What is green concrete? - Explained By Converge

May 26, 2023

Are you aware of the environmentally friendly construction material known as green concrete? In recent years, there has been a surge in interest in sustainable building materials, and green concrete is at the forefront. 

In this article, we'll discuss the definition of green concrete, its properties, and why it's becoming increasingly popular as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional concrete.

Read more: Technology that makes concrete more sustainable and how to use recycled concrete safely. 

What is Green Concrete?

Green concrete, also known as eco concrete or eco-friendly concrete, is a type of concrete that utilises recycled materials and is specifically designed to minimise its environmental impact. 

It is created using waste materials like fly ash, slag, and recycled aggregate, reducing the consumption of natural resources and energy required in the production process. This makes green concrete a sustainable option that addresses the need for eco-friendly construction materials.

Defining Green Concrete

The definition of green concrete encompasses several key aspects that contribute to its eco-friendly nature. These include:

  1. The use of recycled or waste materials as a substitute for cement, which reduces the need for new materials and the energy consumed during production.
  2. The reduction of CO2 emissions associated with the production of traditional concrete, thereby mitigating the harmful effects of greenhouse gases on the environment.
  3. The promotion of resource conservation and the reduction of waste in landfills.

Read more: How to make concrete more sustainable, the process of concrete recycling and read our summary of the PAS 2080

Properties of Green Concrete

Green concrete possesses several unique properties that differ from traditional concrete. These include:

  1. Higher durability: Green concrete has a longer life span due to its increased resistance to corrosion. This reduces the need for frequent repairs and replacement.
  2. Improved workability: The addition of waste materials like fly ash and slag enhances the workability of green concrete, making it easier to place and finish.
  3. Lower heat of hydration: Green concrete produces less heat during the curing process, which reduces the likelihood of cracking and improves the overall quality of the finished product.
  4. Reduced permeability: The use of recycled materials in green concrete reduces its permeability, protecting it from water damage and increasing its durability.

Square concrete tunnel

The Benefits of Green Concrete

Opting for green concrete has numerous advantages, both for the environment and the construction industry. Some of the key benefits include:

Environmental sustainability

Green concrete is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional concrete. It reduces the consumption of natural resources, energy, and CO2 emissions during production.

Cost-effectiveness

Utilising waste materials in the production of green concrete can result in cost savings. Mainly because it reduces the need for new materials and transportation expenses.

Reduced waste

By incorporating recycled materials, green concrete promotes the reuse of waste and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Enhanced durability

Green concrete has increased durability and resistance to corrosion. Which means that it requires less maintenance and has a longer life span. This will save time and money in the long run.

Things to keep in mind

As we face the challenges of climate change and the need for more sustainable construction practices, green concrete offers a promising solution. With its unique properties and eco-friendly characteristics, green concrete is emerging as a valuable alternative to traditional concrete. 

By choosing green concrete, we can build a better future while reducing our impact on the environment.To summarise, green concrete:

  1. Is also known as eco concrete or eco-friendly concrete
  2. Utilises recycled materials in its production
  3. Reduces CO2 emissions and conserves natural resources
  4. Offers improved durability, workability, and reduced permeability compared to traditional concrete
  5. Provides cost-effective and environmentally sustainable construction options

Read more: We present methods on how to minimise the environmental impacts of construction and explain the environmental impacts of concreting.

Frequently asked questions

Can green concrete be used for all types of construction projects?

Yes, green concrete is versatile and can be used in various construction projects, including residential, commercial, and infrastructure. Just ensure the green concrete mix meets the project requirements.

Is green concrete more expensive than traditional concrete?

Green concrete may have a slightly higher initial cost, but its durability and longer life span can lead to long-term savings. Using recycled materials can also reduce sourcing and transportation expenses.

How does green concrete contribute to LEED certification?

Green concrete can earn LEED points in categories like Materials and Resources (recycled content, waste reduction) and Energy and Atmosphere (lower CO2 emissions). It helps demonstrate sustainable construction practices and achieve higher LEED certification levels.

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