When concrete constructions are complete, they save energy, last at least 100 years and absorb carbon dioxide during the user phase. But in the construction phase, more needs to be done to reduce concrete’s carbon emissions.
Concrete is one of the oldest building materials in the world and reinforced concrete is the most common building material in construction today. The vast majority of concrete’s carbon emissions come from its production.
“The cement production stands for around 90 percent of the total climate impact of concrete, which depends on the process of making cement. But by using climate-improved concrete for housing we can reduce climate impact by around 20 percent. If we also optimize the concrete consumption and the structure, we can reach as low as approximately 30 percent lower climate impact,” says Malin Löfsjögård, Managing Director at the Swedish Concrete Federation.
Climate-improved concrete is essentially concrete that has a lower climate impact than conventional concrete. It is a concrete that uses a new type of cement with lower climate impact and that uses alternative binders instead of some parts of the cement. Now it is important for the concrete industry to get contractors to order and use the climate-improved concrete.
“To be able to go even further with the development of concrete that has even lower climate impact than today, we need to collaborate with the whole construction sector. We need to work with the ones in charge of projects, but we also need to work more with the politicians regarding laws and regulations and also for further research and development.”