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Construction Materials On The Environment Assignment Sample

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Construction Materials On The Environment Assignment Sample


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In the figure different types of materials are compared with each other to identify the material which have more and which have lesser embodied energy per unit weight. According to the figure it can be concluded that the embodied energy of steel per unit weight is higher in comparison to other materials. In comparison to other materials of construction in terms of environmental impact, steel is the worst material. In terms of emission per unit weight, the concrete is far better than the steel. Using construction materials extensively may lead to major hazards to the environment. The steel has the worst impact on the environment that has high emission per unit weight and also the embodied energy is higher (Tong et al. 2021). The performance of the concrete is much better than the steel. But the important thing is that cement consumption and its global emission are higher compared to steel consumption. In order to eliminate the hazards of the environment, the new materials of the construction which possess less impact on the environment and are more environmentally friendly.

The impact of the environment on the product that is assessed at different life stages with the use of LCA tools. A life cycle assessment investigates the life cycle of the products and also creates an inventory input- output. The product life cycle begins with the process of extraction of the raw materials, then manufacturing of the products, then transportation, usage of the product and finally management of the wastes that also includes disposal and recycling. The document formation ofinventory input- output is required due to emission and consumption is there at different stages of the life cycle of the product. The data of input- output is then accessed properly in order to decide the way it causes impact to the environment. The main phases of LCA according to the ISO 14040 are:

  • Scope and goal
  • “Life cycle inventory”
  • Assessment of impacts of life cycle.
  • Interpretation

The CFRP bond concrete efficacy can be well determined by the inspection of the modes of failure from the “ASTM pull- off testing”. The mode that is desired is the type G, that indicates that the bond is sufficient and failure occurs on the substrate of the concrete (Ferahtiaet al. 2021). Mode D is cohesive type failure and Mode F is a mixed type cohesive failure. The two modes in the last are inconsistent adhesion of concrete and may be caused due to gravity effects and existing surface defects.

From the table it can be clearly said that the samples of the pull- off test were well performed with the failure Mode F- G. From the sample number 3- 6, the pull- off results are not affected much due to the dolly being attached to the locations of FRP that avoids the void areas. The sample no. 8 having a wet surface had failure mode C due to low pull- off strength as it was expected. The surfaces that have unclean surfaces and overhead application of FRP have experienced failure mode F with minute separation of the substrate of the concrete (Deng et al. 2021). Sample no. from 1-6 have pull- off strength of average value 2.42 MPa, while the other samples are having an average strength of 2.42 MPa. The samples with induced defects have low tensile strength (about 9%) as shown by the pull off stock. However, the test of pull off is only a spot check of the bond quality of FRP and is not an indicator of laminate bonding.

Reduce: The methods of reduction of wastes are:

Design specification: This is more effective in the stage of planning. On site cutting of materials will produce huge amount of wastes for fitting to the complicated design procedure. The reduction of materials while project design - dimensions are designed for fitting to the material length available, design simplification, construction method and type are also considered.

Procurement of material and logistics: The wastes due to construction is raised due to inaccurate order of material, midway changes to the design, storage of materials are poor due to bad plan logistics (Pittariet al. 2020). The wastage of material possesses high economic and environmental impact. The effective logistic planning causes reduction of such problems.

Manufacturing off- site: Various parts of construction project that are built off site for reduction of the wastes produced on- site. This will contribute towards waste reduction by 40% compared to the method of traditional construction.

Recycling: In the case of concrete and steel, the material which is recycled highly is steel and also known as “The EnviroMetal” as the material that is recycled most in the earth. Without any property loss, steel can be recycled many times (Kettunenet al. 2022). Bulky products such as steel beams can be recycled 95% of times and the recycling rate of reinforcing bars is lower up to 50% times as it is not eraser to separate the steel from the concrete materials. On recycling of the concrete material, it is downgraded and scattered basically. The engineering properties of the concrete that is crushed is does not matches with the aggregate that is virgin. Due to this factors it can be said that steel recycling is higher compared to the concrete recycling.

Reuse: The components of steel can be recovered from disassemble or deconstruction and can be used directly without recycling of the steel (Sullivan, 2019). However, due to modifying deficiency and density of the concrete, reusing the concrete can be difficult.

Energy consumption: For operating the steel mills, the fossil fuels are burnt in huge amounts that results in embodied energy in larger amounts. Due to high embodied energy of the steel it is considered as the construction material that is environmentally harmful on weight measurement (Zhao, 2018). The virgin steel energy consumption is higher in comparison to the recycled steel. The embodied energy of the concrete is lower due to consumption of low amount of fossil fuel and low emission in comparison to steel.

