Recycled concrete aggregates from destroyed buildings in Syria. (English)
The ongoing Syrian civil war, which began in 2011, has left more than 130,000 buildings destroyed, 70% of which are made of reinforced concrete. When the war is over, it is estimated that millions of displaced and refugees will return within 8 years, requiring a rapid urban redevelopment of the country. This study examines the feasibility of re-using concrete from destroyed buildings as recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) to assist in the sustainable redevelopment of Syria’s infrastructure. Although the concept of RCA is not specifically novel, the properties of RCA generated from different sources must be thoroughly assessed to confirm its re-use potential. Never has demolished concrete been so widely available as it is now in parts of Syria, rendering the potential impact of this work enormous. In this study, simple and established methods are implemented to collect and test materials, to closely simulate real-life scenarios of when the country’s reconstruction will start. The chemical and physical properties of the aggregate are measured, followed by the determination of fresh and hardened properties of the concrete produced using a mixture of RCA and natural aggregates. For the first time, this study provides evidence that RCA from the rubble of war-destroyed Syrian buildings can be immediately valorized as a sustainable alternative to natural coarse aggregates in concrete; up to 50% replacement can be achieved without significantly affecting the performance of the new concrete.