Development of sustainable, innovative and energy-efficient concrete, based on the integration of all-waste materials: SUS-CON panels for building applications

Raffaele Vinai, Marios Soutsos, Alessandro Largo, Agnese Attanasio, Iñigo Larraza, Valle Chozas Ligero , Anoop Gupta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The building sector requires the worldwide production of 4 billion tonnes of cement annually, consuming more than 40% of global energy and accounting for about 8% of the total CO2 emissions. The SUS-CON project aimed at integrating waste materials in the production cycle of concrete, for both ready-mixed and pre-cast applications, resulting in an innovative light-weight, ecocompatible and cost-effective construction material, made by all-waste materials and characterized by enhanced thermal insulation performance and low embodied energy and CO2. Alkali activated “cementless” binders, which have recently emerged as eco-friendly construction materials, were used in conjunction with lightweight recycled aggregates to produce sustainable concrete for a range of applications. This paper presents some results from the development of a concrete made with a geopolymeric binder (alkali activated fly ash) and aggregate from recycled mixed plastic. Mix optimisation was achieved through an extensive investigation on production parameters for binder and aggregate. The mix recipe was developed for achieving the required fresh and hardened properties. The optimised mix gave compressive strength of about 7 MPa, flexural strength of about 1.3 MPa and a thermal conductivity of 0.34 W/mK. Fresh and hardened properties were deemed suitable for the industrial production of precast products. Precast panels were designed and produced for the construction of demonstration buildings. Mock-ups of about 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 m were built at a demo park in Spain both with SUS-CON and Portland cement concrete, monitoring internal and external temperatures. Field results indicate that the SUS-CON mock-ups have better insulation. During the warmest period of the day, the measured temperature in the SUS-CON mock-ups was lower.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9th International Concrete Conference 2016: Environment, Efficiency and Economic Challenges for Concrete
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
ISBN (Print)978-0-9573263-1-6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2016
Event9th International concrete conference - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 04 Jul 201606 Jul 2016


Conference9th International concrete conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Sustainable concrete
  • recycled aggregate
  • geopolymeric binder
  • precast concrete
  • mock-up monitoring

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