Tuesday, 1 October 2013

“This will be a question of survival for the concrete industry”

DCC is making plans for a steady supply of aggregates until 2031, but what will the building industry look like then? What materials will be used? Will the cement and aggregates industry even be around? "Buildings rising from the ashes: Recycling concrete from buildings that are no longer needed requires long-term thinking at the building’s inception" reports how researchers are raising these very questions. Here are a few sentences from the article:
Urban mining is increasingly being taken seriously by industry... Concrete buildings, when demolished, can serve as an excellent source of new building materials. “Instead of transporting aggregates from far away, we can use local buildings as a source for aggregates” 
The advantage of recycling the cement component is that it does not release CO2 into the atmosphere 
Tests have shown that the concrete made from recycled aggregate has better mechanical properties than concrete made using virgin aggregates 
"As more and more buildings are required to be designed for disassembly, it will be important for the concrete industry to demonstrate that they can compete, otherwise they will be replaced by steel and other materials that are easier to use for disassembly. This will be a question of survival for the concrete industry”
Is DCC allocating the right materials? Has it factored in the future? A future when "urban mining" may replace the quarrying of virgin aggregates, when demolition material is no longer landfilled, when suitable areas to quarry have been exhausted.