Builders are increasingly reaching for alternative materials. Rather because of scarcity and ecology, but now also because of rising prices. And they choose new technologies. “If such an option exists, companies really try to use alternative and recycled materials. This is necessary to protect the environment. But their price is not significantly lower,” Jiří Nouza, president of the Association of Construction Entrepreneurs, told Deník.
Villa Čertův vršek or the walls of the Emil Kolben apartment complex in Prague, parkour playgrounds and more. These are pilot construction projects in the Czech Republic using the so-called rebetong. It is a new alternative material created by recycling construction debris. It was presented by the Skanska company in cooperation with the Czech development company Erc-Tech. “Replacing natural aggregates in concrete with recycled ones brings with it advantages in both environmental and economic terms,” their representatives said at the professional conference.
They make doors from PET bottles, reuse bricks. Builders save and recycle
According to experts, inert construction debris currently accounts for almost fifty percent of the total waste production in the Czech Republic and Europe. Around four million tons are produced annually in our country alone. Most end up in landfills. “Only fifteen percent is recycled and reused, mostly with low added value as backfill, base or stabilization layers,” said representatives of the construction company.
The Czech patent, on the basis of which Skanska manufactures and uses rebetong as the first in the world, has already spread to Asia and New Zealand. “Rebetong certainly has potential, how big or small, time will tell,” said Nouza.
Replacement for iron and steel
The construction segment is also currently facing a critical shortage of iron. Firms are also changing construction plans to minimize the use of materials that are missing. For example, bars suitable for reinforcing concrete – reinforcements based on epoxy resin – are reinforced with glass fibers.
“The reinforcement is corrosion resistant, up to three times stronger and four times lighter than steel. At the same time, it is a non-magnetic and chemically resistant material. It is also an electrical insulator, does not conduct heat and does not lose its properties when temperatures change. It is also cheaper and quickly available,” Matúš Jaremko from Tesla FiberoX listed the advantages of the new material.
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But the alternative solution affects other segments as well.
Use of waste
For example, the door manufacturer Sapeli is currently facing an increase in the prices of the materials from which it makes its door frames. This applies mainly to spruce wood. The company therefore started testing the use of recycled materials, such as PET bottles, milk cartons or even natural linen fiber. The company is currently testing the first two materials, one door with linen fiber filling is already on offer.
The solution is also modern technology and the possibility of using 3D printing. An example is the Prague tram stop in Bubenč with a shelter created by robotic 3D printing of high-strength concrete on a 3D printer. The production of individual parts of the shelter took thirty-six hours and weighs two tons.