Concrete is a mixture of gravel, cement, water, sand and various types of aggregates. It is widely used in many construction projects, and it is the most sought-after building material in the world. In fact, about 10 billion tons of concrete are produced each year. This means it is the most consumed substance worldwide, second only to water.
It is also the primary material for building bridges and skyscrapers, so it is the foundation of our infrastructure. Not to mention, 70% of the world’s population are known to live in concrete dwellings.
Concrete is one of the most durable building materials available today, so it’s used in structures like pipes, pavements, floor slabs, pillars and beams. However, the massive consumption of concrete around the globe has made it an active contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
That is why there is a pressing need for the construction industry to go through a green revolution when it comes to using concrete and even timber - learn more here. Therefore, enterprises must now adapt to the current climate condition and the phenomena of global warming. They must now introduce environmental-friendly materials. Fortunately, the concrete sector has found some sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to concrete, now known as green concrete.
What is green concrete?
Green concrete is a type of concrete that is manufactured using residual or waste materials from various industries. This makes it an eco-friendly alternative because it requires less energy to produce than traditional concrete. It’s also more cost-effective and is durable like standard concrete.
The main purpose of green concrete is to increase the dependency on recyclable materials and lessen the burden on natural resources. That is why the concreting industry is utilising multiple strategies to achieve sustainability through green concrete.
Some of these materials include the following:
This is a by-product of combustion from coal and commonly discarded in the landfill, but it now being used to manufacture green concrete. AshCrete and fly ash can be mixed with water and lime to produce a durable material, similar to conventional cement. These two materials can reduce CO2 emissions and 25% of cement can be replaced by using fly ash and AshCrete.
Blast Furnace Slag
Blast furnace slag is another by-product that can be recycled and used to make an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete. This material can be produced from molten iron slag that was quenched from the blast furnace and into steam or water.
This material is also called silica fumes and is an ultrafine powder by-product of ferrosilicon alloy. Micro silica is known to boost and improve the durability of concrete and makes it less absorbent, and it can also increase its compressive strength.
Overall, concreting technology will develop and improve more in the coming years, which could also boost green concrete production. We all want a better environment, and green concrete is a viable alternative to standard concrete.