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Green concrete: optimization of high-strength concrete based on LCA

Charlotte Dossche (UGent) , Veerle Boel (UGent) , Wouter De Corte (UGent) and Nele De Belie (UGent)
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Abstract
The construction industry is accountable for about 50 percent of the global resource consumption. Within this, traditional concrete is one of the products with a manufacturing process that has a relatively large impact on the environment. As a result of the rising awareness regarding sustainability, concrete suppliers, product manufacturers, and building contractors are concerned about which environmental impact their product has. Based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) it is possible to analyze the different stages in the life cycle of structures and to evaluate the respective impacts. Such a study is presented here for a producer of high-strength concrete building materials, applying a cradle-to-gate approach with options. Specific company data were combined with general input from databases, and a functional unit of 1m³ was adopted to be able to compare the different results. Based on this, it was determined that whereas the reinforcing and prestressing steel and the cement dominate the impact contributions, other factors such as transport by road, maintenance, aggregates, fabrication and concrete waste production during fabrication are non-negligible. A further impact study shows that several adaptions can potentially reduce the impact on the environment with 20 to 30 percent, depending on the assessment method used.
Keywords
sustainability, impact assessment methods, life cycle inventory, life cycle assessment, ecology, durability, Concrete

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Citation

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Chicago
Dossche, Charlotte, Veerle Boel, Wouter De Corte, and Nele De Belie. 2015. “Green Concrete: Optimization of High-strength Concrete Based on LCA.” In Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures, Workshop Proceedings, ed. Mario Alberto Chiorino, Luigi Coppola, Claudio Mazzotti, Roberto Realfonzo, and Paolo Riva, SP-305:357–366. Michigan: American Concrete Institute.
APA
Dossche, C., Boel, V., De Corte, W., & De Belie, N. (2015). Green concrete: optimization of high-strength concrete based on LCA. In M. A. Chiorino, L. Coppola, C. Mazzotti, R. Realfonzo, & P. Riva (Eds.), Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures, Workshop Proceedings (Vol. SP-305, pp. 357–366). Presented at the International Workshop on Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures (IW-DSCS), Michigan: American Concrete Institute.
Vancouver
1.
Dossche C, Boel V, De Corte W, De Belie N. Green concrete: optimization of high-strength concrete based on LCA. In: Chiorino MA, Coppola L, Mazzotti C, Realfonzo R, Riva P, editors. Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures, Workshop Proceedings. Michigan: American Concrete Institute; 2015. p. 357–66.
MLA
Dossche, Charlotte, Veerle Boel, Wouter De Corte, et al. “Green Concrete: Optimization of High-strength Concrete Based on LCA.” Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures, Workshop Proceedings. Ed. Mario Alberto Chiorino et al. Vol. SP-305. Michigan: American Concrete Institute, 2015. 357–366. Print.
@inproceedings{6976123,
  abstract     = {The construction industry is accountable for about 50 percent of the global resource consumption.
Within this, traditional concrete is one of the products with a manufacturing process that has a relatively large
impact on the environment. As a result of the rising awareness regarding sustainability, concrete suppliers,
product manufacturers, and building contractors are concerned about which environmental impact their product
has. Based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) it is possible to analyze the different stages in the life cycle of
structures and to evaluate the respective impacts. Such a study is presented here for a producer of high-strength
concrete building materials, applying a cradle-to-gate approach with options. Specific company data were
combined with general input from databases, and a functional unit of 1m{\textthreesuperior} was adopted to be able to compare the
different results. Based on this, it was determined that whereas the reinforcing and prestressing steel and the
cement dominate the impact contributions, other factors such as transport by road, maintenance, aggregates,
fabrication and concrete waste production during fabrication are non-negligible. A further impact study shows
that several adaptions can potentially reduce the impact on the environment with 20 to 30 percent, depending on
the assessment method used.},
  author       = {Dossche, Charlotte and Boel, Veerle and De Corte, Wouter and De Belie, Nele},
  booktitle    = {Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures, Workshop Proceedings},
  editor       = {Chiorino, Mario Alberto and Coppola, Luigi and Mazzotti, Claudio and Realfonzo, Roberto and Riva, Paolo},
  isbn         = {978-1-942727-44-6},
  keyword      = {sustainability,impact assessment methods,life cycle inventory,life cycle assessment,ecology,durability,Concrete},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Bologna, Italy},
  pages        = {357--366},
  publisher    = {American Concrete Institute},
  title        = {Green concrete: optimization of high-strength concrete based on LCA},
  volume       = {SP-305},
  year         = {2015},
}