International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research (ISSN 2347-4289)

IJTEEE >> Volume 2 - Issue 7, July 2014 Edition

International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research  
International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research

Website: http://www.ijteee.org

ISSN 2347-4289

Impact Of Concrete, Steel And Timber On The Environment: A Review

[Full Text]



Joseph A. Anejo



Keywords : Environmental impact, concrete, steel, timber, embodied energy, life cycle assessment.



ABSTRACT:The elements of the built environment are all products of construction. Construction uses materials obtained from natural sources or processed from raw materials obtained from natural sources. Concrete, steel and timber are used predominantly in construction. In addition to satisfying construction needs, these materials also bring about serious environmental problems. The purpose of this paper is to review the impact of the use of these three basic construction materials on the environment. It was pointed out that the negative impact could be reduced by the recycling and reuse of the materials which will reduce the consumption of new materials. The use of naturally occurring materials where available in place of these materials was also suggested as an additional means of reducing the impacts from construction materials. These were strongly recommended. It was revealed that timber is the most environmentally friendly construction material. Steel was shown to be capable of being reused and recycled many times and therefore should be preferred above concrete for structural purposes. Informed and intelligent material selection was given to be an important key as well. Proper understanding of the material environmental performance can be achieved with the use of Life Cycle Assessment. This provides a means through which the environmental impact of the materials right from processing through the use in construction, unto the demolition/deconstruction of the facility will be determined, and was strongly advocated.



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