Evolution of concrete from a traditional material to a next generation sustainable solution

From early-ages to the future …

The origins of concrete as construction material is still under debate and it depends largely on how the term “concrete” is understood. Ancient “concrete-like” materials were made of crushed and burnt gypsum or limestone. For thousands of years these materials were improved, mixed with other materials until it became the concrete our modern society acknowledges to be the most versatile construction material. The advantages of concrete were quickly recognized but so were its disadvantages and limitations. Extensive research effort was put into place to enhance its characteristics and to overcome or significantly reduce its limitations. With the exponential increase in demand for concrete, attention was drawn on its carbon footprint which, although lower than that of other materials, given its widespread use in large quantities poses a serious threat to the environment. Modern concrete can be tailored to suit almost any imaginable need, to withstand extremely harsh working conditions, meet strict guidelines and yet it is as easy to use and cast as it was decades ago. With the rapid advances in all fields of technology concrete has all the premises of becoming the next generation sustainable solution in construction industry.

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