Concrete is the most widely used man-made material on Earth, with an annual consumption of around 10 billion m³. However, its fabrication is characterized by total CO2 emissions amounting to around 5% of the worldwide anthropogenic GHG emissions. More sustainable cements with lower embodied energy and CO2 footprint are needed.
As stated in the European Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings (COM 2010/31/EU), the development of better performing insulation materials and lightweight systems for building envelopes is crucial, playing a significant role in the reduction of buildings operational energy while complying with the load bearing features of existing building structures.
The ECO-binder project aims to implement industrial R&D activities on the results of previous research, demonstrating the possibility of replacing Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and OPC based concrete products with new ones based on the new Belite-Ye’elimite-Ferrite (BYF) class of low-CO2 binders to develop a new generation of concrete-based construction materials and prefabricated building envelope components with more than 30% lower embodied energy, 20% improved insulation properties and 15% lower cost than the actual solutions based on Portland cement. The new building envelope solutions will integrate multiple functions in a single product package, providing the higher performances in terms of acoustic insulation/absorption, fire resistance, dimensional stability, indoor air quality optimization, at an affordable cost. Demonstration of full-scale retrofitting and construction will be performed prototyping and installing a family of prefabricated concrete systems of different complexity and end-use in four different climatic conditions involving public authorities.. Results will be validated through dedicated LCAs, fostering the construction materials sector progress towards increased performing and eco-sustainable products.