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Building Green: Development and Evaluation of the Design Properties of and Environmentally Friendly Concrete

Started: April, 2009 Ended: September, 2012 Project ID #4W2540 Status: Completed


The objective of this project is to develop and test an environmentally friendly concrete using recycled materials including fly ash and recycled pulverized glass.


Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world, and its use is expected to increase substantially in response to world population growth. The environmental impacts of using concrete as a construction material are significant, ranging from the CO2 emitted during its production and transportation, to the disturbance of virgin land for the production of aggregates and the extraction of limestone. Therefore, there is a compelling need for alternative “greener” materials for use in construction. Furthermore, if these “greener” materials are generated from common waste-streams, the environmental benefits are two-fold: reduced impacts from the manufacturing of building materials and reduced stockpiling of common waste products. The focus of this project realizes both of these benefits through the use of fly ash (a byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity) as a replacement for 100% of the Portland cement in concrete and the use of recycled glass as a replacement for traditional aggregate. This project will identify and characterize fly ashes from power plants around the country that are capable of replacing 100% of the Portland cement in concrete. Concretes consisting of these fly ashes and recycled pulverized glass as aggregate will be tested to determine their fundamental engineering properties and durability. Their structural performance in building components will then be determined through a series of beam and column tests. Results from this work will be used to provide the building industry with the information and procedures necessary to incorporate this innovative “green” material in their projects. The project will culminate with a large scale demonstration project in which conventional construction equipment is used to batch and place an engineered structure made with this new material.


Sponsors & Partners

  • National Science Foundation Sponsor

Part of: Infrastructure Maintenance and Materials, Infrastructure Longevity and Sustainability

Project Tagged In: Fly Ash Concrete, Glass Aggregate, Recycled construction materials

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