In terms of carbon emissions, cement and the resulting concrete are some of the most environmentally poor products. Traditional manufacturing is energy intensive and produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. It is estimated that cement production globally is responsible for around five percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
In an attempt to tackle this issue directly, Qatar Foundation subsidiary Msheireb Properties has sought a viable alternative and is now operating an onsite concrete batching plant at its Downtown Doha project.
The company says that the new facility will cut the distance traveled by supply trucks by nearly half, from 3.9 million kilometers per year to 1.4 million, which should reduce CO2 emissions by 4,551 metric tons annually. The concrete produced at the plant uses a furnace residue, known as ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), which is a byproduct of iron and steel production and may otherwise be discarded.
GGBS can replace up to 70 percent of the conventional cement in the concrete mixing process.
The resulting mix uses significantly less energy during production, produces fewer harmful emissions, is stronger, and emits less heat while curing than conventional concrete. This in turn reduces the need for cooling to maintain concrete at a stable temperature during transportation and pouring over the summer months, enabling more efficient, round-the-clock, operating.
Mohammed Al Marri, Chief Officer of Design and Delivery at Msheireb, said: “Msheireb Downtown Doha aims to be sustainable both in its construction and operation. That is why we are prioritizing investments in the most advanced and environmentally friendly building techniques.”