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Preserving concrete

To reduce the environmental impact of buildings and other structures in a substantial manner, innovation in concrete is essential. ABT has a proactive role in developing CO2-neutral concrete structures. Together with our clients, concrete manufacturers and raw material suppliers, we participate in innovative developments for making concrete more sustainable. We support this research with knowledge, trials and new technologies. We join forces to make our ambitions come true in practice.

Durable concrete mixtures

Given the high CO2 emissions in the production process of Portland cement, we have been active in developing alternative binders as replacements for Portland cement since 2018. It is our estimation that fly ash and blast furnace slag will become increasingly scarce due to downsizing of the coal industry and preservation of the steel industry.

Therefore we have been designing concrete compositions based on reactive circular material and volcanic ash. It is not only the alternative binder that is important when designing a durable concrete mix. The process also requires optimisation through proper grain packing on the coarser as well as the fine fractions, and applying circular aggregates and reactive fillers.

ABT successfully contributed a sustainable concrete composition for the production process of Excluton and Voorbij Prefab. Thanks to this mixture, Voorbij reduced its CO2 emissions by 44%.

CO2 gains through alternative reinforcement

Steel reinforcement is used in many concrete structures. This offers good opportunities for lower CO2 emissions by alternative reinforcements such as basalt or glass fibres. Compared to newly produced steel, the CO2 footprint of basalt fibre reinforcement is lower by a factor of 2. The material is also impervious to corrosion. In recent years, we have improved our expertise through various studies. One of these was a pilot for the Department of Public Works with an application in noise barriers. For Artis Zoo, we examined whether basalt reinforcement could be used in the new saltwater aquariums. Given the increasing number of inquiries, the innovation has attracted the interest of clients and builders.

Environmental Cost Indicator (ECI) ‘frontrunner values’ Concrete Agreement

ABT’s broad expertise and commitment to innovations were reasons for the Concrete Agreement to commission ABT to investigate which “frontrunner values” were to be included in contract requirements starting in 2023 and 2025. To this end, we surveyed the implementations of sustainability measures by several companies through the industry. Early in 2022, we presented the results in the report ‘Koploperaanpak Betonakkoord; onderbouwing koploperwaarden’ (Frontrunner Approach Concrete Agreement; underpinning frontrunner values).