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Solutions to environmental impacts of concrete with new ISO standard

by Sandrine Tranchard on
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A new ISO standard will help the construction industry better manage the environmental impacts of concrete.

Concrete is widely used for constructing infrastructures such as buildings, bridges, dams and tunnels, and its consumption as a resource is the second largest on the planet after water, with potential strong negative impacts on the environment.

ISO 13315-1:2012, Environmental management for concrete and concrete structures – Part 1: General Principles, aims to provide the basic rules on environmental management for concrete and concrete structures. It will help owners, designers, manufacturers, constructors, users, certification bodies, and environmental standard developers.

The standard is intended to contribute to continual improvement of the environmental impacts resulting from concrete-related activities. It ensures consistency with the ISO 14000 series on environmental management.

ISO 13315-1:2012 covers the secondary effects of the production of concrete and of concrete structures which consume large amounts of resources, such as water, energy, cement and steel and emit large amounts of CO2 in their production processes.

The standard provides a framework and basic rules on environmental management related to concrete and concrete structures. This includes the assessment of environmental impacts and methods of implementing environmental improvement. It addresses the entire life cycle of concrete structures, including:

  • Design, production, recycling and disposal of concrete
  • Building, use and demolition.

Prof. Koji Sakai, Chair of ISO/TC 71/SC8, comments: “Today, the concept of sustainability is required in every aspect of social, economic, and cultural activities. ISO 13315-1 will help the construction industry answer the need of sustainability and will provide a strong support at all phases of the life cycle of concrete structures.”

ISO 13315‑1:2012 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 71, Concrete, reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete, subcommittee SC 8, Environmental management for concrete and concrete structures.

ISO 13315-1:2012, Environmental management for concrete and concrete structures – Part 1: General Principles, is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 80 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.