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A Guide to Recycled Concrete for the 2012 Olympic Village

Filed under: Uncategorized — emitaliablog
Posted on October 23, 2010 @ 2:40 pm
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Mention the term demolition to just about anyone and the scene that promptly comes up is a vision of a building being blown up and collapsing to the ground. Lots of people have said they would love to push the button, to trigger the explosive systems which bring a disused property to the ground. On most occasions the thing that comes down, must go up so we are witnessing many unsightly structures being demolished to help with making way for potential future development, usually during a regeneration project.

For businesses that over several years have created their business within the demolition of architectural structures, the demolition sector has become much more reaching than just blowing up outdated buildings. As soon as the property is demolished the massive task of site clearance begins and in a modern world where consideration of the environmental impacts are very high on many peoples agenda, the material residues provided by demolition should be sorted for recycling applications. This tends to include such products as steel, wood, plastic, brickwork and concrete.

The vast majority of the materials can be bulked up and transferred to the appropriate recycling plants for reprocessing. Products such as bricks and concrete are usually crushed and turned into a recycled concrete aggregate product completely ready for reuse in the making of new roadways or buildings. More and more though, by means of breakthroughs in technological development, derivatives like rubble to be recycled must meet a high specification for reuse in construction projects.

When crushed, the assorted grades of recycled aggregate will govern the future usage potential of the product. Larger sizes could be employed as ornamental rockery products in landscaping while much finer, shingle like product can be used to provide a bedding for pipe laying or as a layer in highway construction. With an increasing variety of options recognized for the reuse of recycled aggregate, the whole demolition and construction market is generating a substantial contribution to sustainable development. Following demolition of a site, many demolition contractors have expanded their service offering to include site clearance services.

Reasons Behind the Increased Focus on Recycling from Construction and Demolition Projects

In 1996, UK Government imposed a duty on all waste items going to landfill. The duty is paid out in addition to standard gate charges for waste materials being disposed in landfill and since its introduction the charge has increased annually. When it was first introduced, the common level of duty for general waste products being sent to landfill was �7 per tonne and �2 per tonne for inert materials. The tax should persuade commercial and industrial firms and local authorities collecting from properties, to divert waste away from landfill for recycling. In April ‘09, the common level of landfill tax increased to �40 per tonne and is also timetabled to increase annually by �8 per tonne until 2013. The reduced rate of duty charged upon any inert materials going to landfill for example concrete and soils, has remained comparatively stable in recent years and is currently at �2.50 per tonne.

Nevertheless, the weight factor alone of a bulk load of inert products going direct to landfill will guarantee that the entire cost of disposal becomes very expensive and so even in the demolition and construction arena, diverting waste from landfill is a priority.

Some demolition contractors offer cheaper crushed stone just to move it off their premises.

Next time you see a demolition project in progress or go past any construction site during a build programme, it is clear to see the amount of waste materials being generated. If waste isn’t in skips, heaps of rubble will be stacked high. The placing of concrete waste materials in skips has been a serious issue for waste contractors for several years. I have worked within the waste sector, I’ve seen skip lorries tipped backwards with the cab of the vehicle up in the air, because of the gross overloading of waste skips with construction site waste.

Each and every year, the uk generates around 330 million tonnes of waste and it is estimated that around 90 million tonnes of this is from building and demolition wastes. This figure has stayed reasonably constant since 2001. Approximately two thirds of this waste is normally recycled or reused in land reclamation or agricultural improvement projects. Since the later part of the 1990s there’s been a steady rise in the volumes of construction waste material being recycled and this has been aided by developments in technology which have led to improved crushing technology to make more widespread use of various grades of recycled aggregates. There’s been a real focus upon the UK construction community to encourage increased recycling of waste on site.

In recent years, the construction sector as a whole has worked hard to persuade construction project supervisors to put a greater emphasis upon recycling on site. This has led to a rise in the recycling of inert materials from site.

Before the introduction of the landfill levy all construction site waste material including bricks and concrete was bulked up and transported to a landfill site for disposal. No consideration was given to recycling. There are now strict regulations across the sector, coupled with an increase in environmental focus, as well as the commercial benefits in making certain that this sort of waste is now recycled. There is also better recognition of the large choice of potential business opportunities to use recycled aggregates in the construction process on alternative construction projects or in fields such as landscaping or home and garden Do-it-yourself. Following the demolition process, together the waste concrete, bricks, masonry etc will likely be transformed into a recycled concrete aggregate. Recycling of aggregates has become a common process for demolition contractors.

To recycle concrete aggregate to a high grade and resalable product, it must be totally free from other impurities such as wood, paper, card, steel and other general waste materials. The final product must also conform to the requirements of British Standard BS 8500. The process of recycling the concrete can typically be achieved in one of two ways. Some demolition companies will install a crushing machine on the demolition site, whereas a lot of contractors will opt to transport the waste to be recycled, back to their premises for separation for recycling or re-use. On projects where demolition and new construction is to take place at the same site, the contractor is very likely to position a crushing machine on site to avoid incurring additional transport costs in taking the materials back to a sorting and crushing centre. There is now very advanced crushing equipment available to reduce concrete to a very fine specification.

The expert asbestos demolition contractors within Nottingham can be found by searching the internet.

