IntroductionSustainability is meeting current requirements without endangering or comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The Sustainability of structures is a fundamental part of the designing of reinforced concrete structures. Sustainability in concrete includes the proper choice and optimized use of materials to conserve natural resources, optimal design to lessen material and construction requirements, and much more.Materials aspects and Eco-Friendly alternative materialsRecyclable MaterialsSteel reinforcement is substantially recyclable, meaning it is naturally recycled by the demolition contractors, who sell bars as scrap. Steel is retrieved by crushing concrete and the retrieving of bars with breakers, hammers and grappling hooks mounted onto heavy equipment. Steel is cut into pieces, using cutting tools. Steel is sold to plants and reprocessed as new quality steel products.
Likewise, concrete can be crushed and recycled as aggregates in any new concrete structures.Eco-Friendly Recycled AggregatesThe Concrete can be made using other materials other than natural occurring aggregates. Crushed concrete is an example. But first, the steel bars and impurities such as insulation must be discarded, and the concrete must be crushed thoroughly. The same as with naturally occurring aggregates, crushed concrete needs to be graded.Optimized design in terms of section size and geometryProvide Design Flexibility for GeometryReinforced concrete offers much flexibility to architectural shape designs with long-span capability. Thus can delivering open interior plans, creating flexibility in design spaces and providing the ability to fix equipment quickly.
As the usability changes, the steel reinforced concrete elements can be altered to allow buildings to expand, thus reducing costs and reprocessing material. Reduction in Floor Heights for Section SizeThe reinforced concrete framing systems enable significantly lower floor-to-floor heights, creating energy-efficient plans that is most likely to add revenue-generating floors to the building while meeting zoning limitations on height.Provide Aesthetic Variety for Overall LookReinforced concrete is able to duplicate the look of many types of stone that would be expensive to quarry and to transport. Thin bricks can be fixed in concrete walls to look like masonry, drastically reducing the material use and cost. Other decorations can also be cast into the concrete, removing material costs and maintenance for those added elements.Construction aspects to minimize cost and repairMinimalized Cost to TransportationConcrete producers such as steel mills and reinforcing bar fabricators are positioned all around the country, and they typically use locally accessible materials. By doing so cost to transport materials or finished products to the site are minimalized.Minimalized Costs to Repair and UpkeepConcrete structures require little upkeep.
However, structures are to be checked on regular basis in accordance with good building maintenance practices. Often, a regular cleanup of the structure with nontoxic materials such as soapy water will be enough. Indoors, concrete lasts almost forever.
Although outdoors, it may have to endure the stress of cold weather, and vandalism such as graffiti. Concrete surfaces can be partly protected against it with ‘anti-graffiti’ finishes.Recycling and waste managementReduction of WasteConcrete components are typically casted as stated, with little excess produced. Any waste that accumulates through these cutouts, is be recycled.
A lot of steel and concrete plants have introduced water-recycling programs and other environmental processes to further decrease the manufacturing impact.Reuse And RecyclingConcrete is outstanding in construction material for long-lasting and energy efficient structures, but it still has to adapt to many constant changes of human needs that may produce waste. Fortunately, at the end of its life cycle, concrete is able to be recycled for least environmental impact. The recovered concrete from construction and demolition waste is to be crushed and used as aggregate. It is mainly used for road bases and sub-bases, but new concrete can also be made using a percentage of recycled waste material. Concrete can be reused in numerous ways and on a large scale, and, on occasions, in its original form.