What makes concrete the world’s most used construction material?
Concrete is by far the most used building material in the world. All you have to do is look around you and you’re likely guaranteed to see at least one thing made of it and for good reason. Not only is it incredibly strong, it is also surprisingly versatile, which makes it ideal for various construction requirements. We break down how concrete cemented itself as the most-use construction material in the world.
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Concrete’s main benefit lies in the fact that it is incredibly strong and can withstand huge amounts of pressure, which makes it ideal for use in building foundations, roads and pavements. The fact that it generally provides minimal maintenance and repair issues whilst boasting a potential life-span of 100 years or more is what has made concrete the go-to building material since ancient Rome. In fact, the Colosseum built around 2000 years ago was made using Roman Concrete, a mixture very similar to what is used today and is living proof of concrete’s potential durability.
Not only is concrete strong, it is also surprisingly versatile. The strength of concrete is not something that is set; rather, different concrete mixes can be created to prioritise different aspects, such as strength, cure-time and workability. This means that you can get the ideal concrete mix for your project requirements. You only need to compare the difference between ready mix concrete and liquid screed to see how versatile in consistency and use concrete can be.
More Environmentally Friendly
Concrete is also one of the more environmentally friendly construction materials available. This is because the resources used to make it, namely water, sand and aggregates, are often readily available resources that are sourced locally and therefore require minimal transport to get them to a plant. In fact, limestone, the main component in cement is limestone, the most readily available mineral on the planet. Ready mix concrete can also make use of many ‘waste’ products, such as slag cement and fly ash, which are by-products of power and manufacturing plants.