Why is concrete harmful?
Wooden buildings – why not?
Concrete and steel as a harmonious duo
Choose wood – it is environmentally friendly … less for builders
Healthier alternatives to cement in concrete
Unique concrete admixtures
The idea of a Canadian carbon capture company
Concrete has been popular almost since the beginning of construction. Unfortunately, it emits large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. All as a result of the chemical process by which we obtain cement, which is – as we know – the main ingredient Right after water – we use it most often. Considering the fact that it is harmful, world architects have already started designing wooden buildings. However, there are divided opinions about this idea.
Before we find opponents of the idea, let us note that such solutions have already been implemented on the market. An example can be buildings in Vancouver, which architects designed from wood. Another example of such projects is Tokyo, where builders are increasingly using wood during construction work instead of concrete slabs. UN officials report that due to the permanent growth of the world’s population, there will soon be a need for housing for about 10 billion people! So if every residential building were to be made of concrete, we can imagine the potential state of our environment, especially air quality. The carbon emissions would be enormous, resulting in colossal global warming. It is therefore not surprising that architects and builders propose alternative solutions in terms of building materials. Is concrete harmful? Definitely yes.
The overriding reason for the popularity of this building material on a global scale is its relatively low price, as well as availability and durability. Portland cement, for example, is the basic component of concrete, which has the ability to form easily. From a chemical point of view, steel has similar thermal expansion properties. We can therefore use it to reinforce concrete and make it stronger and more flexible. The steel we used can be successfully recycled, so we can save the environment a bit.
Compared to concrete, wood is not so easy to use. All because of its natural ability to absorb moisture from the air. We also know that rotting is a natural process when it comes to wood. It is also attacked by pests, e.g. bark beetles, and is also exposed to fire.
Modern modern technologies already allow for the processing of wood and combining it with other building materials. Such hybrids improve the quality of the wood, making the entire structure more environmentally friendly. The construction experts of the Scandinavian countries are increasingly convinced of the described technology. Hence, such a significant coefficient of forest cover, for example, in Sweden. Professionals have already planned wooden buildings there. Also in Norway, this idea is to be implemented in the form of a building that is to be 88 m2 and serve as apartments, hotel rooms or offices. In Japan, builders are planning the W350 project, potentially 70 stories high. The architects designed it in such a way as to make it 90% of wood. However, this is still a fledgling project. For such far-reaching projects to be implemented, the construction experiment with wood in the main role should be implemented in much smaller projects. This will then allow you to make a decision to act on a large scale.
In addition to the wood discussed above, we can soon consider fly ash as an alternative to harmful cement. It is a by-product from power plants that we burn with coal. It turns out that it can successfully be one of the components of concrete, of course, added in reasonable amounts so that the quality of the building material does not suffer. Another waste material that we can successfully add to cement is blast furnace slag, a by-product in iron ore processing. Such admixtures significantly reduce the amount of harmful cement in concrete.
In addition to the above waste materials that can be added to concrete, some fanatics of building experiments propose more fanciful materials. These are pieces of vegetables (carrots or sugar beets), as well as bamboo and any fibers. Scientists from the University of Exeter, after years of research on the composition of concrete, came to the conclusion that the so-called graphene. Researchers invented this material at the beginning of our century and – although there are many controversies around it – builders are starting to add it to concrete structures. By adding this flat structure of carbon atoms, our concrete becomes significantly stronger than traditional concrete. Due to the structure of carbon atoms, it is also more waterproof.
In terms of trying to eliminate carbon dioxide in the construction industry, employees of the Canadian company CarboCure have taken fruitful steps to convert this by-product and harmful chemical compound into a useful agent. How? First of all, chemists are able to liquefy carbon dioxide and inject it into concrete.
Summing up the article, the above products are not so widespread yet, due to the conventionality and availability of cement. However, the future of the construction industry in this matter is promising. However, it takes a while to change habits.