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By Ashna Rasheed
Amrutha Elizebath Shaju

This paper is presented with view of introducing an environment friendly
concrete, GREEN CONCRETE. It uses less energy in its production and produces less
amount of carbon dioxide than normal concrete. This paper essentially includes features
of green concrete, materials of green concrete, green concrete mix designs and finally
advantages and disadvantages of the same. The goal of this paper is to introduce an
environment friendly concrete for a green future.

Green concrete is a revolutionary topic in the history of concrete industry. It can
be defined as the concrete with material as a partial or complete replacement for the
cement or fine or coarse aggregates. The substitution material can be of waste or residual
product in the manufacturing process, that remain unused or that may be harmful. Green
concrete should follow reduce, reuse and recycle technique. It can ensure a sustainable
structure and a long life cycle with a low maintenance surface.
Green concrete is part of a movement to create construction materials that have a
reduced impact on the environment. The three major objectives behind green concept in
concrete is to reduce green house gas emission, secondly to reduce the use of natural
resources such as lime stone, shale, clay, natural rocks, etc.., and thirdly use of waste
materials in concrete that prevents the large area of land that is used for storage of waste
materials that results in the air, land and water pollution. Green concrete can be
considered elemental to sustainable development since it is eco-friendly itself. Green
concrete is being widely used in green building practices.

Problems of ordinary concrete

It estimated that the production of concrete is more than 6 million cubic metres all
over the world. In the process of producing concrete, the main resource-cement is not an
environment friendly material. The worlds cement industry exhausts approximately 1.6
billion tones of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which accounting for about 7% of
global emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition, we need to explore many raw
materials such as limestone, clay and fuel coal which caused extensive soil erosion and
deforestation. It also consumes 100-110 billion tones of sand and gravel each year which
causes side effects to the forest area and the river beds ecology. Each year about 1 trillion
litres of water is used to mix concrete, cleaning of sand, stone and maintenance of

concrete. In addition, the construction and demolition of concrete produces much solid
waste which adds natures burden. The production of concrete also results in the release
and diffusion of toxic substances to the atmosphere.

Features of green concrete

The green concrete must have the following characteristics:

Optimizes use of available materials

Better Performance

Enhanced cohesion workability / consistency

Reduced shrinkage / creep.

Durability - Better service life of concrete

Reduced carbon footprint

No increase in cost

LEED India Certification

Meeting the sustainable development of the concrete, can reduce the pollution to the
environment, and in harmony development with ecology system and with higher strength
and durability than ordinary concrete.

Materials of green concrete

Green construction materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. Green materials are environmentally responsible because impacts
are considered over the life of the product. Depending upon project-specific goals, green
materials may involve an evaluation of one or more of the following criteria.

Locally available: Construction materials, components, and systems found

locally or regionally, saving energy and resources in transportation to the project

Salvaged, re-furnished, or re-manufactured: Includes saving a material from

disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the
appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.

Reusable or recyclable: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused
or recycled at the end of their useful life.

Recycled materials that the Industry has found to perform favorably as substitutes for
conventional materials include: fly ash, granulated blast furnace slag, recycled concrete,
demolition waste, microsilica, etc. Generation and use of recycled materials varies from
place to place and from time to time depending on the location and construction activity
as well as type of construction projects at a given site. Following materials can be
considered in this category and are discussed here.
a. Recycled Demolition Waste Aggregate
b. Recycled Concrete Aggregate
c. Blast furnace Slag
d. Manufactured Sand
e. Glass Aggregate
f. Fly ash

A. Recycled Demolition Waste Aggregate:

Construction industry produces huge waste called demolition waste or MALWA. It is
estimated that per capita waste generation (including Municipal waste) generally range
from 0.4 to 0.8 Kg per day per person. The waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions
and thus waste prevention and/or its recycling will reduce greenhouse gases and methane
gas emissions etc... Therefore, for sustainability of resources, it is necessary that all waste
must be scientifically managed. Waste Management is Collection, Transport, Processing,
Recycling or disposal of waste materials. When analyzed, a typical waste product
distribution in any solid waste dump is shown in figure 4. This waste distribution shows
that there is about 50% demolition waste in the dump. In order to have sustainability of
resources this demolition waste must be recycled and used.
Therefore, for sustainability of resources, it is necessary that all waste must be
scientifically managed. Waste Management is Collection, Transport, Processing,
Recycling or disposal of waste materials. This waste distribution shows that there is

about 50% demolition waste in the dump. In order to have sustainability of resources this
demolition waste must be recycled and used.
Recycled Aggregate is produced from Broken Building Part called MALWA. Such
demolition waste - MALWA, can be converted to Course aggregate. The Demolition
waste can be broken into the pieces of approximately 20 & 10 mm size with the help of
light crusher. This type of processing the waste will make the system Sustainable. The
physical and chemical properties of such recycled aggregate must be determined before
use as given in chapter III. The properties of recycled aggregates will vary from place to
place and from time to time. For example, the specific gravity of recycled aggregate may
be less than fresh conventional aggregate because it may have mixture of materials.

