Looking back on the URBCON webinar on sustainable concrete

How can we get sustainable concrete to enter the construction sector? What are the pros and cons to get started with sustainable concrete? What can help to scale up innovative pilot projects into current practice? How can we accelerate these innovations through public procurement?

During the webinar, URBCON partners presented the project and the technology used. Together with the participants, it was investigated what it takes to get this sustainable concrete to enter the construction sector. Specifically for the demo project in Ghent, more information was given about the type of tender and the way of working. The feedback on this will be included in the further elaboration of the assignment documents.

An introduction to the URBCON project

Did you know that 4 tons of concrete per person per year is used? This is a huge amount. Cement accounts for 8% of total CO2 emissions and 28% of the use of raw materials (minerals). And this while there is a scarcity of primary raw materials, such as sand. In addition, concrete is user-friendly and best also environmentally friendly. The problem is that we use it so frequently, which has a significant environmental impact. There are no worthy alternatives to concrete yet. Moreover, concrete fits perfectly in the transition to a circular economy. In the circular economy, waste streams from industry are used as raw materials. Although there is not (yet) an alternative to concrete, concrete can be used and made more sustainably. Prof. ir. Stijn Matthys from UGent - DuraBUILD materials explains it. Get a look at the presentation slides (in dutch).

Presentation of the URBCON technology

Did you know that the global CO2 emissions from aircraft, boats and large trucks combined (6%) are less than the 8% emissions from concrete production? Wouter Cryns, manager of ResourceFull, explains step by step how cement is made and how we can reduce the footprint of concrete. He explains how the URBCON technology can be viewed as a spectrum of Alkali activated materials (AAM). There are many reasons to get started with this, both ecologically, commercially and technically. He also tells us about the barriers to working with it and the precursors to our approach. The next steps in the material development are the upscaling of mortar formulations to concrete and guaranteeing the durability of the concrete. Get a look at the presentation slides (in dutch).

The Ghent pilot and tender

Did you know that the City of Ghent will realise one of the three URBCON pilots? Architect Christophe Lecompte, City of Ghent - Facility Management goes through the design of the pilot and the tender procedure with us. The choice for the pilot fell on a staircase at the school 'De Zonnepoort'. For this purpose, a tender will be launched from which a selection will be made of 3 construction teams. The selected construction teams prepare a paid proposal. After a negotiation phase, the effective contract will be awarded to one regular construction team. Get a look at the presentation slides (in dutch).

Question round

In the general question round, the panel members answered questions from the participants and we also launched a poll to know your vision on the sustainable URBCON concrete: pros and cons, support, possible applications, ... Get a look at the poll results (in dutch).

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