In relation to various projects, a recurring question is how sustainable CRC i2® is, often followed by a request for an Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD. The reason this is not simply available on Hi-Cons website is that it makes terribly little sense to compare the environmental footprint of producing one cubic meter of CRC i2® to a cubic meter of conventional concrete – because they are used in completely different ways.
Firstly, to produce elements with comparable performance, say 10 m² of balcony, much less CRC i2® is needed because of the strength and ductility. Therefore, even though UHPC’s including CRC i2® contains more cement pr. m³ than conventional concrete (cement is the main source of CO2 emissions from concrete), the net result is that more or less the same amount of cement is used pr. m² balcony or other element:
Secondly, the CRC i2® element will last 200+ years without structural maintenance …
And thirdly, in most cases the CRC i2®-based solution have other advantages, such as less trucks needed for transport, smaller support brackets, use of smaller cranes during installation, better cold bridge breaking because of lower forces, etc.
So just comparing the material on a 1:1 volume basis does not make much sense.
An example of how CRC i2® contributes to create sustainable solutions is infrastructure, more specifically Speed bumps and obstructions.
Speed bumps, obstructions, speed bumps and other traffic-regulating road installations are normally build on-site or made from conventional pre-cast concrete and placed in pre-prepared holes in the road pavement. However, they do not last long especially in cold countries where de-icing salt is used on a regular basis and the holes in the road paving makes it expensive to move them when the traffic flow needs to be changed – and involves extra work with machines, laying out asphalt etc.
Hi-Con has produced thin but strong speed bumps for placement on top of the paving for the municipality of Brønderslev. The weight is kept as low as possible, both to make them easy to move and to conserve resources, and since they last 200+ years, the municipality needs comparatively fewer, which they then can re-use as required. They are also kept low in height to make it possible for big transport trucks to drive over them without any extra temporary instalments at each speed bump. This is resource efficient!
In the future, we expect increasing requirement for Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Cradle-to-Cradle assessment of potential projects, and are currently working on how best to perform these.
I hope you found this interesting. We will post more examples on how the unique properties of CRC i2® can be utilized to realize unique structures.