Circular Economy: Role of the concrete sector

The circular economy is a whole life approach of industrial production aimed at securing societal development whilst preserving the environment. It aims to minimise virgin materials inflows and waste outflows using as little energy as possible.

The durability and efficient design of construction products are important for the construction sector to achieve these goals. The lifecycle of buildings and infrastructure is normally measured in decades or hundreds of years, rather than the years or months of the majority of other products, and days or weeks for packaging. There are several means to minimising inflows (virgin materials) and outflows (wastes):

  • repair and maintenance (low energy);
  • re-use and redistribution (medium energy);
  • recycling (high energy).

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