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27.09.2023 - 22.8% less CO2 emissions

Balconies in ultra high performance concrete vs. steel balconies

Balconies in ultra high performance concrete vs. steel balconies

Increasing demands

In an era where the construction industry faces increasing demands for sustainability and environmental impact, the choice of building materials and solutions is becoming more critical than ever. At Hi-Con, we have always prioritized delivering innovative and tailored solutions to our customers while constantly striving to minimize our environmental footprint. That's why we are pleased to share the latest analysis results from Brix & Kamp A/S, focusing on the environmental impact of balconies. These results have only increased our confidence in our balconies and motivated us to continue working on better solutions for the future.

Analysis explanation and assumptions

In the analysis by Brix & Kamp A/S, two different types of balconies with steel railings were compared for a specific project - a Hi-Con balcony in ultra high performance concrete and a steel balcony. Both types of balconies were carefully assessed based on various factors, including weight, materials, and construction processes.

Both balcony variants have the same dimensions, namely a length of 3.55 meters and a width of 1.9 meters, which corresponds to a total area of 6.75 square meters. Both types of balconies are equipped with railings on three sides, made of steel.

For the variant study, Hi-Con's EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) has been used for phases A1-A3. For phases C3 and D, generic values for concrete elements have been applied. All other building materials have also been assessed using generic values.

The analysis has been conducted using LCAbyg and includes the calculation of the total CO₂ emissions over a period of 50 years.

You can find the full analysis from Brix & Kamp A/S here

Analysis results and scenario overview

The first column chart shows the total global warming impact (GWP) over 50 years for both types of balconies. It is clear that Hi-Con balconies have the lowest climate impact in terms of GWP, emitting 22.8% less CO₂ compared to steel balconies.


The second column chart displays the phase breakdown of the two variant studies. For phases A1-A3, the load is almost identical for both balconies, emphasizing the importance of sustainable construction practices. For B4 (replacement) and C3 (waste management), the load is significantly higher for steel balconies, as the wooden planks in steel balconies have a lifespan of 30 years and then need to be replaced and disposed of.

22.8% less CO2 impact

The analysis and its crucial data leave no doubt: Hi-Con balconies have a significantly lower CO2 impact compared to steel balconies - 22.8% less CO2!


These results should be viewed in the context of the balconies' lifespan. Ultra high performance concrete has an expected lifespan of over 100 years, which is more than twice as long as the lifespan of a typical steel balcony, which often only reaches between 50 and 70 years. Over these 100+ years, there is no need for maintenance of the concrete - apart from regular cleaning. This long-term durability is crucial to consider when assessing the benefits of balconies in ultra high performance concrete.

A chance for change

Historically, price has often been the determining factor when decision-makers have chosen balcony types for their construction projects. However, in light of the recent data, the opportunity arises to think differently.


Since the price of balconies in ultra high performance concrete and steel is often comparable, decision-makers in the construction industry need to assess beyond economics. They should understand the importance of a long-term perspective and consider the bigger picture. Technological advancements and innovative materials like ultra high performance concrete create a new reality where price should not be the sole factor. The future and responsibility should play a more central role in the decision-making process.


Read more about how we're working towards a better future on our sustainability page.

Would you like to gain insight into how implementing UHPC balconies can impact your project?

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