Recycled concrete and low-carbon cement

  • Success Story
  • Switzerland
  • Buildings

In the city of Zurich, the use of recycled concrete and low-carbon cement in new public buildings is commonplace today. Zurich’s public procurement policy, together with initial technology support, created a market for recycled concrete over time, successfully expanding into the private market.

For the past 20 years, Zurich has championed the use of recycled concrete in buildings to preserve nature and reduce local urban waste. By requiring a minimum share of recycled aggregates in concrete for new buildings, Zurich’s public procurement policy created a market for recycled concrete in construction. As more suppliers moved into recycled-concrete production, and users’ confidence in the product grew, the market expanded into the private sector. Next, the city of Zurich explored options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in construction and required the use of low-carbon cement, in addition to recycled concrete, for new public buildings.

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