The project aims to develop innovative solutions for construction and home furnishing (which can also be extended to other areas such as the naval, commercial and hotel sectors) consisting of removable and replaceable wall and floor coverings. The idea for the project stems from the need to reduce the time, cost and environmental impact of renovation work in the home and elsewhere, in favour of an innovative system that makes it possible to interchange wall and floor coverings in order to renovate one’s home, without having to demolish internal walls or carry out masonry work, but only by removing the panels and installing new ones.
The project is consistent with the Veneto Region’s smart specialisation strategy and, in particular, is part of the Sustainable Living framework, supporting the traditional building and furnishing sectors and the transversal sectors of chemistry, mechanics and energy. In fact, the project aims to combine the experience and needs of craft enterprises specialising in the processing of noble materials such as wood and marble with research activities on structures and materials conducted by two research institutes specialising in structural and building engineering and chemical sciences respectively. Through this collaboration it will be possible to study, test and develop removable walls and claddings that will not only reduce the consumption of materials and the production of waste, but will also be able to offer a sustainable, biocompatible and load-bearing product. Coatings will also be able to integrate utilities (pipes, cables and the like) and perform different functions (possibility of hanging shelves or attaching furniture and lights); different finishing coatings will be designed to give the product the necessary design value and flexibility to adapt to different environments. Through the analysis carried out by the research organisations involved, it will be possible to investigate technical solutions in the chemical field (e.g. compatibility of new materials such as metal foams or carbon fibre to make the supporting panel and for its assembly, use of recyclable materials, anti-bacterial surface treatments) and in the engineering field (e.g. study of loads for the use of other heavy materials such as metal, wood, plaster, glass, study of supporting structures and panel fastening through magnetic mechanical mechanisms). This will allow the project to follow the development and technological trajectory of innovative solutions and materials for living in line with the principles of the circular economy, sustainable development and green building, while also enhancing the value of local raw materials. A further development trajectory identified is that of technologies for the design and development of buildings, since thanks to the project new products for living and advanced solutions for the refitting of buildings will be tested. In terms of enabling technologies, the project envisages the use of nanotechnology: silver nanoparticles will be used to make surfaces antibacterial. Another enabling technology will be advanced materials, used in particular on the load-bearing structure (study of special light alloys on which the various noble materials can be glued) and on the finishing materials, for which an integrated heating system will also be studied, using new technologies based on graphene or in any case on conductive carbon-based materials). Finally, with regard to the drivers of innovation, the project will use design, energy efficiency and sustainable development, in line with the type of product and its benefits for the environment and people’s well-being.