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Broad collaboration for a sustainable concrete industry

Sustainable social development requires sustainable, robust and functional building materials with a long lifespan and a minimal carbon footprint. In the Vinnova-funded project BETCRETE, RISE has brought together a broad consortium of leading operators to formulate an implementation plan for the industrial transition towards carbon-neutral cement and concrete industries.

Betong är det mest använda byggmaterialet i världen, men också en betydande källa till CO2-utsläpp. För att uppnå klimatneutralitet inom de närmaste 25 åren, fram till 2045, behövs snabba, men kvalitetssäkrade åtgärder samt utveckling av innovativa lösningar som kan bidra till paradigmskifte inom byggbranschen.

– Det finns inte en universell lösning på CO2-problematiken, säger Katarina Malaga, forsknings- och affärsutvecklare inom infrastruktur och betongbyggande på RISE, professor i hållbart byggande och projektledare för BETCRETE. Vi har föreslagit en agenda för aktiviteter på kort- och lång sikt där flerdimensionella problemlösningar har identifierats.

Samförstånd och enighet prioriterat

Huvudmålet med BETCRETE var att samla cement- och betongbranscherna för att skapa samförstånd och enighet kring en gemensam implementeringsstrategi med syfte att nå klimatneutralitet 2045.

– Jag skulle vilja säga att vi uppnått samverkansmålet med projektet med råge, säger Katarina Malaga. Redan i inledningen hade vi ett starkt konsortium bestående av både cement- och betongtillverkare, branschorganisationer, myndigheter, forskare och innovatörer, entreprenörer och konsulter inom betongkonstruktion. Dessutom har fler tillkommit längs vägen, och engagemanget från alla parter har varit stort.

En viktig framgångsfaktor för att öka kravet på betong med lägre klimatpåverkan är ett gott samarbete mellan byggare, beställare, arkitekter och konstruktörer. Här kommer BETCRETE att fungera som en samlande kraft.

Vill du diskutera hållbart byggande? Fyll i dina uppgifter här så återkommer vi.

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We need to build efficiently and with a long-term view

Five potential directions

The project has identified five potential directions to help the industry achieve carbon neutrality while retaining strong industrial production towards sustainable social development:

  • energy efficiency in cement production
  • optimisation of concrete composition with alternative binders
  • the development of new, long-lasting and sustainable alternative binders in volumes and qualities conducive to transition
  • carbonatation and other means of creating carbon sinks
  • exploring CCS opportunities in Sweden/Nordic region, or other technical solutions for capturing, storing and/or using CO2.

–  “We need to build efficiently and with a long-term view in terms of resources, we must invest in recycling and create sustainable manufacturing processes for all building materials,” explains Malaga.

These five areas all demonstrate the need for the revision, adaptation, and development of new standards, policies and regulations, along with new business models and greater knowledge. Moreover, there is a need for understanding and support from society concerning the time-consuming and capital-intensive investments required by the industry. Achieving carbon neutrality while maintaining competitiveness necessitates long-term policy decisions, financing solutions and transparent and predictable permit issuing processes.

Public sector driving transition

Clients in both the public and private sectors are able to set requirements, but public sector clients at national, regional and municipal level, by virtue of large volumes, have the potential to take the lead and pave the way. This facilitates the pace of transition and encourages more clients to follow suit.

In order to promote long-term sustainable solutions, established requirements need to be material-neutral functional requirements and, furthermore, they must be based on scientific facts and life cycle assessments. Evaluation should be based on long-term value; for example, a building with a frame that can be changed over time and according to prevailing needs without having to be demolished and rebuilt is sustainable from both a climate and economic perspective.

– “In Stage 2 of BETCRETE, we plan to show examples in the form of both real objects and demo objects,” says Malaga. “It is also gratifying that all the parties involved in Stage 1 have also shown an interest in continued cooperation in Stage 2.”

Step 1 of the BETCRETE project ran between April 2019 and February 2020. The steering committee consisted of Cementa, Svensk Betong, Trafikverket, Thomas Concrete Group, Swerock, Skanska Betong, ELU and RISE. External partners in the project were NCC, Sveriges Byggindustrier, Skanska, Chalmers, LTU, Stena Recycling, Danske Bank, Sweco, Codesign, Abetong, Vinnova and Trafikverket. The project was funded by Vinnova.

Published: 2021-06-16
Katarina Malaga

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Katarina Malaga

Forskning och affärsutvecklare

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