B. Recycled Concrete Material (RCM)

Recycled Concrete Material (RCM), also known as crushed concrete is similar to
demolition waste. It is a reclaimed Concrete material. Primary sources of RCM are
demolition of existing concrete pavement, building slabs & foundations, bridge
structures, curb and gutter and from commercial/private facilities. This material is
crushed by mechanical means into manageable fragments. The resulting material is in the
form of Coarse Aggregate. Comprised of highly angular conglomerates of crushed quality
aggregate and hardened cement, RCM is rougher and more absorbent than its virgin
Crushed concrete's physical characteristics make it a viable substitute for coarse
aggregate however, its physical and chemical properties must be determined before use as
given in chapter III. The properties of recycled aggregates will vary from place to place
and from time to time. Such aggregate can be used in concrete mix or in Highways
concrete construction similar to demolition waste aggregate concrete.

C. Blast Furnace Slag (BFS):

In India more than 10 million tones of Blast Furnace Slag is produced every year and it is
increasing with the increase in steel production. Blast furnace slag is a waste product
from the manufacture of pig iron and obtained through rapid cooling by water or
quenching molten slag. Iron ore, as well as scrap iron, is reduced to a molten state by
burning coke fuel with fluxing agents of limestone and/or dolomite. Blast furnace slag is
a nonmetallic co-product produced in the process of steel production. BFS forms when
slagging agents (e.g., iron ore, coke ash, and limestone) are added to the iron ore to

remove impurities. In the process of reducing iron ore to iron, a molten slag forms as a
nonmetallic liquid (consisting primarily of silicates and alumino silicates of calcium and
other bases) that floats on top of the molten iron. The molten slag is then separated from
the liquid metal and cooled. Different forms of slag product are obtained depending on
the method used to cool the molten slag and subsequent processing: BFS consists
primarily of silicates, aluminates, silicates, and calcium-alumina-silicates. Air-Cooled
Blast Furnace Slag (ACBFS), one of various slag products, is available when the liquid
slag is allowed to cool under atmospheric conditions.
Crushed Air-Cooled Blast Furnace Slag may be broken down as typical aggregate with
the help of processing equipment to meet gradation specifications. Thus, blast furnace
slag can be available as an aggregate as construction materials and acceptable as coarse
or fine aggregate for use in green Concrete.

D. Manufactured Sand:
Natural sand often contains undesirable minerals and clays, and the effect of these
materials on both the fresh and the hardened concrete can be extremely harmful. For
example, the effect of clay particles in fresh concrete is obvious, as the particles absorb
disproportionate volume of water and hence swell to many times their original size. This
swelling occupies a volume in the cement paste in its fresh state. When it hardens, the
clay particles contract and leave minute voids which in turn increase the shrinkage and
permeability. This in turn reduces the concrete's chemical resistance and compressive
strength. Other undesirable materials, ranging from basic chlorides to harmful chemicals,
can exist in such fine material fraction. The use of manufactured sand, however, reduces
the risk of impurities. It has been proven that about 20kg of cement can be saved for
every cubic meter of concrete that is made by replacing a poorly shaped aggregate with a
cubical aggregate. In addition, both compressive strength and flexural strength are
improved by using cubical aggregates, which also increases workability and reduces
bleeding and shrinkage. The impact of the physical characteristics of the sand used in the
concrete mix is even greater than that of the coarse aggregate fractions, both in the
concrete's plastic and hardened states.

E. Glass Aggregate:

Glass is formed by super cooling a molten mixture of sand (silicon dioxide), soda ash
(sodium carbonate), and/or limestone to form a rigid physical state. Glass aggregate is a
waste product of recycled mixed glass from manufacturing and post consumer waste.
Glass aggregate, also known as glass cullet, is 100 percent crushed material that is
generally angular, flat and elongated in shape. This fragmented material comes in variety
of colors or colorless. The size varies depending on the chemical composition and
method of production/crushing. When glass is properly crushed, this material exhibits
fineness modulus & coefficient of permeability similar to sand. It has very low water
absorption. High angularity of this material, compared to rounded sand, enhances the
stability of concrete mixes. Such material can be easily used in concrete construction as
fine aggregate and give a better cohesive mix which will save on the consumption of

F. Fly Ash:
Fly ash is a by-product produced during the operation of coal-fired power plants. The
finely divided particles from the exhaust gases are collected in electrostatic precipitators.
These particles are called Fly ash. Gray to black represents increasing percentages of











