/Sustainable construction
Sustainable construction 2018-05-21T19:30:59+00:00

SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION

If it is made of concrete, anything is possible

Concrete is essential to our lives. 70% of the world’s inhabitants live in buildings with concrete structures. Concrete is also the foundation of transport infrastructures (viaducts, road surfaces, ports, airports, etc.), of the infrastructures needed to properly manage water (piping networks, channels, dams, etc.), the energy sector (thermal and nuclear power plants) and buildings.

Concrete and Corporate Responsibility
The characteristics of concrete make structures very fireproof, which is especially important when it comes to increasing building and tunnel safety, and it performs very well in natural catastrophe situations such as earthquakes.

In the face of an expected increase in extreme natural phenomena and the alarming increase in the number of tremors, it is essential to make technological breakthroughs to improve the performance of concrete and strengthen it, make it lighter, more ductile more resistant to fatigue, etc. Such improvements will make it possible to increase not only the service level of concrete structures but also their safety level, thereby helping to improve the social aspect of safety.

Concrete and the Environment
One of the main problems facing society at the moment is how to conserve natural resources so that future generations can meet their own needs.

Concrete has made major progress in reuse and recyclability, one of the key points in this respect being its ability to act as a drain for CO2, and it is essential to carry on progressing in this area.

Concrete and Energy Efficiency
One of the basic pillars in the fight against climate change is improving the energy efficiency of anthropogenic activities. Concrete, when it is manufactured, is a material that consumes a lot of energy, yet concrete constructions help to increase global energy efficiency.

At present, we spend up to 90% of our lives in buildings, and in Europe 42% of energy consumption and 35% of greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings.

It must be remembered that in a building, approximately 90% of CO2 emissions are due to its use during its working life (60 years), 8-10% are produced while the materials are being manufactured and between 2 and 3% occur during the construction process.

A building’s sustainability has to be calculated bearing in mind its entire life cycle assessment (LCA), from the extraction of the raw materials with which the construction materials are manufactured, until its demolition and the recycling of the rubble, without forgetting its period of use. The LCA is the only tool able to establish the construction’s sustainability, weighing up and objectivising the energy, environmental, social and economic parameters.

Concrete and Quality of Life
Society’s high economic development in the past century has significantly increased the volume of construction using concrete. Concrete structures, within the obvious economic limitations that there have always been, have to be kept alive, and have to evolve adapting to the demands of the user.

The great durability of concrete structures, plus the fact that they require little maintenance and upkeep, spare citizens bother and expenses while improving their quality of life. If we add this to the advantages of concrete in urban environments such as a reduction in room temperature or the possibility of using concrete to reduce atmospheric pollution, we find ourselves in a field that must be supported and strengthened immediately.

Concrete in the future

Recycled and polymer concrete, concrete with fibres and lightweight concrete, incorporating sensors into concrete structures and depolluting concrete, are just a few of the aspects that shape concrete’s immediate future. The structures of concrete that must evolve in time, adapting to demand and guaranteeing a service with a higher level of safety and comfort. This has to be applied not only to new works, but also, and especially, to updating and modernising heritage.
The future is already here, and concrete cannot let itself be sidelined by progress. The concrete sector will undoubtedly be one of the sectors with most innovations.

The advantages of constructing with concrete

Construcción sostenible, durable

More durable
Robust, strong, with potential for slim solutions.
Long working life.

Construcción sostenible, económico

More economical
Less maintenance.
Local and accessible material.
In buildings, energy saving with air-conditioning systems.
Fuel saving with road surfaces.

Construcción sostenible, expresivo

More expressive
Highly versatile.
It expresses itself in forms, textures and colours.

Construcción sostenible, seguro

Safer
Robust and can withstand adverse weather conditions.
Fireproof.
Protects against flooding.
Safe in seismic phenomena.
Withstands emulsifying salts, oils and waste.

Construcción sostenible, confortable

Greater comfort
Soundproofing.
In buildings, interior air quality unchanged.
Keeps temperatures stable.

Construcción sostenible, reciclable

More sustainable
100% recyclable.
Local product.
Contributes to energy efficiency in buildings, thereby reducing CO2.
Lowers the room temperature in urban environments removing pockets of heat.
Lower CO2 emissions throughout its life cycle.
More reflectance, less need for lighting.

Publications related to the sustainability of concrete made constructions

Concrete driven energetic efficiency
Adaptation to climate change through the planification of a sustainable construction
Fireproofing on concrete structures
Sustainability of roads and concrete structures
Concrete: A material to raise structure’s sustainability
Concrete pavements, an intelligent and sustainable alternative