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Recycling in Civil Construction Industry

November 21, 2018 0 Comments

Australia has been at the forefront of sustainable living practices, not only in residential homes, but also in businesses and industry giants. Just recently, the civil construction industry released the latest innovations in sustainable building and construction processes focusing on recycling.

Roads to Re-Use

Through the initiative of Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, and Environment Minister, Stephen Dawson, building rubble will now be recycled into road base in the Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening Project in WA.

The pilot project, known as ‘Roads to Re-Use’, is the first program of its kind. This program aims to boost and improve Western Australia’s recycling practices and if it becomes successful, more recycled waste will be used for future civil construction projects.

During the initial phase, a testing scheme will be conducted to test for quality control, including meeting strict standards to ensure that the recycled materials are not contaminated with toxic substances such as asbestos.

According to Mr. Dawson, Main Roads had previously avoided using recycled materials due to high levels of plastic contamination. He also mentioned that the project is a cheaper alternative to road work projects and would create more employment as compared to sourcing for new materials.

Results from the pilot project is expected to be released later this year as part of the WA State Government’s Waste Strategy 2030.

Human Urine Bricks… not in Australia – but maybe here in the future?

Instead of being flushed down the loo, your pee could be used as an ingredient in the construction of eco-friendly houses.

South African University researchers have experimented on creating bricks using human urine. These biodegradable bricks were created as a response to the need for finding sustainable alternatives to standard clay and concrete bricks.

This invention is the brainchild of two remarkable students and a lecturer from the University of Cape Town. Utilising a grant from a government-funded Water Research Council, the feasibility study was launched using a synthetic urea and later progressed into using actual human urine.

After a year, the inventors successfully produced their first bio-brick through “Microbial Carbonate Precipitation” – a process that combines urine, sand, and bacteria to produce the brick. The prototypes were created using a technique similar to the natural formation of seashells and takes about 6 to 8 days to form… mimicking nature to produce strong, biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally friendly materials for use in construction.

Filed in: Industry News

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