Cemex showcases specialty concrete with recycled aggregate in Germany

Cemex showcases specialty concrete with recycled aggregate in Germany

Global cement producer says it is ready to take advantage of other similar opportunities.

December 9, 2015
CDR Staff

A Berlin visitor leaving the Central Station and walking northeast would soon reach the North Campus of Berlin Humboldt University, founded in 1809. Here one encounters a building created with ground-breaking technology: the new research and laboratory building for life sciences was built almost entirely using a ready-mix concrete produced with aggregates from recycled concrete.

Recycling building materials in the construction sector may contribute to decreasing the extraction of primary minerals and conservation of natural resources, making it a more sustainable alternative that has increasingly become an attractive option in the construction industry.

"Products from recycled concrete building materials have proven their worth already in roads and civil engineering,” explains Marcel Busch, Cemex Germany Regional Manager of Mineral Raw Materials for North-East Germany. “Now, for the first time in Berlin, a concrete with recycled aggregates is being used as a structural concrete for building construction. We are very pleased to have been part of this pilot project."

To produce the recycled aggregates, old concrete fragments are professionally processed in crushers and impact mills which break them down to the required grain size for making a ready-mix concrete. This material must meet the same technical requirements as conventional ready-mix concretes, so throughout the production process, our concrete technologists, mixing masters, and material requirement planners maintained an intensive dialogue with the contractor processing the recycled and certified aggregates, according to Andreas Hanson, Cemex Germany Regional Manager of Ready-mix Concrete for North-East Germany. “We work closely to ensure a consistent quality of the material," he explains.

It is not a simple process: "This construction material is more complicated than standard concrete and it takes experience to handle it,” says Andreas Hanson, adding that "the production of such a concrete for building construction requires substantial expertise in concrete technology and chemical admixtures that, fortunately, is available at Cemex.” The final result meets the technical requirements of demanding building projects just as well as conventional concrete with the added benefit of conserving natural resources. In total, Cemex supplied 3,800 cubic meters of this ready-mix concrete for the 4-story Humboldt University building.cemex

Cemex says it is ready to take advantage of similar projects and opportunities where the conservation of natural resources is essential in contributing to a sustainable future. In fact, Cemex Research Group, Cemex’s global research and development center, is working on different fronts to beneficiate, recycle and/or up-cycle, as well as develop novel materials for creative and environmentally conscious solutions to offer our customers in a broad range of markets with unique challenges.

Cemex is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. Cemex has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.