Having been utilized as early as the Roman era in buildings of almost every scale, it is almost impossible to think of a building that does not have at least one concrete element.
In fact, it is the most widely used construction material in the world, due to its versatility, resistance, ease of handling, accessibility, aesthetics, and other factors.
At the same time, its manufacture is also one of the main polluters in the atmosphere, mainly due to the fact that the cement industry emits around 8% of all global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).
In addition to its intensive production, concrete is an extremely rigid material, heavy and composed of cement, water, stone, and sand. Thus, would it be possible to continue to use concrete sustainably after demolition, eliminating its disposal as mere waste and overloading landfills?
The quick answer is yes – even if it isn’t exactly simple, it is possible to use concrete waste to manufacture new structural parts, maintaining concrete’s essential qualities of strength and resistance.
.First, it is important to understand that the extraction of sand and gravel for small and large aggregates of concrete respectively effects a huge environmental impact, even if they are exploited locally.