Environmental Degradation

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Environmental Degradation Impacts of Concrete use in Construction

Environmental Degradation Impacts of Concrete use in Construction

Description of Issue

Environment is impacted due to many actions and activities. These changes need to be quantified, since they have relative variations, which may be positive or negative, large or small. The purpose of studying the environmental impacts is to assess the consequences of some actions, so you can works to improve the quality of that particular environment. Further it can call for necessary changes in the execution of certain projects or actions, soon after their implementation.

The standardization and environmental management emerged in the early 90s through the work of standardization institutions in different European countries. At the Eco-92 proposals were presented to set up a special group to study the development of environmental management standards, in order to be internationally recognized. In March 1993 settled the ISO/TC-207, technical committee with the task of drawing up a series of rules, dubbed the ISO 14000.

The first guidelines were published in mid-1996 specification document including ISO 14,001, which represents a model Environmental Management System through which companies can seek certification (WWF, 2004).

Construction projects are currently one of the largest environmental degradation agents. Moreover, the use of Concrete in construction activities further impacts the environment adversely. Activities related to construction, operation and demolition of buildings enhance environmental degradation through the excessive consumption of natural resources, through which concrete is manufactured, and generation of waste. For construction of buildings such happenings occurs primarily by large volume and diversity of other materials including concrete used in it. A need to minimize the environmental impacts generated by buildings and disseminating the concepts of sustainable development has led the industry to seek buildings with improved environmental performance.

Sustainable construction means that the principles of sustainable development are applied to the life cycle of the projects that are part of the built environment, from extraction and processing of raw materials, through the planning, design and construction of buildings and infrastructure. Within the life cycle of a building, the construction process accounts for significant impacts on the environment.


The main objective of this article is to discuss the effects of concrete used in construction over the environment, and primarily to evaluate the consequences of some actions. The specific objective is to present environmental DIAGNOSIS of the current situation, in which construction and use of concrete as a business activity is having environmental degradation impacts. As such these impacts on the environment have caused great harm to society, such as air pollution and reduction of green areas.

Identification of Factors

The construction of buildings, especially the verticals which uses enormous quantities of concrete, as a sector of industry, creates a series of environmental aspects such as waste materials; unmonitored release; disposal of renewable resource; soil sealing; use of public roads; removal of vegetation, lowering the water table; removal of buildings, soil sealing; Release of fragments; emission of particulate matter, water consumption and waste, consumption and waste of energy in all stages and steps of the cycle of life

Concrete and its Carbon Footprint

Production of concrete essentially contribute more than five percent to 'annual anthropogenic global Carbon Dioxide ...
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