Sven De Sutter

General info

De Sutter
Kb 119
Date of birth: 
Place of birth: 
Ninove, België


Composite-concrete floor system, Lightweight, Renovation


Structural analysis and feasibility study of a composite-concrete floor system for renovation.

In the future decennia, cities will be confronted with a strong population increase. In order to satisfy this increasing demand, the housing capacity should be raised in the same way. New building projects on fallow land will become scarcer because the degree of housing is already very high. The renovation or reconversion of these buildings to appropriate housing rather than their demolishment and new construction offers a sustainable solution for the housing problem. However, this option is chosen too seldom due to the lack of renovation-specific solutions and therefore the high cost. This lack of standard methods to deal with simple renovation problems arises from the almost exclusive fixation of the construction industry on new construction methods.

This PhD research will contribute to the facilitation of future renovations by studying structural feasibility and optimization of composite-concrete floor systems. The concept starts from the current beam and block system. A clever combination of composites and concrete will lead to an innovative lightweight floor system. Light composite beams and sandwich panels form the basis of the floor, after which the concrete can be poured in different stages.  The geometry of the elements, the number of pouring stages and the serviceability state are different aspects which need to be optimized. The choice between different materials will be determined by the geometrical placing and its functionality. The main criteria of a floor system for renovation purposes are (i) the low self-weight of individual components to allow easy placing (ii) the simplicity to connect the sandwich panels and the supporting beams (iii) withstand the self-weight in the construction phase (iv) withstand the self-weight in serviceability state. The main research question remains whether such a system can be found by using lightweight elements to take up the temporary and final forces.

This research to develop such floor systems will be done in successive steps by structurally analyzing the different components of the concept. Hereby, I can use the extended experience of the MeMC department of the VUB in the field of composites in construction applications. This research should determinate which geometries and material choices can lead to optimal floor systems, meeting all the requirements. Different clicking systems will we investigated in order to determine their possible use. After the optimization of individual components, the total floor system will be tested at serviceability loads. These results will be determining for the structural feasibility of lightweight composite-concrete floor systems for renovation purposes.

The renovation of buildings in urban context is more relevant than ever. This research wants to contribute to the professionalizing of the renovation industry. In contrast to the new construction industry, the renovation industry has little to no specific solutions. The potential growth of this industry shows immediately the economic and social relevance of my research topic.




Sutter S, Remy O, Tysmans T and Wastiels J. “Development and experimental validation of a lightweight stay-in-place composite formwork for concrete beams.” Construction and building materials, Vol. 63, July 2014, pp. 33-39.

Conference publications: 


De Munck M, De Sutter S, Verbruggen S, Tysmans T and Filomeno Coelho R. “Multi-objective weight and cost optimisation of hybrid composite-concrete beams.” Abstract accepted for the 18th International Conference on Composite Structures (ICCS18), Lisbon, Portugal, 15-18 June 2015.

De Sutter S, Verbruggen SIliopoulos S, Aggelis D and Tysmans T. “Use of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and Acoustic Emission (AE) on fracture of hybrid composite-concrete beams”. Abstract accepted for the 11th International Conference on Damage Assessment of Structures (DAMAS2015), Ghent, Belgium, 24-26 August 2015.

 Sutter S, Tysmans T, Verbruggen S and Wozniak M. “Behaviour of hybrid composite-concrete beams under static flexural loading: a comparative experimental analysis.” Abstract accepted for the 3rd International Conference on Textile Reinforced Concrete (3rd ICTRC), Aachen, Germany, 7 -10 June 2015.

 Wozniak M, Tysmans T, Vantomme J, De Sutter S. “Experimental bond behaviour between Textile Reinforced Cement and Concrete - Review of existing test methods and analysis of the results of a modified double­‑lap shear test”. paper accepted for the International Conference on Construction Materials and Structures (ICCMATS), Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, 24-26 November 2014.

 De Sutter S, Tysmans T, Verbruggen S and Wozniak M. Shape and size optimization of hybrid concrete –composite beams in a lightweight floor system. Paper accepted for the 3rd International RILEM Conference on Strain Hardening Cementitious Composites (SHCC3), Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3-5 November 2014.

 Wozniak M, Tysmans T, Vantomme J and De Sutter S. Numerical simulation of the bond behaviour of high‑performance fibre‑reinforced cement composites during the double‑lap shear test. Paper accepted for the 3rd International RILEM Conference on Strain Hardening Cementitious Composites (SHCC3), Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3-5 November 2014.

 De Sutter S, Tysmans T and Wozniak M. “Analytical modelling and experimental testing of hybrid composite-concrete beams in a lightweight floor system.” Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on FRP Composites in Civil Engineering, Vancouver, Canada, August 2014

 De Sutter S, Remy O and Tysmans T. “Design and structural feasibility study of a lightweight floor system for renovation.” Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on composite materials, Montreal, Canada, August 2013.

Current projects

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