Construction solid waste management in building activity
Construction solid waste management in building activity

Reusing and Recycling Concrete for Sustainable Construction


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Have you become aware that in a country such as the United States, the construction waste accounts for approximately about one-third for all the waste nationwide?

During the early stages, most of the construction projects require a series of demolition work. This usually includes demolishing concrete foundations, walls, sidewalks, driveways, and other building elements. As usually as expected, the process of demolition has resulted in an enormous amount of heavy construction materials that ended up go into waste. This will be a lot of work for a team of skilled concrete subcontractors. Nevertheless, work is still fine and manageable because of the deployment of builders schedule software

In fact, several materials, including concrete, can possibly be reused and recycled in numerous absolute ways. However, the process for recycling the concrete may vary and the ideal method to use of each project will usually depend from the shape and size of the concrete pieces recycled.

How to Recycle Concrete?


Before proceeding, let’s dive in first on the many reasons why millions of tons of waste concrete have been increasingly and continuously generated every single year around the world. See the following reasons below:

  1. Destruction of structures and buildings during the occurrence of earthquakes
  2. Demolition of old structures
  3. Waste concrete that was generated due to cylinder testing and concrete cube and other destructive methods of testing for existing buildings
  4. Removal of useless concrete coming from buildings, road structures and other structures

Now, it’s time to tackle the basic steps of recycling concrete. During when old concrete is to be recycled from demolition, the usual and most common procedure are the following:

  1. Huge pieces of concrete have to be first crushed using a special or extraordinary industrial equipment that has large compactors and jaws
  2. Once the concrete is finally broken down, it will be then screened in order to remove any contaminating particles or dirt. It also allowed to add on other methods or processes and even tools like separators, magnets, and water flotation that are commonly utilized for the removal of impurities from the concrete.
  3. Finally, concrete will be then separated into small to large aggregate

Moreover, there is an alternative method for concrete recycling and this particularly involved in pulverization. Nonetheless, it usually can able to complicate the separation process and might result in more unexpected contamination coming from the smaller byproducts. Work is easy and fine because concrete contractors are utilizing new technology for project management. A software tool like construction scheduling software is incredibly advantageous in every construction phase. What’s more amazing about it is the fact that the tool itself is cloud-based. Thus, it can be ultimately accessed anywhere and every single time.

As being stated above, industrial equipment should be necessarily required in order to recycle concrete in the most easy and effective way. Just when concrete recycling is finally being considered to execute, concrete experts have to make sure to meticulously evaluate all available options in the market when it comes to crushing procedure and also for project management. There is a common solution for this, as a matter of fact, and these are options of either buying or renting portable crusher as well as availing a construction management software. This will allow the workers to use it in numerous projects at a time.

Before proceeding in which equipment is the most adequate and preferable for any project, the following are to be considered:

  • Systems having a separate hydraulic stand could be set up even faster
  • Concrete should be separated from steel. It is the primary key for recycling, hence, ensure that the equipment has a separator that is extra strong enough to pull the steel from the concrete
  • Control systems can be categorized into three – automatic, manual or remote. So, it is important to determine which one is the most effective for the project because it can directly influence the value of the equipment.

Some of the equipment used has an entire system having haws, conveyors and cones. This can certainly complete the whole recycling process starting from demolition and finally to the usable product. Apart from the equipment mentioned and used, one of many important tools to adapt as well as the construction schedule software. It is particularly used for project management wherein scheduling of tasks, monitoring crew and time-tracking is greatly achieved.

Benefits of Recycling Concrete


Below are some promising benefits of recycling concrete procedure at the construction sites:

  • Firstly, recycling concrete tend to reduce construction waste
  • Reducing costs that are generated from tipping and disposal fees
  • Prolonging the life of landfills
  • Lowering down the transportation costs because concrete can conveniently be recycled near the demolition sites
  • Generates employment opportunities
  • Recycling concrete can absolutely assist in earning LEED certification points
  • Alternative towards non-renewable resources
  • Better trucking utilization

Furthermore, the successful execution of procedures and methods for concrete recycling that certainly make these benefits prevalent is another story. Concrete contractors are actually looking forward in considering some of the most useful emerging builder’s trends nowadays. Relying upon these trends particularly the crew schedule software has proven to be extremely advantageous. Any project and most especially concrete recycling is absolutely easier to manage. In addition to that, all crew can be timely monitored and tracked.

6 Areas Where Recycled Concrete Is Best Used


Recycled concrete could be ultimately used in the same way to gravel as well as aggregates. Listed below are some examples:

  1. Outdoor surfaced – this is referring to permeable concrete. This type of concrete is best used in parking lots, driveways, and walkways in order to reduce the runoff that is usually contained by storm sewer systems. This permeable concrete has also helped in replenishing groundwater levels. In outdoor areas, crushed concrete could be preferably used for creating porous surfaces that work just the same with permeable concrete.
  2. Base for fresh and new asphalt pavement – a particular process is termed as rubblization and it commonly consists of breaking down old concrete pavement and will be used as a base for asphalt.
  3. Bed foundation material – this is exactly for utility trenches and this type of trenches is usually covered with gravel that is meant to assist drainage and most especially it can stand as a substitute for recycled concrete.
  4. Landscaping mulch – instead of gravel, the recycled concrete that was being carefully sorted and crushed can be used as an alternative. This particular alternative is definitely the best-picked option for concrete contractors. Working with subcontractors and other crew members isn’t an easy thing. That is why, it has been best for them to utilize a subcontractor scheduling software for effective monitoring and scheduling of tasks including the involved crew.
  5. Erosion barriers – huge pieces of severely broken concrete could be replaced and changed along stream banks in order to control and stop erosion. In shorelines as well, this can be possible for it to form a solid foundation for coral reefs. But then again, it is equally essential to analyze the exact chemical composition of the old concrete before putting it in any aquatic habitats.
  6. Concrete aggregate – in any other way, recycled concrete can be utilized as an effective replacement for new aggregates, particularly in a concrete mixture.
  7. Gabion construction – there are things called wire gabions and it can be totally filled with crushed concrete and afterward will be stacked together in order to deliver economical retaining walls. The gabions are also being utilized to protect embankments and other structures. In such similar cases, there are even bigger sizes of the recycled or crushed concrete that can really be used. The gabions are believed to be functioning so well because of its density and weight.
  8. Riprap – it is widely known that larger pieces of the extremely crushed concrete can be totally used as riprap revetments. The movements have become a well-used and effective method for controlling and monitoring stream bank erosion.

The best at this seems to be considering and using several techniques mixing up to effectively solve the recurring issues of enormous excess concrete materials. So what concrete contractors must do? Whatever they choose to plan and to do regarding in concrete recycling, the following should be considered:

  • Their choice must blend in as faultlessly as possible with the site operations. Always take note about in being involved in the concrete business and not in the concrete reclaiming business
  • They must necessarily be in compliance with overall applicable operating and environmental regulations.
  • It must be within the grasp of the personnel, particularly in terms of the level of expertise and manpower
  • It is applicable to look for a real return on investments from your personal choice.

Key Takeaways


Whether working on either a commercial project or residential, if the concrete is very much involved, the need to dispose of it properly is necessary. And most importantly, taking methods for recycling and reusing concrete should really be considered. Concrete contractors have now every reason and the advantage of taking over to what is best for concrete and other waste. Additionally, by also using the best construction management software such as Pro Crew Schedule, the whole process of re-utilizing the concrete will be managed comprehensively. Avail now and request for a live demo.

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