The Increasing Interest in High Quality Recycled Aggregate

Before starting the crushing process, it needs to be determined what the end product is to be used for to make sure that the recycled aggregate is to satisfy the necessary standards. There is huge demand for recycled aggregate to be used back in the construction process. As a product, recycled aggregate can be used for nearly every kind of concrete structural function, road surfacing or pipe laying project. Having passed through the crusher the chunks of aggregate will be separated by size. Bigger pieces can be retained as a cosmetic product for use in landscaping rockery projects, or they might be passed back through the crusher to be crushed to a smaller size. The smaller sized bits of recycled aggregate could be suited to use as a gravel on new construction projects, road laying or driveways at home. The crushing devices are now capable of achieving high quality small aggregate grades such as the production of a 20-5mm gravel which can be bagged and used in the garden at home or purchased in bulk as part of projects involving new concrete production. The advances in technology mean that the recycling of aggregates for other uses such as a simple gravel product or for use in concrete products has greatly reduced the need to dig quarries to mine for gravel.

The interest in high quality crushed aggregate is ever-increasing. There’s key standards in position that are concentrated upon improving the recycled concrete aggregate sector. By means of research and development, more widespread uses are being identified for the use of recycled aggregate. No more is concrete, just concrete. What we are talking about now a variety of different grades of recycled aggregate, which range from the large chunks of aggregate to very precise 6f2 recycled concrete which can be used as a sub-base material for construction jobs, or 20-5mm recycled aggregate, which is a gravel and can be utilised in road construction or at home on driveways. In addition to being used as a mix for highway construction, recycled aggregate is being used as bedding for pipe laying or foundation material prior to construction projects commencing. In achieving such high quality grades the 20-5mm recycled aggregate can be used as an aggregate base in highway construction and the quality meets the standards required to allow its reuse in concrete production. The 20-5mm recycled aggregate is a very versatile product.

On the list of important criteria when using recycled aggregate is selecting the correct specification for your task. For example, when making use of 20-5mm coarse graded aggregate as a highway base, the depth of the layer demanded will have to be determined to withstand traffic flows. Traffic flow on a motorway is going to be significantly different to that of a country road. One good reason aggregate produced to a 20-5mm specification is employed as a road base is that it aids good waterflow and drainage. Once the recycled aggregate is installed, suitable layers of asphalt or concrete can be laid over it to create the road surface.

Recently, in the UK we appear to have more bad weather than hot sunshine and therefore the selected aggregate must have the capacity to tolerate variances in temperature and conditions e.g. dampness for long periods, torrential downpours, long dry spells. With its good drainage characteristics, the recycled 20-5mm product may be the ideal choice for a lot of sand and gravel applications including, pipe bedding, driveways and footpaths, landscaping, plus for use in ready mixed and precast concrete products. With its drainage qualities, 20-5mm recycled aggregate is a versatile product.

Before demolition can commence a full site survey must be undertaken to establish if specialist asbestos removal is required as part of the project.

Recycled Aggregates and the 2012 Olympics

In its bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, London placed sustainability as the focus of its bid. The bid team identified a significant opportunity to increase awareness of climate change and the concerns which encircle it, and bring it to the World’s notice. With the eyes of the World observing, the Olympics present an exceptional chance to get across important points about sustainability. During the entire development of the Olympics project, there is a commitment to make 2012 the most sustainable Olympics ever held. This focus originated when planning the design and build programmes for the facilities and venues, the transport links and network, the hosting of the Games themselves and will end by leaving behind a long lasting heritage of a sustainable natural environment.

Since London was awarded the Games, all companies involved in the development requirements, from the construction of the Olympic Arena, the Olympic Village and transportation links between the venues have been encouraged upon ensuring the use wherever possible of sustainable materials. Throughout the entire Olympic build programme architects have worked hard to locate practical sustainable materials for use in the build programme. At the end of the whole project we will see some clearly obvious cases of the use of sustainable products.

Equally there will be many more that are much less visible, and furthermore, many which will be not visible at all. One of those products which visitors to the games and its numerous sites won’t even think about how recycled aggregates have been used as part of the overall construction project. However developers and specifiers of materials to be used within the build programme will be comfortable in the knowledge that they have selected sustainable products including, the most appropriate recycled concrete aggregates as part of the project. With its identified characteristics, let’s hope that somewhere in the global Television coverage the 20-5mm recycled aggregate gets a mention somewhere, somehow.


How times have developed in recent years in the demolition and construction sector. Firms have needed to adjust to meet tough green conditions. As with almost any industry, new laws and legislation determine the criteria to which your business must aspire, if it is to achieve success.

Firms involved in the production of recycled aggregate are no different. These are generally classed as processed materials and must conform to a particular product specification which can be used in the construction process. The standard BS8500-2 offers a full specification for the uses of recycled concrete aggregates in concrete, although with such a vast range of recycled aggregates an all encompassing specification for the use of these aggregates is yet to be determined. The most crucial thing is that the industry does not stand still and wait for the specifications to be finalised. The versatility of recycled aggregates means that demolition contractors operating crushing plants are seeking to identify markets through which to sell their recycled products. The advances in crusher technology and machinery has seen a big increase in the options now available in supplying large chunks of recycled aggregate for landscape gardening use in rockeries, down to a gravel type 20-5mm recycled aggregate with its good drainage qualities to be used in road construction and driveways.

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