Reinforced concrete in modern eco-construction

As recently as 20 years ago, it was not easy to talk about the ever-increasing number of concrete structures and the expanding "concrete desert". Today reinforced concrete is the most important and most used building material in Germany. Are future eco-houses also made of reinforced concrete?

Reinforced concrete as a low ecological building material

The admonishing words against the constantly growing concrete desert have meanwhile fallen silent for decades, and now reinforced concrete is the most important and most used building material in Germany - and by far.

However, there are concerns about the ecology of reinforced concrete. Experts in expert circles do not see - at least until now - the really ecological building material of the future.

Cement production, at least a few billion tons a year worldwide, is the second largest producer of CO2 besides the burning of fossil fuels. Cement production also releases many substances which, especially in large quantities, are anything but harmless to our environment.

In addition, about 12% of the annual steel production in Germany occurs as structural steel in buildings. Again, there is an ecological problem area. Reinforced concrete as an ecological building material can not currently be mentioned.

New developments in the building materials sector

Modern, newly developed composites such as textile concrete consisting of thin high-performance fabrics that replace the reinforcing steel and steel fiber reinforced concrete, which also do without conventional reinforcement, are already much closer to the future.

Low-tech concretes are currently being researched at technical universities, including TU Darmstadt. There one tries with as little cement as possible to achieve the same strength as with conventional concrete. Eco-concretes are called the new developments. Nevertheless - in the end, it will not work without cement.

A very interesting, also very low-cement alternative has been rediscovered a few years ago: wood-concrete. After all, with him plate was ever built, in the GDR in the seventies. Not much, but still so much that you could consistently gain good experience with it. However, because it has to be pressed, it is only suitable for precast concrete parts. So far, however, it is still only used for nesting boxes. But it clearly has the greatest potential for the ecological and sustainable concrete of the future.

So our future homes will certainly not be built from little ecological reinforced concrete - but from modern, high-performance concretes. But concrete in any case.

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