'Green' concrete the way to go

29 March 2013
 

Dr. Arvind tells tabla!: “To offset the scarcity of raw materials, Holcim Singapore has come out with green labelled concrete which uses washed copper slag as a replacement to natural sand. Copper slag is a waste product generated by the local ship building and repair industry. We also use recycled concrete aggregate, which is generated from demolished concrete. Holcim Supercrete is the other product that helps to build more with less usage of raw materials thereby preserving the natural resources and also maximising the space utilisation.”

HOLCIM Singapore’s Centre of Excellence (COE) is driving innovations to look for affordable and value-added alternative raw materials which aim to reduce the carbon-footprint and make Singapore a greener, pollution-free society.

The centre, which was set-up by one of the leading producer based in Switzerland, is co-funded by the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore to facilitate the innovations and production of greener materials in construction.

The COE’s Director Dr Arvind K. Suryavanshi says that the centre’s work becomes doubly important in Singapore because it is a resource-hungry state which has forced the country to embrace the concept of 3Rs (reduce, recycle and reuse).

He adds that the government and the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) are at the forefront in identifying and supporting development of innovative building materials that focus on sustainability and enhance productivity, which is what COE aims to do.

Dr. Arvind tells tabla!: “To offset the scarcity of raw materials, Holcim Singapore has come out with green labelled concrete which uses washed copper slag as a replacement to natural sand. Copper slag is a waste product generated by the local ship building and repair industry. We also use recycled concrete aggregate, which is generated from demolished concrete. Holcim Supercrete is the other product that helps to build more with less usage of raw materials thereby preserving the natural resources and also maximising the space utilisation.”

Another challenge that builders face in Singapore is the restrictions enforced on hiring of the foreign semi-skilled labour force. Since construction industry traditionally is labour-intensive with lesser degree of mechanisation and automation, the progress of the construction at any site largely depends on the labour force employed.

To address this shortage of foreign semi-skilled labour force, Holcim Singapore has introduced productivity enhancing solutions such as Holcim Easecrete. It does not require any vibration, shortens placement duration by 25 per cent and reduces noise level by 21 per cent. Dr. Arvind says: “It reduces the man-hours compared to that required with conventional concrete. All you have to do is take it to the site and pour it.”

He adds: “Jet-setcrete is the other solution which shortens the construction cycle time. Further, to address the space constraints Holcim has come out with a concrete that floats on water surface. This is an innovative solution to utilise the surface area of the water reservoirs to install equipment like solar panels or greenery.”

The COE’s continued efforts are to look for environment-friendly materials that will helps the realization of sustainable construction. One such product is the Photocatalytic concrete, which helps to reduce airborne pollution.

Dr. Arvind stressed that Holcim Singapore and COE is at the forefront in sustainability. “The group has declared that we will cut down our carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2015. We want to contribute to that goal.”

 

 

29 March 2013 | Tabla!

by Ankita P V