The production of concrete is one of the biggest sources of emissions in the world, so anything done to reduce the production of it is a win for the environment. In Germany, architects have come up with a clever way to use less concrete in buildings by incorporating air pockets made of recycled plastic within its concrete slabs.
The slabs have up to 35 percent less material than solid reinforced concrete, thanks to the presence of the hollow spheres of plastic. These spherical void formers fill parts of the slab not required for load-bearing. Not only does this bring a reduction in concrete, but it also reduces the energy expenditure required for transport as the slabs are much lighter.
As a result, the German construction project has saved an estimated 136 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. And since it’s rather simple to implement, this way of producing concrete slabs could easily be replicated across the construction industry, which could help slash emissions within the industry,