Life Cycle Assessment of Prefabricated Geopolymeric Façade Cladding Panels Made from Large Fractions of Recycled Construction and Demolition Waste

Materials (Basel). 2020 Sep 5;13(18):3931. doi: 10.3390/ma13183931.

Abstract

The construction and demolition sector is one of the biggest consumers of natural resources in the world and consequently, one of the biggest waste producers worldwide. The proper management of construction and demolition waste (CDW) can provide major benefits for the construction and recycling industry. However, the recycling rate of CDW is relatively low, as there is still a lack of confidence in the quality of recycled CDW materials. Therefore, new research projects are looking for innovative solutions within recycling of CDW in order to overcome uncertainties currently associated with the use of construction products made from recycled or re-used CDW. In this paper, a "cradle-to-cradle" life cycle assessment (LCA) study has been conducted to investigate the environmental performance of the prefabricated geopolymeric façade cladding panels made from large fractions of CDW. The LCA results indicate that the majority of the environmental burden arises within the manufacturing stage; however, the environmental burden can be reduced with simple optimisation of the manufacturing process. Furthermore, the environmental impact of the prefabricated geopolymeric façade cladding panels is generally lower than the environmental burden associated with the façade cladding panels made from virgin materials.

Keywords: alkali-activated material (AAM); construction and demolition waste (CDW); façade cladding panel; geopolymer; life cycle assessment (LCA).

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