Since the era, concrete has shaped much of our built environment. It is the most widely used manufactured material on earth, because it is resilient, versatile, and affordable. But what are the benefits of sustainable concrete construction? Here are a few things to keep in mind. Read on to find out how concrete construction can be both green and cost-effective. Then, learn about some of the alternatives to cement.
The use of performance guidelines for concrete is a key element in sustainable construction. Using these guidelines can help concrete producers create mixtures that meet a variety of performance criteria. These standards help concreters mackay develop concrete that meets the desired performance criteria without compromising the durability of the finished product. The guidelines also provide concrete producers with a degree of flexibility in their mix design and construction methods. Using performance guidelines for concrete construction can help building owners achieve the sustainability goals they set for their buildings.
The first report published in 2012 used data from 2008 to calculate the energy and material usage of different structural elements. In addition, the analysis of reinforcing steel used in concrete construction also helped to identify areas where particular types of concrete could be used more efficiently. In addition, the industry is committed to the implementation of more sustainable concrete construction standards and practices. The concrete industry has long been aware of the benefits of sustainability and aims to make it easier for consumers to choose greener concrete.
The use of performance specifications for concrete in building construction is an important way to reduce environmental impact while maximizing the structural performance of a structure. The specifications should be designed to support industry standards, but they should also provide flexibility for the concrete producer. These specifications should also be aligned with green building strategies to ensure the maximum environmental benefits. If the performance requirements are not clear, the project might fail to meet its goals. However, with the help of performance specifications, the design professional can ensure the best structural performance and sustainability for the structure.
Prescriptive specifications were the norm decades ago, but these standards have since become more sophisticated. Today’s concrete quality control standards have a far greater degree of flexibility. Prescriptive specifications often result in overly-concrete mixtures that are not optimized for the use case at hand. For instance, one of early experiences was convincing a client to switch from a prescriptive specification to a performance-based one was on a cooling tower project. In that project, the specifications required a minimum cement content, while also disallowing slag or fly ash.
Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM)
If you are constructing a concrete building, you’ve probably heard of Krystol Internal Membrane. This crystalline admixture reacts with water and un-hydrated cement particles to form needle-shaped crystals that block pathways for water to penetrate the concrete. It adds a layer of durability to concrete and lowers permeability. This material can be used in place of conventional waterproofing membranes without adding additional cost.
The unique chemical composition of KIM makes it compatible with most supplementary cementing materials, including fly ash, silica fume, and slag cement. Its superior waterproofing performance allows it to protect concrete from the inside-out. It also enables designers to make more creative use of their space. Compared to conventional waterproofing membranes, KIM requires less maintenance and lasts longer.
Alternatives to cement
Some of the alternative cements can be more environmentally friendly than cement, but they should be evaluated by considering their life cycle, which includes raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, distribution, and use. Other alternative cements may have higher embodied energy and higher maintenance costs than cement. They may not be as durable or economical to manufacture, either. So, what are some of the alternatives to cement?
The authors investigated the growth of bacteria in pozzolanic cements, which are commonly used in Chile. The bacteria solution was impregnated into expanded clays and incorporated into concrete as a partial replacement for fine aggregate. The specimens were then exposed to three environments, where 90% were tested and revealed calcium carbonate. This alternative cement was found to be more environmentally friendly and contribute to sustainability.
The process of precasting concrete is environmentally friendly because it is a tightly controlled system that allows for constant control of variables like temperature and humidity. These conditions result in a superior product that requires minimal maintenance and repairs over the course of time. In addition, precast concrete is durable and requires less resources to produce than other building materials. There are also less chances of material wastage caused by delays or problems at the project site.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, precast concrete also promotes social and environmental sustainability. Because it is produced in a factory, the energy it consumes is more efficient and the waste generated is minimal. Also, because it is manufactured using an exact-batch process, it produces little waste and doesn’t leach toxic byproducts into the ground. Additionally, precast concrete is highly durable, which means it can withstand even the worst weather conditions without requiring repairs or replacement.
Smart Concrete Sensors
The use of crystalline technology in concrete is one of the most innovative ways to make it more durable and reduce the overall environmental impact of the construction process. This technology is added to the concrete mix or applied to the concrete surface. It chemically reacts with water and unhydrated cement particles to form needle-shaped crystals that fill voids in concrete. This process prevents the build-up of harmful gasses and vapors in concrete, making it more sustainable.
By monitoring the temperature of the concrete, Smart Concrete Sensors can make a significant impact on the building’s strength and durability. The sensors can reduce cement content by up to 20% and optimize concrete mixes. In the construction industry, sensors are able to be installed on a wide variety of projects, including residential buildings, office buildings, industrial floors, and other complex environments.