Prof Wallbaum encourages to reuse concrete for sustainable construction

27 August 2008

Assistant Professor Holger Wallbaum, chairman of sustainable construction at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, is presenting at Our World of Concrete & Structures 2008 in Singapore on 25-27 August and promotes sustainability in the Singapore concrete industry. Prof Wallbaum told my paper that concrete and cement production contribute significantly to global emissions of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. He recommends that developers could consider using recycled concrete or cement substitutes so that buildings could become green and ecologically sound in the construction phase.

Using recycled concrete or cement substitutes would thereby allow for more sustainable development of buildings by using wastes of other production processes, such as waste materials from incineration plants and steel-manufacture as cement substitutes.

As concrete and cement production require the heavy burning of fuels like coal, using specific types of waste as coal substitutes help to manage waste and also preserve coal resources. Waste with high burning potential like old car tyres have been used to fuel concrete and cement production.

Holcim Green uses recycled materials like copper waste from shipyards as a concrete raw-material substitute. As there is no other way to dispose of the copper waste except in landfills, Holcim's use of the waste is hence ecologically friendly, and has also received Singapore's GreenLabel. Holcim's concrete-production plants in Singapore also recycled concrete and grey water from the production process. However, besides an ecological focus on sustainable development, Prof Wallbaum emphasized that socio-cultural and economic aspects cannot be neglected.

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Holcim also refers to My Paper publication:
click here to view the original article (My Paper) 
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