The Environmental Impact of Concrete: How to Make it Greener

At all stages of production, concrete is said to be responsible for 4-8% of the world's CO2 emissions. Green concrete is a form of environmentally friendly concrete that is manufactured using waste or residual materials from different industries, and requires less energy to produce. Compared to traditional concrete, it produces less carbon dioxide and is considered cheaper and more durable. The production of concrete contributes to air pollution, while the transportation of raw materials to production sites and of concrete to construction sites increases greenhouse gases. As the material that creates most of the world's bridges, roads, dams and buildings, concrete releases an extreme amount of CO2 every year.

It is the most consumed commodity on earth besides water. As long as global emissions are not reduced worldwide, the environment will continue to be polluted with more than 4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year due to this industry. These cement products do not require special training or expensive equipment to use. In addition to being environmentally friendly, manufacturers claim that their products are as effective as normal concrete. Green concrete emerged long before the concrete we use today.

According to ABC Catalyst, Roman buildings were made with a geopolymer concrete similar to that produced by researchers at the University of Melbourne. According to Professor Janine van Dementer, the secret lies in switching from a calcium-based system to an aluminium silicate system. The researchers have found the solution in various industrial waste products. These are just some of the ways we can use waste products and recycled materials to make environmentally friendly concrete. And these are not just fanciful ideas, as many green concrete products are already available.

The Malaysian government encourages the use of green materials and rewards environmentally friendly buildings. Malaysia's Universiti Teknologi MARA tackled the problem of green concrete in a unique and environmentally friendly way. Their solution is called "green concrete" and is a way to reduce greenhouse emissions and recycle waste products. Fly ash is a waste product produced by coal-fired power plants. Until Malaysian researchers discovered its potential as an ingredient in green concrete, it was disposed of in ponds and landfills. Researchers have since discovered that fly ash is a good substitute for cement.

Riman has invented a type of green concrete that stores carbon dioxide. He was inspired by shellfish, which make ceramic shells at low temperatures. He invented the material decades ago, but shelved it until global warming became a worldwide problem. Fly ash and other eco-friendly concrete products are now marketed in many countries, including Australia. Flyash Australia is one such company.

It is a joint venture, managed by Boral Ltd. The company has plants in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia and distributes its products throughout Australia. Basically, they can be used like ordinary cement. For example, E-Crete was tested by the University of Melbourne and has a fire resistance of 4 hours, compared to 2.5 hours for normal concrete. Radcrete claims to produce the world's most environmentally friendly concrete waterproofing.

Its product has received the Singapore Green Label and is approved by LEED, Ecospecifier and other organisations. Although their product is not concrete, it is a concrete waterproofing product and can be used in swimming pools, roofing, marine applications and other uses where concrete needs to be waterproofed. According to their website, their product does not decompose and lasts for the life of the concrete on which it is used. These are just a few examples of products that are already available and have proven to be strong, environmentally friendly and effective. Others are likely to become available and more should become available as consumers look for environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional concrete. A good way to start is to adopt environmentally friendly house designs.

Coal-burning power plants and iron manufacturing produce ash and slag in abundance. There is no reason to throw them away and pollute soil and water when they can be put to good use. Using these wastes reduces our carbon footprint and does not deplete our resources. As already mentioned, this is a rediscovered technology. In fact, the Soviet Union was making environmentally friendly concrete as far back as the 1950s.

The University of Melbourne has collaborated with the University of Kiev in Ukraine and found that green concrete is as strong and stable as ordinary concrete. If you need concrete for a slab, driveway, patio or other purposes, talk to your builder or concrete supplier and let them know you want to build a green house. When getting quotes on the cost of concrete, ask concrete contractors if they work with green concrete, which is useful for improving the energy efficiency of the building. As demand grows, supply will increase. We need green solutions to our growing environmental problems, and green concrete is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and reuse waste materials instead of quarried materials that cannot be replaced. Green concrete products aim to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete manufacturing by using recycled materials and reducing waste to landfill.

Fly ash mixed with lime and water in green concrete products is a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional concrete that offers comparable strength and durability. Alternatives to traditional concrete include green concrete made from industrial waste materials such as fly ash and blast furnace slag or incorporating recycled materials such as paper and plastic and post-consumer glass as aggregates. In its raw state, concrete dust is environmentally friendly, as it is from the environment itself, a natural component. But it is in the industrial extraction of the materials, the mixing and, of course, the application of the concrete that it is no longer environmentally friendly. The production of cement used in concrete is thought to be responsible for between 5 and 8 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, but a new approach to cement manufacture has the potential to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. As the world's largest concrete company, Lafargeholcim has...

Chloe Robinson
Chloe Robinson

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