CO2 Emissions: The production of virgin steel or recycling of steel requires burning of large amount of fossil fuels that leads to emission of high amount of CO2. However, the production process of concrete consumes lesser fossil fuels that results in less amount of emission of CO2.

Resource Depreciation: In the production of steel, the construction steel are generally steel of lower grade that are recyclable 100%. The recycling of steel can be done infinite number of time without quality loss (Vinhet al. 2022). The construction steel is created after collection of recycled steel reduces energy usage and other types of raw materials. As the rate of recycling of steel is higher this involves utilization of less resources thus reducing production of virgin steel. The concrete materials are man- made which is composed of fly ash, cement and slag cement that are aggregated with chemicals, water and sand. As the usage of concreter is higher in the construction and recycling rate of concrete is lower that involves utilization of much natural resources that results in depletion of resources in high amount.

The savings of energy was achieved by the strategies of efficiency of materials that depend on the use of energy in the manufacturing process. If in the use phase most of the energy is used that will lead to reduction of the efficiency of the materials which is an important part. Due to changes in the technology if there exists improvement of energy efficiency of the appliances. For reduction of the LCA, the efficiency of the materials in not the only way (Balagueraet al. 2018). The primary opportunity of reduction of production of materials by evaluation of the service need and alternative means are looked upon for the purpose of delivery. The extension of life through the use of maintenance, repair and repair are the main option of material intensive services, like heavy equipment’s and buildings. Some specific types of buildings may have shorter span of life. The light weighting process can reduce the material amount that is required per unit service by the product redesigning and the substitution of materials. This is used in the equipment of transportation along with packaging process. Light weighting in the transportation process may lead to improvement in the efficiency of fuel.

LCA tool significance

The tool for selection of materials are ATHENA and BEES, for satisfying the needs of the designer and the tool which is most useful is the BEES. The disadvantage of using BEES is that requires allotment of the relative value by the user for different impacts like global warming and acidification. The process of BEES involves weighting where the environmental impacts are to be accessed by the designers but however, they are not expertized in the assessment of environment. It is necessary to understand the various tools of LCA by data generation that is included in the tools of material selection. However, it is difficult the impacts caused by the different types of materials (Mohajeraniet al. 2020). The emission of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide causes huge impacts and also involve consumption of resources. Theses impacts are characterized and analyzed in order to know the effects of interaction. According to the outlook of the designer the easy and best way of using the different approaches of LCA. The approaches of TRACI that is used by BEES that are difficult in understanding and they are listed as per the impacts. It is difficult in assigning equal weights to all types of impacts.

Testing of materials of construction

Testing of material is an important part. As it involves system of quality control. To verify that the materials meets the particular specification, in order to achieve certificate. The legislative compliance are maintained (Khwajaet al. 2018). The materials that are supplied from the suppliers needs rigorous testing as per the standard of the suppliers. On arrival of the items on the site of work involves checking the received quantity as stated in the note of delivery, to ensure that desired quality of material is supplied and inspecting visually to ensure absence of damages.

Timber testing: The timbers are tested on the site for checking of the moisture content. That is expressed as percentages and the calculated on the basis of difference weight of wet timber and the similar sample after the drying process (De Schutteret al. 2018). During installation time, the content of moisture must be 12- 20% on the basis of different conditions. Moisture content can be determined by the following methods:

“Oven dry testing”: This test involves drying of the timbers at a constant weight in the oven that is ventilated at the temperature of 102- 105 degree centigrade. A very accurate percentage of the moisture content that is original by drying of timber piece in the oven for many hours and the testing of the materials on a regular basis until the weight stops changing (Gingaet al. 2020). However, this is an accurate method that slows the process in case it is rushed, timber burning. Otherwise it is left as a product that is unusable due to presence of deformations.

Brick testing

Test for compressive strength: A brick sample is placed on the machinery of compressive strength and the application of pressure until failing. The maximum pressure level needs to be recorded. At a time five bricks are tested generally with the average maximum pressure level is taken as the brick’s compressive strength.

Test of water absorption: In the dry condition, the bricks are generally weighted and for a duration of 24 hours it is immersed in water that is fresh (Kaewunruen and Lian, 2019). After that they are weighted again. The weight differences of the bricks between the different conditions that generally indicate the water absorption of the brick. Absorption of lesser water quantity means the quality of bricks are better. The amount of water should not be more than the 20% of dry weight of brick.

Efflorescence test: It is basically salty and crystalline deposits that occurs on the brick’s surface. It is off- white or white color along with powdery appearances. The alkali test that mainly causes efflorescence (Kolotzeket al. 2018). Generally the test was performed by immersing the brick for a duration of 24 hours in fresh water, then allowed to dry. 

