Life cycle assessment and sustainability aspects of using waste materials in concrete
Using waste or recycled waste materials in concrete as a typical construction material is becoming more accepted as a sustainable feature. However, the manufactured concrete should meet stringent standards in all stages of the life cycle. The main goal of this thesis is to estimate the environmental benefit of utilizing recycled waste materials in concrete through a life cycle assessment tool, SimaPro 8.5.2 (Pre Consultants B.V, Amersfoort, The Netherlands). Firstly, this thesis quantifies the environmental impact of incorporating different waste materials as a partial replacement of cement to produce 32 MPa concrete. Subsequently, it explains the environmental benefits of incorporating different percentages of lightweight PET plastic bottles as replacing fine aggregate in concrete. It also explains the comparative environmental performance of conventional concrete and fly ash-based geopolymer concrete having 40 MPa strength. The results from this investigation highlighted that using waste materials has a significant environmental advantage. The outcomes from this thesis can serve to standardize and maximize resource implementation in concrete through a waste recycling system and the transition towards a circular economy.