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.
Recycled concrete and low-carbon cement
- Success Story
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.
- The BnB project develops prefabricated building elements based on both recycled aggregates and an alternative recycled binder with a high content of recycled construction and demolition waste (> 30%)
- A voluntary and common EU approach to the assessment of environmental performance of buildings
- Online library of information on materials and products for construction
- Nordic countries seek to harmonize LCA-approaches and exchange knowledge on how to create and specify the regulation
Nordic Sustainable Construction
- Reusing precast concrete for a circular economy
- French National Project for Research and Development on re-using all the materials of deconstructed concrete, as components of new concrete or hydraulic binders, including fine particles
- Online purchase platform for the reuse of construction components, supported by the Swiss government
- Secondary Raw Materials for Concrete Precast Products project
- Zurich’s story on recycling concrete in cartoons from a building materials recycler viewpoint