Greening of the Concrete Industry for Sustainable Development

The concrete industry is energy intensive and produces a large volume of carbon dioxide emissions. To reduce the environmental impact of the industry we must practice industrial ecology by recycling the waste products of one industry by substituting them for the raw materials of another. Blended portland cements containing fly ash from coal-fired power plants and ground granulated slag from the blast-furnace iron industry provide excellent examples of industrial ecology because they offer a holistic solution for reducing the environmental impact of several industries. High speed construction building codes that are prescriptive rather than performance based and the lack of a holisitic approach in engineering research and education lead to the construction of concrete structures with cracking and durability problems. Greening of the concrete construction industry will have to proceed before green concrete replaces conventional concrete as the material of choice for general construction.

Technical Report Author: P. K. Mehta

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