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Cemex supplies recycled concrete to Berlin project

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

The new research and laboratory building for life sciences at Berlin Humboldt University has been constructed with the help of Cemex, using new technology: it was built almost entirely using a ready-mix concrete produced with aggregates from recycled concrete.

In the construction sector, recycling building materials may contribute to decreasing the extraction of primary minerals and conservation of natural resources, making it a more sustainable alternative, and this an increasingly attractive option in the construction industry. "Products from recycled concrete building materials have proven their worth already in roads and civil engineering,” explains Marcel Busch, Cemex Germany Regional Manager of Mineral Raw Materials for North-East Germany. “Now, for the first time in Berlin, a concrete with recycled aggregates is being used as a structural concrete for building construction. We are very pleased to have been part of this pilot project.”

To produce the recycled aggregates, old fragments of concrete are professionally processed in crushers and impact mills, in order to break them down into the required grain size for making a ready-mix concrete. However, it is not a simple process. "This construction material is more complicated than standard concrete and it takes experience to handle it,” says Andreas Hanson, adding "the production of such a concrete for building construction requires substantial expertise in concrete technology and chemical admixtures that, fortunately, is available at Cemex.”

The final product is able to meet the technical requirements of demanding building projects just as well as conventional concrete, but has the additional benefit of conserving natural resources. In total, Cemex supplied 3800 m3 of this recycled ready-mix concrete for the 4-story Humboldt University building.

Cemex is eager to take advantage of similar projects and opportunities, as the conservation of natural resources is essential in contributing to a sustainable future. As such. Cemex’s global research and development centre is working on multiple fronts to beneficiate, recycle and/or up-cycle, as well as developing novel materials for environmentally conscious solutions. 

Adapted from press release by

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