Recycled concrete and glass can replace cement in prefab elements

Agnes Nagy, Associate Professor in Civil Engineering with a focus on concrete, reported on the results, which are very promising and should be of great interest to the construction industry.

"The goal of the project is to develop a circular process for manufacturing building elements with reduced climate impact. Additionally, several different subject areas have been involved in the project, including mechanical engineering and logistics. In addition to examining the strength of the concrete element, we are also looking at the overall lifecycle of the material in the concrete element and the transportation of materials to and from construction sites. We want to show that it is possible to manage the process and logistics locally," she explained.

Instead of demolishing a building and transporting away old concrete, then transporting new building elements to construct anew, the idea is to reuse the crushed concrete in the new building elements that will be used for construction – in the same location.

The research project is linked to the Västerbro project in the city of Borås, Sweden. In this project, a property is slated for demolition; the vision is to use these new building elements, made from recycled demolition concrete and flat glass, when Västerbro is rebuilt. The project is being funded by the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova and is carried out in collaboration between the Centre for Sustainable Society Development, property owners, aggregate producers, actors from the concrete industry, consultants, and the City of Borås.

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