AAC products contribute to the saving of energy
Compared to many other construction products, the production of AAC also has a relatively low energy intensity. The lightweight nature of AAC also saves energy during the transportation process. Moreover, AAC materials can be recycled up to 100%, reducing the need for new raw materials. This means that AAC products contribute to the saving of energy and lowering production emissions. AAC building materials also improve the thermal properties of a building envelope. AAC’s cellular structure gives it a thermal efficiency 10 times higher than that of aggregate concrete and two to three times better than clay brick. Consequently, buildings made of AAC are warm in winter and cool in summer. Greater use of AAC in construction and renovation offers an immediate solution to cutting the energy consumption of residential and non-residential buildings across Europe.
Respons the the European Green Deal
If the appropriate policy measures are taken, the European construction industry can contribute to the environmental efforts of the Green Deal and become the leading industry for sustainable resource management. Integrating circular economy principles across the sector will be vital to keep valuable resources in the system.
1. The Circular Economy Action Plan seeks to establish full circularity in construction. It can help improve material efficiency in the sector by emphasizing the circularity credentials of specific materials and construction products of choice for both renovation and new build. The sustainable product framework initiative, a key piece of the Circular Economy Action Plan, has to consider a sustainable construction product design, that implies strong but lightweight and easy-to-use products, which are fit for outdoor and indoor purposes and are made from natural resources.
2. Revising the Construction Products Regulation needs to set appropriate standards to ensure reduction of raw material inputs and thus a sustainable management of materials. This can lead to crucial energy savings over a building’s life cycle, while simultaneously safeguarding quality levels.
3. We require a full life-cycle assessment of construction products instead of focusing only on embedded energy. The Level(s) framework needs to be incorporated into legislation to improve re-use and recycling in the sector.
4. A reform of the current waste legislation framework and establishment of circularity targets in the EU Construction and Demolition Waste Management Protocol are required. Waste management within the construction industry needs a timely and adequate collection and recycling infrastructure for both closed and open loop recycling.