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Substituting Cement in Prefab Elements

In a research initiative at the , concrete pieces with substantially less environmental effect than those in use are being produced with promising results. Glass is employed as a binder in these concrete parts, replacing a large amount of cement, and recycled concrete aggregate is used as ballast.

Image Credit: University of Borås

According to Agnes Nagy, an Associate Professor in civil engineering with an emphasis on concrete, the initiative is of significant interest to the construction and sustainability sector.

The goal of the project is to develop a circular process for manufacturing building elements with reduced climate impact. Additionally, several different subject areas have been involved in the project, including mechanical engineering and logistics. In addition to examining the strength of the concrete element, we are also looking at the overall lifecycle of the material in the concrete element and the transportation of materials to and from construction sites. We want to show that it is possible to manage the process and logistics locally.

Agnes Nagy, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, University of Borås
Instead of dismantling a structure and transferring old concrete, then transporting new building parts to start again, the concept is to reuse the crushed concrete in the new building elements that will be utilized for construction—in the same area. The research study is related to the Västerbro project in Borås, Sweden. In this project, a property is scheduled for demolition; the goal is to reuse these new building parts, composed of recycled demolition concrete and flat glass, when Västerbro is rebuilt. The Centre for Sustainable Society Development is collaborating with property owners, aggregate producers, concrete industry players, consultants, and the City of Borås on this project, which is supported by the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova. Source:

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