Sustainable Building: How Does Digitalization Help Reduce CO2?

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Achieving the global climate protection targets is a major challenge in the construction industry. The member companies of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) have committed themselves to producing CO2-neutral concrete by 2050. What is behind “Net Zero Concrete” and how is digitalization already helping construction companies to save CO2 today?   Next to water, concrete is the most commonly used material. It is versatile, inexpensive and easy to use. Its remarkable properties make it fire, weather and flood resistant. Concrete has essential properties that enable other sectors, such as the renewable energy industry, to meet their climate goals by providing critical infrastructure. Along the way, concrete is also an extremely versatile building material with an infinite number of shapes and mixes, allowing designers and builders to take advantage of these properties in the most material-efficient way possible. At the end of its life span, concrete can be reused and fully recycled.    To date, concrete has been anything but sustainable, accounting for 7 percent of global CO2 emissions. As a result, there is an urgent need for action and the path to sustainability in the concrete industry is a significant element in limiting the extent and managing the effects of climate change.

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Net- Zero- Concrete

Net-Zero Concrete is designed to provide a new basis for renewable energy, safe infrastructure and sustainable homes. The goal is to reduce the CO2 footprint of concrete in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The term net-zero describes the reduction of CO2 emissions to zero over the entire life cycle. The goal of net-zero concrete is to reduce CO2 emissions over the next few years to 25% per m3 by 2030 and finally to zero.  But what does the path to net-zero concrete look like?  The GCCA has drawn up a “Roadmap to Net Zero Concrete”, which defines and describes the goals for the next few years:
The decisive decade on the road to a sustainable concrete industry has already begun. Promising materials and the intelligent processing of waste products are bringing decisive progress. But of key importance is also that technologies are advanced and deployed on a commercial scale.    By staying ahead of digital technologies, simple successes can already be achieved in concrete production, concrete planning and concrete construction. Not all changes require (high) investments, and some can even reduce costs.    By reducing raw material quantities, improving design processes and reusing elements, the first successful steps towards a more sustainable concrete industry are already being taken.   ConcR is taking advantage of digital technologies and actively promoting the digitization of construction. By using concrete monitoring and temperature developments, the concrete’s maturing process can be measured and unerring forecasts can be made for further processing. By reducing stripping times, costs and resources can be saved efficiently.

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