Concrete Construction Considerations, Concrete and energy

Concrete construction considerations speaks to concrete and energy and concrete used in construction.

It suggests that construction practices should change or be modified which will reduce energy consumption and improve the life cycle of structures.

If the quality of construction materials in specific regions is poor, implement policies to improve the quality of materials used so that concrete structures will have a greater life span. This works twofold, reducing concrete demand and extends the time frame for disposing of demolition waste.

This will decrease energy used, waste and polluting emissions from every step of construction from quarrying and processing of raw materials right through to demolition of existing structures. It will also reduce material use for framework and reinforcing.

Use concrete that is made from local materials from other materials found at local processing plants as this will decrease to cost of transportation of these materials over great distances.

Use waste materials from other industries such as fly ash from power plants, slag from iron furnaces, copper slag, foundry sand, mill scale, sandblasting grit and any other industrial waste components.

Statistics state that last year that the world used 1.6 billion tons of Portland cement, 10 billion tons of sand and 1 billion tons of water to make concrete. Open pit quarrying for raw materials resulted in soil erosion, polluted water runoff, wildlife habitat loss and landscape scarring.

It is reported that the total energy contained in a pound of concrete varies especially with design strength. This is due to the fact that the high strength concrete relies on a greater proportion of Portland cement in its mix and the energy to produce Portland cement is much greater than the energy required to produce other required materials.

A times due to poor planning a significant percent of fresh concrete is not used because the cement truck carries more than is needed on site. The extra concrete is usually dumped on the site, where it hardens and is later removed to the landfill. An empty cement mix truck must be washed out after delivering each batch, which produces a great deal of water that contains Portland cement particles, admixtures and aggregates. This waste can be recovered and recycled as aggregates and mixing water but this requires suppliers to gear up to do this.

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