Evaluation of the use of recycled concrete aggregate in structural concrete: Full-scale live assessment of a new three-storey commercial building

Collaborator(s): Ministry of National Development, Building and Construction Authority & Nanyang Technological University

Project Completion: Apr 2011

Objective(s):

  • To extensively evaluate the performance of concrete containing recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) in laboratory
  • To assess and monitor the field performance of a three-storey building constructed using RCA concrete

The Samwoh Eco-Green Building is a technological breakthrough that demonstrated the feasibility of using concrete containing up to 100% recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), which is processed from the construction and demolition waste, for structural applications. Prior to this research project, the applications of RCA have been limited to road construction and production of non-structural grade concrete. To optimize the use of RCA, a full-scale study, co-funded by the Ministry of National Development and Building & Construction Authority, was conducted to evaluate its use in structural grade concrete. The study involved extensive laboratory testing to evaluate the engineering properties of the RCA concrete, construction of the three-storey Samwoh Eco-Green Building using RCA concrete and real-time structural monitoring using fibre-optic sensors.

On the whole, the laboratory results revealed that the effects of RCA on the properties of concrete were insignificant though there were differences between the concrete with and without RCA. Furthermore, the structural monitoring results also validate that RCA has no adverse impacts on the concrete performance since the measured deformations are within the theoretical deformations. In a nutshell, the research study suggests that RCA concrete can be designed at its own right to meet the specifications for structural applications, which led to the successful completion of the Samwoh Eco-Green Building.

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