materials. That is why we used formwork and reinforcement made of FRP composite in the footbridge in Nowy Sącz. Lightweight and durable panels allowed for quick construction and increased the durability, safety and aesthetic value of the footbridge. In selected composite bars reinforcing the bridge slab, we have placed fiber optic deformation sensors of the DFOS system, which allows monitoring the technical condition of the object. The footbridge has also been equipped with photoluminescent elements placed on balustrades, which increase safety.
Concrete Strength Measurement

In 2007, we also introduced a maturity parameter-based initial concrete strength measurement. Regardless of the ambient temperature, the system makes it possible to define precisely the time after which the concrete within a structure has become strong enough to allow the removal of the formwork. The measurement conducted during the initial application of concrete involves: installing temperature sensors within a concrete structure, preparing 10 samples of concrete which are heated to the structure's temperature with the help of shields, and successive testing of the strength of samples. No samples are taken during consecutive applications of concrete. Only the temperature sensors are installed in the structure. The strength within a concrete structure is defined on the basis of the collected temperature data and pre-tested strength of the concrete samples. Concrete strength tests can be carried out directly at the construction site by reading the data from the sensors with the help of a laptop and remotely via the Internet. The measurement method is designed for site managers and supervisors of reinforced concrete works. To date, the system has been applied at the Osiedle Leśne IV, Osiedle Sansara, and Eolian Park I construction sites. 

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