Thanks to their versatility, concrete blocks have been a feature of construction sites throughout the world for over a century. Cement itself has been around for more than 12 Million years and was used in its rudimentary form from around 3000 BC by the Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese.
The most rapid advances in cement production were made in the 19th century however when an English Bricklayer named Joseph Aspdin made an astonishing discovery.
He discovered that by burning finely ground chalk with divided clay in a lime kiln produced cement that was much stronger than previously crushed limestone cement. The discovery was christened Portland Cement and is still widely used in today’s concrete production.
Fast forward over 100 years and we find ourselves, due to the sheer scale of the cement production and usage across the world in a position where Cement manufacture is one of the highest emitters of Greenhouse Gases today. The main issue is very simple,
For every tonne of cement produced; the same amount of CO2 is also produced
In the UK alone, in excess of 100 Million Tonnes of waste are produced each year, over one-third of the UK’s annual total
The Circular Economy is being heralded by many across the world to be the answer to some of the planets resource and volatile commodity prices issues. The current take-make-dispose model adopted by most countries across the world throughout history is leading to waste on a never before seen scale.
Although the concept of a Circular Economy has been around and talked about for almost 40 years, it only really started gaining traction in 2010 when former sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur created the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to champion an alternative solution. There have been ongoing discussions about how the Construction Industry can reduce waste and embrace the Circular Economies, cradle to cradle concept more fully over the coming years.
Here are just 3 reasons the Construction industry should be looking at recycled concrete blocks more closely
1# Environmental Impact
As discussed, the Construction Industry is producing a huge level of wastage and CO2 emissions across the world on projects at the moment.
Cement production alone is responsible for 7% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
This is an incredible statistic and one that can’t be sustained for much longer. Alternative concrete mixes available today can decrease these emissions in significant proportions and can still offer a strong viable option.
PFA, also known as pulverised fuel ash is just one example. PFA reduces the water demand, shrinkage and permeability of the finished product. As Fuel ash is already a waste product itself, it can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.
Many traditional concrete structures including walls and buildings are created as permanent structures and the cost of demolition and cleanup of rubble can be huge. This rubble was routinely shipped to Landfill sites.
As an alternative to Landfill, more and more companies are beginning to use this waste as a recycled aggregate for future projects. Using innovative technologies and concepts to create Recycled Geopolymer Concrete we provide concrete blocks for everything from Transport, Agriculture and Construction to the Industrial and Waste Management sectors.
One of the most notable benefits of our Interlocking Concrete Block Walls is the fact that they can be taken down and used again on other projects and in different ways. This makes them more versatile than traditional concrete structures.
3# Flood Defences & Climate Change
In December 2014, the UK Treasury announced a £2.3bn fund for over 1400 flood defence projects to protect over 300,000 British homes. However, it is yet to be seen whether the amount that the UK Government is investing will be sufficient to keep pace with the growing risk of flood due to climate change.
Alternative Recycled Concrete products can provide flood defences all over the country, they can then be taken down and used elsewhere when needed and would be a cost-effective solution to the growing risk of flood in certain parts of the UK.
Here at Blockwalls, we are committed to providing top quality products that embrace the Circular Economy and are versatile enough to be used again on other projects. We are one of the countries leading suppliers of Eco and Geo Concrete Interlocking blocks.