By-products for sustainable concrete in the urban environment (URBCON)


  • Saeid Ghorbani
  • Stijn Matthys (supervisor)


URBCON reduces the use of raw materials and the CO2 emissions from construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure in cities. The URBCON project targets the use of concrete as a building material. With the focus on the metropolitan areas of Ghent, Rotterdam and Northern France, by-products such as metallic slags and incineration ashes are used as alternative raw materials for the production of concrete. Replacing primary raw materials with by-products could save an estimated 84 million tonnes of mineral building materials per year. The main objectives of the project are: 1- Development of concretes with 100% by-products (aggregate) as well as with clinker-efficient cements 2- Networking of by-product providers and construction industry by means of a web-based platform for forecasting availability and considering the logistical chains underlying the construction demand; 3- Testing of the concretes developed in the project (URBCON concretes) on the basis of three pilot projects (including a school building in Ghent); 4- Preparation of a Strategic Technology Transfer Plan: proposals for policy frameworks, life cycle assessments, pre-normative work, economic feasibility studies. The consortium combines world-leading know-how in by-product based construction minerals, supplementary cementitious materials, alkali-activated binders, high-alumina cement, digital mapping of resources, and life cycle assessment and costing.