Photo: Torben Eskerod

DTU tests eco-friendly concrete in new construction project

Monday 04 Mar 19

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Henrik Stang
Vicedirector, Professor, Constituent head of Section
DTU Civil Engineering
+45 45 25 17 35
Students, researchers, and project partners came to watch as a newly developed green concrete was cast in a new laboratory building at DTU Civil Engineering.

DTU is among the first builders to erect structures with a new green concrete that reduces the carbon footprint by up to 30 per cent.

This is the first time that the green concrete is used for the walls and floors of a building. The new structure will be built as part of a new materials laboratory at DTU Civil Engineering. Along with three other new bridge structures, the new building will provide unique knowledge and data about the new type of concrete.

“The use of this new green concrete unites is construction and research in one workflow. This is the first time that we are able to monitor the new eco-friendly concrete here at DTU and see how it develops over time. And we are also very excited about the construction of another new workshop here at DTU that gives the students unique possibilities for applied research into new building materials,” says Jacob Steen Møller, Director of Facilities at DTU.

"The use of this new green concrete unites is construction and research in one workflow. "
Jacob Steen Møller, Director of Facilities

The green concrete was developed by the innovation consortium Grøn Beton II (Green Concrete II), which has spent the past four years working with a green transition of the production of cement and concrete. DTU Civil Engineering is a partner in the project, which is headed by the Danish Technological Institute.

“We have been interested in constructing some test buildings where we can monitor the development of the newly developed concrete types, which contain carbon-reducing cement and concrete, and compare them with the traditional types of concrete used in construction work, says Lars Nyholm Thrane from the Danish Technological Institute.

Construction project and research
The new green concrete has already been incorporated into the teaching material at DTU Civil Engineering, where students have an app for monitoring the hardening of both the green concrete and the other types of concrete used in the building. The concrete has been fitted with built-in temperature-sensitive sensors that enable the extraction of data for use in the classroom. In one year the building will be taken into use and the students will be able to extract data from the process for many years to come.

Inviting architecture
The new laboratory building is 2,000 square metres in size. The architects Christensen & Co Arkitekter have focused on creating inviting architecture that is adapted to the surroundings in a natural way. Along with the other buildings, the new concrete and materials laboratory contributes to the urban densification on campus, where open ground floors with views of the laboratories and study environments will help to showcase the academic activity at DTU and establish a connection between inside and outside.

The building will be linked to one of the department’s other major research facilities and will be connected to the neighbouring building via a glass walkway.

Green Concrete

The new green cement consists of approximately 62 per cent cement clinker, around 17 per cent calcined clay, around 17 per cent limestone, and the rest is gypsum, which gives a significantly reduces carbon footprint. Traditional portland cement primarily consists of about 90 per cent cement clinker, and the rest is equal parts limestone and gypsum. The challenge of this type of cement is that production is high in energy consumption. At a global level, cement production makes up around five per cent of the total carbon emission.


Project Grøn Beton II

The innovation consortium Grøn Omstilling af Cement og Betonproduktion i Danmark (The Green Transition of Cement and Concrete Production in Denmark), usually referred to as Grøn Beton II-projektet (the Green Concrete II Project) will soon come to a conclusion. The overall goal of the project is to develop solutions that help to create a basis for the continued green transition for cement and concrete production in Denmark. The project will run from March 2014 to March 2019 and is co-funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. The project website is www.gronbeton.dk (in Danish).


The parties behind the Grøn Beton II project

Aalborg Portland A/S, Dansk Fabriksbetonforening and Dansk Beton of Dansk Byggeri, Unicon A/S, Sweco A/S, Rambøll Danmark A/S, MT Højgaard A/S, Banedanmark, the Danish Road Directorate, Femern A/S, the Danish Energy Agency, the Danish Technological Institute (project manager), DTU Civil Engineering, Lillebaelt Academy, the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, VIA University College, Zealand Institute of Business and Technology, and Center for Betonuddannelse.

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