Building more sustainable with recycled aerated concrete

More than 40 percent of all the waste produced in the European Union is construction and demolition waste. VITO helps to reuse this massive mountain of rubble as sustainable construction materials. In the IRCOW project, it focused specifically on aerated concrete.

The building sector produces 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of aerated concrete waste annually in Flanders alone. Together with Jacobs NV, a company from Antwerp that specialises in recycling construction and demolition debris, VITO developed a procedure to recycle aerated concrete for several building applications, such as a screed that is not only 20 percent lighter, but also provides additional insulation. In 2014, 30,000 tonnes of aerated concrete waste were recycled. The study is a part of the European Seventh Framework project Innovative Strategies for High-Grade Material Recovery from Construction and Demolition Waste (IRCOW)

VITO's role

On the site of Jacobs NV, VITO conducted tests with a test installation that reworks aerated concrete waste into a durable screed. The final product was applied successfully in a municipal collection park in the port area in Antwerp.

IRCOW in figures
  • Partner project with 13 partners in seven European member states
  • Duration: January 2011 - January 2014
  • Budget: €4,831,000, of which the European Union contributed €3,362,000.
  • Five test sites: in Spain (two sites), Sweden, Poland, Belgium
     
The building sector produces 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of aerated concrete waste annually in Flanders alone.