Leo Fosdal on Unsplash
October 1, 2021
A potentially sustainable new form of concrete has been recently created that might make it the most environmentally friendly type of building material.
Concrete in its traditional form is made from cement, mixed with a range of coarse aggregates such as gravel, limestone or granite, and some finer particle aggregates such as sand or fly ash.
These are mixed together with water, to form a quick drying bonded structure, which can easily be manipulated into many forms such as the surface of roads, or driveways or footings for structures. It is the most commonly used building material in the world – some estimate that in the region of 7 cubic kilometres of concrete are manufactured each year, and that there already is 1 cubic metre of concrete for every human on earth.
Unfortunately concrete is not an environmentally friendly material, either to make, or to use, or even to dispose of. To gain the raw materials to make this material, much energy and water must be used, and quarrying for sand and other aggregates causes environmental destruction and pollution.