Fly ash particles are very smooth and quite spherical in shape. These particles range from
1 to 150 m in diameter.. Based on its composition, fly ash is classified into two groups:
ASTM Class C or high calcium fly ash and ASTM Class F or low calcium fly ash are the
two categories of fly ash.
Use of Fly ash & Economic Impact:
Fly ash can be used as part replacement of Cement in Concrete. Finer the fly ash, better is
its reactivity and lesser is its water requirement. Fly ash particles finer than 10 microns
get adsorbed on cement particles giving a negative charge causing dispersion of cement
particle flocks, thereby releasing the water trapped within the cement particle flocks and
improves workability.
Advantages of Using Fly Ash in Concrete:

Utilization of fly ash as a part replacement of cement or as a mineral admixture in

concrete saves on cement and hence the emission of CO2.

Use of good quality fly ash in concrete has shown remarkable improvement in
durability of concrete, especially in aggressive environment.

Some of the technical benefits of the use of fly ash in Green Concrete are :

a)Higher ultimate strength

b)Increased durability

c)Improved workability

d)Reduced bleeding

e)Increased resistance to alkali-silica reactivity

Green concrete mix design

The concrete mix design method for such concrete is the same as for conventional
concrete. However, the constituent materials shown in figure must pack themselves in
such a manner that they occupy minimum volume or give minimum voids in concrete. In
figure all individual material has large voids. For getting a dense or impervious green
concrete, all such voids must be packed with smaller particles of next type of
material. This can be done by seeing the slump test of dry all - in - aggregates and other

Figure - Shape of packing of material for making concrete in isolated configuration.

Green concrete mix design objectives:

Optimizes void space between aggregates by optimizing particle proportions and

packing of materials. This makes more effective use of the cement binder.

Aggregates replace excess cement paste to give improved stability, less shrinkage
and increase in strength & durability.

Less cement also generates less heat of hydration.

The slump of the concrete and its flow are a function of the shape & the quantity
of the predominant size of the aggregate in the mix.

Use of more fine aggregate gives higher slump & flow. So the optimum
proportions of coarse & fine aggregate must be critically found to have the best
and dense concrete in both fresh & hardened stage of concrete.

Advantages of green concrete

Green concrete is part of a movement to create construction materials that have a
reduced impact on the environment. It is made from a combination of an inorganic
polymer and 25 to 100 percent industrial waste. The main advantages of green concrete

1. Lasts Longer
Green concrete gains strength faster and has a lower rate of shrinkage than concrete made
only from Portland cement. Structures built using green concrete have a better chance of
surviving a fire (it can withstand temperatures of up to 2400 degrees on the Fahrenheit
scale). It also has a greater resistance to corrosion which is important with the effect
pollution has had on the environment (acid rain greatly reduces the longevity of
traditional building materials). All of those factors add up to a building that will last much
longer than one made with ordinary concrete. Similar concrete mixtures have been found
in ancient Roman structures and this material was also used in the Ukraine in the 1950s
and 1960s. Over 40 years later those Ukrainian buildings are still standing. If buildings
dont constantly have to be rebuilt, fewer construction materials are needed and the
impact to the environment during the process of making those materials is reduced.

2. Uses Industrial Waste

Instead of a 100 percent Portland cement mixture, green concrete uses anywhere from 25
to 100 percent fly ash. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal combustion and is gathered from the
chimneys of industrial plants (such as power plants) that use coal as a power source.
There are copious amounts of this industrial waste product. Hundreds of thousands of
acres of land are used to dispose of fly ash. A large increase in the use of green concrete
in construction will provide a way to use up fly ash and hopefully free many acres of
3. Reduces Energy Consumption
If you use less Portland cement and more fly ash when mixing concrete, then you will use
less energy. The materials that are used in Portland cement require huge amounts of coal
or natural gas to heat it up to the appropriate temperature to turn them into Portland
cement. Fly ash already exists as a byproduct of another industrial process so you are not
expending much more energy to use it to create green concrete.
Another way that green concrete reduces energy consumption is that a building
constructed from it is more resistant to temperature changes. An architect can use this and
design a green concrete building to use energy for heating and cooling more efficiently.
4. Reduces CO2 Emissions
In order to make Portland cementone of the main ingredients in ordinary cement
pulverized limestone, clay, and sand are heated to 1450 degrees C using natural gas or
coal as a fuel. This process is responsible for 5 to 8 percent of all carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions worldwide. The manufacturing of green concrete releases has up to 80 percent
fewer CO2 emissions. As a part of a global effort to reduce emissions, switching over
completely to using green concrete for construction will help considerably.