18. 01. 2022.

Is the construction industry in Serbia under a long-term permanent change?

“Green” cement and concrete are already being produced in Serbia.

Transformation of the construction sector in Serbia has already started. It’s led by the companies in disposal of resources and potential for development of environmental products and solutions. We are facing transition that requires adaption of traditional construction materials to the carbon-neutral building with reduced footprint to the environment.

Considering that concrete, that is, cement is responsible for about 10% of total annual emission of CO2 into atmosphere, the responsibility and obligation of such producers are unquestionable. Despite a discouraging percentage, the fact is that the green cement and concrete are already being produced in Serbia. Employees of the Lafarge cement plant in Beocin have been intensively working during last several years on development of the green portfolio adapted to sustainable principles. Eco materials have been produced, characterized by drastically reduced in-built carbon per ton of the product, also the “green” technical solutions have been developed for the infrastructure, which implementation significantly reduces emission of hazardous gasses into atmosphere, with tendency to create product portfolio towards the zero emission of the CO2.

Lafarge ECO portfolio includes ECOPlanet green cement, ECOPact green concrete and green binders for the infrastructure. Due to low emission of the CO2 per ton of material, all listed products fulfill requirements of the leading green certificates (LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, WELL, EDGE), contributing to new building culture in Serbia as well.

Green bulk cement

For concrete works on massive elements, i.e. construction of energy producing buildings, bridges, collectors, sewage and other systems, a cement of low thermal hydration CEM II/B-M(S-V)42,5N LH with reduced content of in-built carbon by 30% has been developed in Lafarge. Combining of granulated slag and ash, such cement fulfills all requirements of projects related to durability and endurance in aggressive environment (environments rich in sulfates, nitrates and chlorides). It’s characterized with low level of alkali, which makes it suitable for all types of aggregates – natural and recycled, also with proper cohesion and workability, which suits concrete mixtures intended for pumping. Eco cement is currently being used for construction of the thermal power plant Obrenovac and Kostolac, as well as for construction of the road bridge over the Sava River on the public road of the Ib class no. 21 nearby Sabac, section Novi Sad – Ruma – Sabac.

Green packed cement

Certification of new type of packed ECOPlanet cement has been recently completed in Lafarge, with emission of CO2 lower by up to 40% compared to the Portland cement for general use, which makes Serbia one of the first European countries that launched packed green cement on its market and the very first producer in Serbia. If considered that use of the green cement results in reduction of 330kg of CO2 per ton of cement, the idea of contribution which cement industry can provide for a global environmental care is much clearer.

Green ECOPact concrete

A Green ECOPact concrete, the first low heat concrete in Serbia has been designed for domestic construction sector in 2020, with reduced in-built carbon by 30% compared to standard concretes. Use of ECOPact concrete reduces quantity of CO2 by up to 100kg per 1m3 of concrete. Designed on the basis of cement of low thermal hydration which, along with high durability and strength, makes it ideal for construction of massive foundations and peers for bridges; it’s also an excellent solution for construction of industrial floors due to reduced shrinking. It’s suitable for all classes of concrete exposure to aggressive environments due to its chemical-mineral composition, also for production of concretes resistant to frost impact XFe (max 150 cycles). Green concrete is presently used for construction of one of the most significant industrial sites, tire production plant in Indjija.

Green infrastructure binders

Infrastructure methods Lafarge has been focused on last years – stabilization of soil and cold recycling, are the environmental alternative to the classic technology of construction and re-construction of roads. Namely, both methods imply use of infrastructure binders BEOSOL and BEOBOND using existing materials from the site, that excludes additional exploitation of natural resources, formation of the building site deposits of excavated materials, reduces transportation costs and additional emission of gasses caused by raw materials transportation. Due to its performances, Lafarge binders also reduce the requirement for mechanization engagement, directly affecting quantity of hazardous gasses into atmosphere. In such way, savings of building costs are realized as an additional stimulus for investors to further use “green” materials and technology of support soil stabilization. Significance and importance of “green” infrastructure methods use have been confirmed in Serbia on projects of the wind farms construction, also recognized by foreign companies from the countries that observe principles and standards of green building, such as the Takenaka company, on which project approximately 200.000m2 of surface stabilization has been completed at the beginning of the year.

Modern trends in construction, demanding dynamics of works realization, faster, more quality and more permanent construction on one hand and strengthening the awareness on necessary reduction of construction sector footprint to the environment on the other hand, have induced transition of construction industry towards the sustainability. Lafarge’s vision, as one of the companies that lead highly required transformation of the entire sector, with collaboration with the Green Building Council in Serbia, implies realization of results through establishing permanent balance between the environmental protection, social responsibility and entrepreneurship, which is why the company’s focus will be aimed towards development and implementation of green materials and technologies that lead towards the global goal – de-carbonization of construction materials, i.e. carbon-neutral building.