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Use of High Volume SCM with Manufactured Sand in Concrete for Lower Embodied Energy Structures

Project Member(s): Sirivivatnanon, V., Baweja, D., Vessalas, K.

Funding or Partner Organisation: BASF AUSTRALIA LTD

Start year: 2013

Summary: The need to reduce CO2 emissions in all parts of the construction cycle has seen a push to use reduced cement contents in concretes and an increased use of supplementary cementitious materials in building construction. The roles of supplementary cementitious materials on concrete performance, whilst well understood, are not clearly defined in a sustainability context in building construction. In addition, a new Australian Standard for General Purpose and Blended Cements has recently been published with additional constituents allowed in GP cement. The Green Building Council of Australia has recently published a proposed revised concrete materials credit that will in future form part of its published Green Star specification for residential and commercial buildings. Whilst these developments are welcomed, there has been little examination of the potential interaction between binder composition, binder content, chemical admixture, concrete strength, other mechanical and serviceability properties of concrete, required constructional properties and the total material usage in typical building structures and other types of infrastructure. The opportunities for improved sustainability through the use of concrete in building construction incorporating high level admixtures and other by-products need to be considered in light of these developments. These alternative strategies need to be analysed impact on life-cycle resource requirements, CO2 emissions, durability, and constructability. Objectives 1. Understand key drivers for sustainable concrete/construction (e.g. the role of SCMs in conjunction with the use of BASF┬┐s latest admixture technologies), 2. Develop strategies to lower carbon emissions and impact on the embodied energy structures, 3. Optimise use of manufactured sand and other commercial by-product materials to aid in achieving sustainability, and 4. Consider the impacts of geopolymer and new binder technologies on sustainability in infrastructure.

Keywords: Supplementary cementitious materials, chemical admixture, industrial by-product, embodied energy, design & construction efficiency.

FOR Codes: Construction Materials, Sustainability Indicators