LCA of recycled concrete: Environmentally superior to virgin concrete?

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1 HO CHS CHULE F ÜR T E CHNI K RAPPERSW IL I BU INS T I T UT F ÜR BAU UND UM W EL T avnir 2013 Nov 5 th : LCA of recycled concrete: Environmentally superior to virgin concrete? 1. Why such a study, and how? 2. Results for (natural and/or recycled gravel): -- concrete -- a building -- construction in a region 3. Conclusions Discussion by Dr. Arthur Braunschweig (E2), Prof. Susanne Kytzia (HSR), S. Bischof (Holcim)

2 Goal of this LCA: Better vista, better insight! E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 2

3 Why such a study? Concrete is key for buildings and infrastructure CH is densly populated gravel gets un-attainable Growing consciousness Recycle concrete! (Minergy standard) 2005 CH: Demolished concrete covers 1/8 of gravel (9 of 70 mio t/a) In city areas, e.g. Zürich, 1/3 (0.8 of 2.2 m t/a)! Recycled concrete can be used - loosely, as gravel - fixed, in lean concrete - fixed, in high-quality ("construction") concrete and in all situations replaces virgin gravel! Technology, markets - but eco? LCA! E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 3

4 Four LCA-studies on gravel and concrete a) Gravel (virgin & recycled) b) Concrete (high-quality & lean) c) A construction project d) Construction in a Swiss region Key assumptions, e.g.: Team: Prof. S. Kytzia & team, HSR / Holcim / A. Braunschweig, E2 Data sources: Ecoinvent, Holcim (CH) E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 4

5 Prozesse zur Herstellung von Beton in der Schweiz Quelle: Kytzia et al, 2011 Energies prod./ Waste treatm't Infrastructure LCA: Scope Example 'concrete production' Building demolition Limestone, Clay Trsp. of demolished building material (concrete, mixed) Cement Production Gravel production Transport Transport Water prep. Concrete Production Mixing Additives production 1 m 3 Concrete of a certain quality (at plant) E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 5

6 System definition details Example "High quality concretes" Composition per m³ concrete "C30/37": 100 % natural aggregate with 25 % RC-granulate Gravel 2000 kg natural 1400 kg natural 460 kg recycled (RC) granulate Cement 300 kg Portland limestone cement 320 kg Other assumptions, e.g. : - Cement production w/ 40 % alternative fuels - Transport distances - Swiss grid electricity E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 6

7 1 st result: LCA of high quality concretes Beton C 30/37 (25% RC-Granulat) C 30/37 Beton C 30/37 (25% RC-Granulat) C 30/37 Beton C 30/37 (25% RC-Granulat) C 30/37 Beton C 30/37 (25% RC-Granulat) C 30/37 Beton C 30/37 (25% RC-Granulat) C 30/37 Beton C 30/37 (25% RC-Granulat) C 30/37 Gravel use (t) Land use (m2-eq*a) Respiratory damages (PM10) Acidification (SO2eq) Climate Change (CO2eq) Energy use (MJ-eq) 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% Granulate production RC-Granulate production Cement production Concrete production E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 7

8 Lean Concrete w/ RC-content doesn't need more Cement Composition of 1 m³ lean concrete: Lean concrete with 100% natural gravel with 100 % RC-granulate Gravel 1'895 kg natural gravel 1'590 kg mixed demolition granulate, treated Cement 200 kg 200 kg additional assumptions, e.g. on transport distances E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 8

9 2 nd result: LCA of lean concretes with 0 and 100 % RC-granulate Lean Concr. Lean Concr. 100% RC Lean Concr. Lean Concr. 100% RC Lean Concr. Lean Concr. 100% RC Lean Concr. Lean Concr. 100% RC Lean Concr. Lean Concr. 100% RC Lean Concr. Lean Concr. 100% RC Gravel use (t) Land use (m2-eq * a) Respiratory damages (PM10) Acidification (SO2eq) Climate Change (CO2eq) Energy use (MJeq) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% Granulate production RC-Granulate production Cement production Concrete production E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 9

10 2 nd LCA: Fictitious building project (transport model) V1: Pit + landfill V2: pit + recycling 19 km C 30/37, 100% new gravel 36 km C 30/37, w/ 25% RC gravel 14 km 14 km 6 km demolition waste landfilled 16 km Hochba u demolition waste is used E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 10

11 2 nd LCA: Results for the fictitious building project V2 (25 % RC / Waste to recycling) V1 (100 %Natural / Waste to landfill) V2 V1 V2 V1 V2 V1 V2 V1 V2 (25 % RC / Waste to recycling) V1 (100 %Natural / Waste to landfill) 0% Production: natural gravel Production: Concrete Waste treatment Transports: Concrete 25% 50% 75% 100% 125% Gravel use (t) Land use (m2-eq * a) Respiratory damages (PM10) Acidification (SO2eq) Climate Change (CO2eq) Energy use (MJeq) Production: RC-gravel Production: Cement Transports: Granulates E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 11

12 3 rd LCA for a regional construction scenario 'Swiss Mittelland' (e.g. larger Zürich area) Simplified calculations (e.g. no metals, wood) Concrete waste = ca. 1/3 of Concrete demand (1,1 vs. 3,6 mio tons p.a.) Construction waste is treated: 15 % final waste to landfill, 85% are re-used either loosely as granulate, or in RC-concrete E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 12

13 3 rd LCA: Regional Building Scenario B) RC- Concrete Concrete Plant Gravel Pit Regional Offer Landfill 1,1 m t Concrete waste A) RC- Granulate Regional Demand Roads Gravel 2,2 m m3 Concrete 3,6 m t Granulate E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 13

14 3 rd LCA results: CH Regional Construction Scenario Use of construction waste for : B) RC-Concrete A) loose RC-Granulate B) RC-Concrete A) loose RC-Granulate B) RC-Concrete A) loose RC-Granulate B) RC-Concrete A) loose RC-Granulate B) RC-Concrete A) loose RC-Granulate B) RC-Concrete A) loose RC-Granulate E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 14 0% 25% 50% 75% Production: natural gravel Production: Concrete Transports natural Gravel Transports Concrete 100% Gravel use (t) Land use (m2-eq * a) Respiratory damages (PM10) Acidification (SO2eq) Climate Change (CO2eq) Energy use (MJeq) Production: RC-Gravel Production: Cement Transports RC-Granulate

15 Conclusions of this study Lean concrete made from recycled gravel is environmentally superior, esp. for resource use (land, gravel). A high-quality concrete w/ recycled gravel has a similar environmental effect as a concrete with natural gravel (except for gravel & land use). Knoeri et al (2013) add: Recycling of steel from reinforced steel makes RC even more advantageous. Concrete using recycled gravel is preferrable if construction waste would otherwise be landfilled. On regional scale it is important that demolished concrete is used either loosely or in new concrete and not landfilled. How it is used is less important. Key parameters: Cement type and amount, and transport means and distances. All but the 3 rd conclusions are based on Kytzia et al. 2011, Ökobilanz rezyklierter Gesteinekörnung für Beton E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 15

16 Literature Study published in German by Holcim (Switzerland) Article on this presentation on avnir documentation (publication pending) Thank you! E2 A. Braunschweig / avnir 2013 / LCA Recycled Concrete? / p. 16

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