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Reducing the Environmental Impact of Concrete by Knowledge-based Design and Utilisation of Industrial Waste Materials (ECOCRETE)

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EcoCrete aims at developing a software toolset to design concrete mixes of improved environmental performance utilising industrial waste or recycled aggregates. Concrete has been a popular building material for thousands of years but modern society's emphasis on strength and speed of construction has made the mix more cement based. Cement is a high environmentally challenging component – it’s hugely energy demanding production is responsible for around 7% of world CO2 emissions. The toolset will be applied to produce an improved concrete mix containing oil shale ash from Estonian power stations. The project is expected to demonstrate that cement content can be reduced whilst improving quality and durability of the concrete. The results are especially relevant to repair of post-war prefabricated concrete buildings, home to around 200 million people. Many of these buildings throughout eastern and central Europe are in poor condition and in urgent need of repair. Demand for concrete is rising - in China alone 1,300 tonnes is being consumed a year. With a tonne of CO2 produced for every tonne of cement, the project results have high relevance on an international basis.


Demonstration that concrete of improved performance and lower cost with reduced environmental impact can be produced utilising industrial wastes.


  • The EcoCrete software toolset will provide a knowledge-based approach for design of optimised concrete mixes utilising industrial waste and recycled materials. Four versions of the toolset are envisaged, each with specific targeted users. 1)User version: Simplified version targeted at policy makers and end-users with objective of creating awareness of the benefits of sustainable construction and potential for using concrete of low environmental impact, thereby generating demand and encouragin
  • 2)Specifier version. Targeted at concrete specifiers, architects, materials/ aggregate suppliers and contractors to encourage specification of performance-based concrete of low environmental impact.
  • 3)Designer version. Targeted at consulting engineers, materials designers, manufacturers of cement and ready-mix batching plants to enable design of optimised concrete mixes.
  • 4)Researcher version to make available tools and knowledge-base supporting research and teaching activities relating to improvement of concrete.
  • EcoCrete will furthermore demonstrate first application of the toolset by design and production of an optimised improved concrete utilising oil shale ash from Estonian power stations. A reduction of cement content of 30% is targeted.

Partners and coordinator

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Ardoran LtdEstonia
CT Heikkinen OyFinland
STU-K a.sCzech Republic


Ardoran Ltd
1 Heltermaa
92312 Pühalepa Vald (Hiiumaa)Eesti
Contact point: 
Reid, Douglas
+372 56 615936


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In brief

29/08/2009 to 28/08/2012
Contract number: 

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