Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Reusing concrete panels from buildings for building: Potential in Finnish 1970s mass housing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number3029
Pages (from-to)105-121
Number of pages17
JournalResources Conservation and Recycling
Early online date15 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A remarkable share of European mass housing was built with large-panel systems during the 1960s and 1970s. In many countries, this stock is already being demolished or demolition is discussed due to vacancies or social problems. This trend may result in the creation of an unforeseeable amount of concrete waste. Simultaneously, EU has issued the Waste Framework Directive aiming at reuse instead of recycling. Unlike in situ cast concrete, reclaimed prefabricated concrete panels from mass housing carry the potential for reuse. The purpose of this study is to review the reuse potential embedded in Finland's mass housing stock from the perspective of the dimensions of the panels and spaces, i.e., their suitability for architectural (plan) design. The research material consists of architectural drawings of 276 blocks of flats that contain over 26 000 prefabricated wall panels and nearly 14 000 hollow-core slabs, the dimensions of which are compared to current norms and guidelines for dimensioning living spaces. The technical prerequisites for reuse are reviewed with the help of literature. The study results in identifying an inventory of panels typical to Finnish precast concrete construction, which, in principle, should not exist because the building plans were not standardized but were supposed to be unique. The panels are found to be still usable in architectural (plan) design of detached houses, which form one third of annual residential production in Finland.


  • Construction and demolition waste, Deconstruction, Dimensions, Precast concrete panels, Reuse, Salvage

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

Downloads statistics

No data available