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Joel Hawkins
Quarry engineer
Asked a question 2 years ago

Materials Used in Sustainable Concrete?

I want to learn which materials are generally used in sustainable concrete and why.

Where am I?

In TheConstructor you can ask and answer questions and share your experience with others!

Hi, This is one of the most important topics of today's construction. To make construction sustainable and durable is the need for the present scenario. yes, there are some of the original techniques such as manufacturing of concrete with recycled rubber tyre, using a recycled mud from a treatment sewage plant for making bricks, mixing of sand dust(generated from sawmills, pruning etc), making of bricks from sand dust, uses of vegetable fibres example Bamboo, coconut that can be mixed with cement and it also works as a strengthening agent and insulators.

Timber is a material that has the lowest mental impact from its production process and life cycle.

To achieve a sustainable construction we must have to put an end to close bad long-lasting habits of squandering natural resources.

Terry Collins
Sustainability consultant

Sustainable concrete : As a civil engineer, it's my responsibility to define the first sustainable concrete.

Definition of Sustainable concrete :

Concrete that uses very less amount of energy in its production and it also produces very less carbon dioxide than our conventional type of concrete is called a sustainable concrete.

Materials used to make sustainable concrete are listed below ;

Mycelium Frock AshCrete Timbercrete Wood Recycled plastic Bamboo HempCrete GrassCrete Straw bales

Application of Sustainable concrete :

Manufacturing of Sustainable concrete is the step towards green building construction It mainly focuses to solve global environmental problems

I tried to give my 100% to answer your question. Thank you.

Cement is a binding material and most widely used for construction across the globe. Cement production contributes around 7% of CO2 emission across the world. To make the cement production sustainable following are some materials used:

  1. Straw Bales: used as a replacement of gypsum, used as admixtures, makes concrete sustainable and affordable. 
  2. Recycled plastic: plastic is the main source of clogging and drainage. Researchers find a new way to use plastic as concrete which makes it durable with the good aesthetic look. 
  3. Rammed Earth 
  4. Ferric: It is steel dust used to create a building material which resembles a concrete it also gives high strength than concrete. It also absorbs carbon dioxide as a hardening procedure. 
  5. Timber Crete: It is material composed of sawdust. It is lighter in weight. Timber crete also used to make blocks and bricks. It makes construction sustainable and affordable.
Jayden Adams
Construction Assistant

Sustainable or green concrete is made of using raw materials such as fly ash, recycled concrete aggregates, and aluminum can fibers.

Fly Ash- Widely used sustainable raw material for concrete is Fly Ash, which is a waste product from coal power plants and is commonly disposed of in ponds and sent to landfills. Fly ash has the potential to replace cement, a material with large environmental impacts due to air pollution from the cement plants.

Recycled Concrete Aggregates- To reduce the consumption of raw materials and to minimize the wastes generated from demolished concrete structures, crushed concrete can be reused as aggregates.

Aluminum cans- Aluminum cans, which are used for the aerated drinks, can be easily processed into chopped fibers and used as reinforcement in concrete.

thanks a lot, it would be helpful!!

Wilma Caldwell
Architectural technologist

Refer to this article: Sustainable Concrete Construction Methods and Practices 10for all details about materials and processes involved in sustainable concrete construction.