Recycled concrete for sustainable construction

Recover to protect the environment

Il recovery of products and components together with recycling e reuse of materials are practices that help promote development sustainablebecause they reduce the need to use precious natural resources and raw materials.

Moving from a linear economy to a circular economy can help us safeguard the planet and its resources for future generations, guaranteeing development sustainable.

Another benefit is linked to the impact it generates on the environment, reducing the need for raw materials, recycling helps to safeguard limited natural resources such as wood, water and minerals.

Furthermore, precisely because it reduces the need to collect, transport and process raw materials, waste recycling helps to prevent pollution and save energy.

In the construction industry, the materials of it turns outare represented by those deriving from an excavation or a demolition, or from the remains of a building material.

Recovery of materials and regulations in force

To prevent these materials from being spread unchecked on the territory, polluting and deteriorating the landscape, special provisions have been issued measures on the subject, including Legislative Decree 116/2020, which amended the fourth part of Legislative Decree no. 152/2006 known as the Environmental Code.

In particular, in art. 183 the definition of is inserted construction waste e demolition, i.e. the waste produced by construction and demolition activities.
This new category also includes waste deriving from secondary DIY construction and demolition activities.

Materials of different nature from demolitions
It was also defined what are the structures who can collect such waste, together with the obligation of their registration in the National Register of Environmental Managers.

These wastes are split in two categories:

  • waste dangeroussuch as for example asbestos;
  • waste not dangerous.

Materials from demolition in construction are mainly represented by inert consisting of aggregated rocks of natural or artificial origin.
They are divided into fine natural or artificial aggregates (sands), large natural or artificial aggregates (gravels) and crushed stone.

Crusher for the recovery of building materials from demolitions
Of the materials described above, they come reemployed the fine sands for the creation of plasters and decorations, while the gravel or crushed stone are used to prepare mortars.

The extensive possibilities of recovery of inert materials, allows not to fill landfills and to avoid what is possible abandonment in the environment.

Therefore, they are conveyed to special areas of recovery authorised, where it is possible to proceed withidentification of the single components in order to establish the possibility of a recovery for future uses.

Recovery and reuse of concrete

Among the materials widely used in the construction sector that can be recovered we have the reinforced concretecoming from the demolition of reinforced concrete artefacts, screeds, etc.

Of the materials to be recovered, concrete is of great importance, given its size spread in all building works, in addition to the fact that for its realization it is necessary to subtract raw materials from the territory, with the consequence of considerably altering the environment.

Reinforced concrete pylons made with recycled concrete
To to retrieve reinforced concrete it is necessary to implement a process called relinkerization of hydrated cement, and this in order to restore the properties, together with the separation of its main components, concrete, sand and aggregates.

In this regard, some studies on the subject have shown that it is possible get new concrete with equivalent properties of the original one, as well as recycling the other inert materials.

The transformation of recycled concrete, can be implemented by exploiting them techniques in use for the realization of the original product.
Such an opportunity allows you to get a product with cost similar to those of the newly produced product.

Recover cement to obtain economic and environmental benefits

The possibility of recycling such a widespread product entails considerable benefitsnot only from an economic point of view, but above all from an environmental point of view.

The recycling of concrete certainly helps to avoid the formation of compromises territories of an extractive nature, represented for example by cavewhich so much disfigure uncontaminated landscapes.

A quarry for the extraction of aggregates which represents a disfigurement of the ecosystem
The recovery of inert such as sand and crushed stone, reduces the risk of deface rivers and marine environments, as well as avoiding dangerous erosion phenomena, whose consequences occur especially after strong weather events.

And they reduce moreover, considerable quantities of CO2 in the environment, thanks to the lower use of energy for the production and extraction of new aggregates.

New products from recovered material

Thanks to the recovery of the concrete it is possible to realize new artifacts that include elements of Street furnitureroof tiles, infill blocks, prefabricated steps, curbs, panels and posts for fences, copings, etc.

The sustainability of the products that can be made with recycled concrete must already start from designwith the choice of renewable raw materials or recycled material, and must allow the ability to disassembly of the product at the end of its useful life, so that it no longer becomes waste but a resource for new creations.

With recycled concrete it is possible to make cto the opponent for construction such as maxi blocksEcokubo produced by Edilquattro Bernardelli groupmade up of recycled aggregates, useful for creating, in a practical and fast way, non-structural dividing bulkheads.

Ecokubo by Bernardelli
The blocks are produced in various sizes: starting from Block 1, which measures 180x60x60 cm thick, to get to block 6 which has a length of 30 cm, passing through submultiples of length 150, 120, 90 and 60 cm.

The blocks land at dryby juxtaposition and simple overlapping by interlocking, they can be painted or, on request, they can be supplied colored in paste.
The blocks EcoKubo they are sold in single pieces and can be used for different uses.

Outdoor furniture with recyclable cement

The Metalcoproduces elements of furniture urban and domestic, adopting the dictates of the minimum environmental criteria in which functionality, formal cleanliness andeco-sustainability they are obtained thanks to the control of the entire product development process: from the conception of the concept to the next industrialization.

The latter takes place through the use of cutting-edge technologies and machinery, and the possibility of recycling at the end of use.

With the recycled concrete new ones can also be made supporting structuresprovided that the demolition of the original structures, is carried out in such a way selectivewhich doesn’t happen often. In fact, currently undifferentiated materials of various kinds arrive at the recycling plants.

Amethyst bench produced by Metalco
Therefore, the plants of recycling of raw materials, find it difficult to supply recycled aggregates of concrete alone, currently in the recycling plants, bricks, ceramic materials and concrete are mixed together.
This does not allow one selection of the concrete alone, in order to be able to verify it in a way comparative with the original structure the performance characteristics.

The possibility of making concretes structural good quality was demonstrated by the Engineering Department of the University of Cagliari, thanks to the demolition selective of known structures and reuse of the selected material for the manufacture of new structural elements.

This encouraging result, thanks to the research of the University of Cagliari, has favored the introduction in the regional price list of the item recycled aggregates for use in structural concrete.

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