Climate change and the increasing urbanization of European cities make the management of rainwater and runoff water a major challenge. The percentage of impermeable surface in the natural environment is <10%; in cities, it is >75%, allowing only about 10% overall water infiltration. This creates challenges for urban planners such as: the environmental risks of localized flooding, personal insecurity due to flood damage and considerable pollution of the natural environment. Europe is now facing more extreme weather conditions, with an increase in rainfall over shorter periods.
In the face of this threat, the drainage of road structures is one of the solutions. Nevertheless, the current developed road structures generate an economic activity that contributes to the depletion of natural resources (aggregates). This project aims to develop a solution to limit the environmental impact while recycling waste.

The objective of the CIRCLE project is to develop a draining poured-in-place concrete pavement based on shell co-products, with low environmental impact and significant drainage properties. In addition, the addition of shellfish co-products by substituting natural aggregates reduces and preserves non-renewable natural constituents.

To encourage this adoption in the current market, various results will be developed in the CIRCLE project:

  • Characterisation of waste identified on both sides of the Channel with the creation of a sector;
  • Production of concrete formulations from waste to increase permeable surfaces;
  • Modelling and characterisation of concrete formulations according to technical, environmental, economic and industrial requirements;
  • Transition from TRL4 – technological readiness level 4 (laboratory) to TRL8 by setting up pilot sites;
  • Monitoring of the pilot sites and quantification of the benefits of water disposal in terms of reducing flood risks, infrastructure costs and runoff water pollution ;
  • Determination of the environmental impact compared to traditional materials (reduction of the carbon footprint);
  • Cross-border exchanges on decision making, constructive responses to this challenge, implementation of a common solution ;
  • Dissemination of results for replication throughout the EU through models;
  • Development of a business case with a focus on cost reduction versus the benefits of new concrete.