Project Overview

The SUBLime (SUstainable Building Lime applications via Circular Economy and Biomimetic Approaches) network is firstly dedicated to educate/train researchers in multiple scientific and engineering fields aiming a better understanding and development of sustainable innovation solutions for lime mortars/plasters in new construction and conservation of the built heritage.

The project covers the main features of lime-based applications in the masonry construction (both joints and plastering mortars), including material characterization, numerical non-linear modelling of multi-physics behaviour, functionality and sustainability in lime use, all within a framework of performance-based design. Innovations are focused in both added functionalities and sustainability aspects in lime mortars and plasters, strongly based on novel biomimetic and closed-loop recycling approaches. SUBLime introduces and develops new sustainable solutions with added functionalities such as self-cleaning, (super-) hydrophobicity, self-healing or enhanced (catalysed) CO2 capture capabilities, and considers closed-loop recycling. As an example, at the end of life (EoL) of a building, unlike cement, lime has compatible strength to allow the masonry to be separated and fully recycled.

The recruited Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will take advantage of the most sophisticated experimental and analytical techniques, as well as numerical tools, to model, design and predict the behaviour of lime-based applications and leveraging the knowledge of the academic and industrial members of this network. Being trained in scientific, technical and soft skills, by direct involvement in the development of novel building lime technologies, these ESRs are the next generation of highly employable scientists and engineers in this sector and related areas. 

The research training in the SUBLime network is structured to take full advantage of intensive cooperation between academia, lime producers, mortar/plaster/unit producers, and end-users. This cross-disciplinary approach throughout the SUBLime value chain will dramatically increase the transfer of scientific knowledge to the lime industry in the EU, ensuring social, environmental and product progress.

The main scientific objective of the SUBLime network, in the context of lime-based applications in construction, is to develop/transfer biomimetic-based sustainable technologies targeted to reduce CO2 emissions, to support current and future needs of society, by using advanced computational and experimental multi-scale strategies. The focus is on new construction and conservation of the built heritage.

SUBLime value chain global overview

Relevance of the SUBLime Training Program

Today, lime-based products companies experience many challenges (e.g. raw material prices and environmental restrictions) that hinder the continuous development of innovative approaches in material design, process and product functionality. Their competitiveness and sustainability are directly related to the availability of well-educated, industrially-oriented young researchers and engineers who see lime-based materials as advanced, multifunctional alternatives.

SUBLime provides 15 ESRs with unique training for 540 researcher months. SUBLime’s general objective is to increase and optimise the training level of European researchers in the field of lime-based building applications. SUBLime will provide advanced training in research methods and engineering skills, as well as in industrial experience, which cannot be provided by any existing individual graduate programme at the EU level. The ESRs will take advantage of leading expertise available to develop their own networks and promote collaboration and discussion between academia and industry. Interactions during regular events with all SUBLime partners will also prepare the ESRs for employment in academia or in the industry by consolidating the relationships.

Network-wide Training. Specific SUBLime training for the ESRs will be delivered through a combination of research training courses (RTC), complementary skills workshops (CSW), international conference on lime-based applications (IC), industrial site visits (SV) and more informal discussions at network-wide workshops (WS). SUBLime will be supported by EuLA, already committed to promote international cooperation for education and research programs relevant to the lime-based industry.