Using materials efficiently can play in managing the climate, environmental impacts is reduced. This mainly focuses on the relationship between the energy and materials that focuses mainly on the environmental impact. The contribution towards using reduced material can be effective.

Minimization of material waste

It is the responsibility of the various parties towards waste reduction and management. A considerable quantity of resources are used maximum of which are wasted due to poor controlling of the material due to on the sites of the buildings (Zhang et al. 2020). It is very important to reduce the amount of wastes generated. The strategies for waste reduction requires understanding of the construction waste causes in details. The minimization of wastes generally involves a process, technique that focuses on waste elimination or at the source the waste is reduced or allows recycling or reuse of the construction wastes. The minimization of the material wastes will involves material flow surveying into and out of site and accessing the steps to be undertaken in order to reduce their material range and quality that are generally discarded. The waste minimization in the process of construction is a crucial task as that will have an impact on the quality, time and cost of the project of construction. It is the client who should emphasis on waste reduction is this a matter of concern and the project team is challenged for using the construction materials efficiently. The materials of construction also get wasted if it is not being stored properly at the site of construction. The materials may get wasted due to exposure to environment or are kept at open place.

  • An attitude is developed towards waste minimization.
  • Proper design for waste reduction.
  • Instead of using method of in- situ, the pre- fabrication method should be given priority.
  • Adopting of handling method and material procurement.
  • A management plan of waste at the site needs to be adopted.

Lean Construction

It is generally a way to design the production system in order to minimize the material waste, effort and time for obtaining the maximum value amount. It is basically a holistic design and philosophy of delivery in order to maximize the stakeholder’s values with the use of synergistic, systematic and improving continuously in the contract arrangement, design of product and selection methodand reliability of workflow and supply chain of the site operation. Lean construction is generally a process of elimination of waste continuously, exceeding or meeting the requirements of the customers, the whole value stream is focused and perfection pursuit in the project's execution (Tam et al. 2018). The lean method is lean as it provides the opportunity of doing more with less efforts of the human, less time, less equipment and lesser space providing the customers with the desired quality.


Using of sub quality materials of construction not only causes adverse effects to the environment. However, it also causes various defects in the structure. The defects that are caused are initial shrinkage, thermal movement, elastic deformation, creep movement, chemical reaction.

Initial shrinkage: The materials of the buildings like concrete, brickwork that shrinks initially. However, shrinkage is irretrievable partially. The cracks due to shrinkage in the walls of the buildings can be reduced by the use of cement mortar that is less rich in masonry and by suspending the plaster application on the surface of the brickwork, this is basically when early shrinkage is experienced by the masonry and after curing properly it was dried completely. In the plastering, the shrinkage cracks can be minimized by the use of less rich plaster materials that are perfect in providing resistances to the abrasion and durability.

Figure 9: Initial shrinkage in the walls

(Source: https://gosmartbricks.com)

Elastic deformation: Walls that are loaded unevenly generally suffer from stress variation in various parts of the structure that can cause wall cracks. When different types of construction materials like steel, concrete, masonry with different elasticity properties under load effect are built together, in the structure the use of materials that have different shear stresses can cause cracks in the walls at the areas of junction (Kamaliet al. 2019). Live and dead loads generally cause elastic deformations in the building’s structural components. The extent of deformation generally depends upon the material’s elastic properties, the loading magnitude and the component’s dimensions.

Creep movement: Gradually and slowly time dependent distortion in the structure of the concrete under the application of constant loads called creep. This generates stresses in extreme amounts and leads to crack development. However, increasing the amount of water content and cement, temperature and water- cement ratio increases creep in the walls of the structure. Increase in temperature in the bars of steel causes creep surges. This decreases with rise in the humidity of the atmosphere and the building material age during the loading time. The Use of admixtures and pozzolana also increases creep. Creeps cannot be understood by just looking at the structure. At level of lower stress, this mainly occurs due to viscous flow and seepage and at levels of higher stress it is mainly due to “inter- crystalline slip” and micro cracking.


The structure’s durability is to serve the intended purpose for a long time period or during the expected life service of the structure. Concrete durability is the concrete’s ability in order to resist the chemical attack, abrasion and weathering action, maintaining the desirable properties of engineering. Using different concrete that requires different durability degrees that depends on the environmental exposure and desirable properties (Yazdanbakhsh, 2018). The factors that affect the concrete’s durability are content of cement, the quality of aggregate used, quality of water used, compaction of the concrete, permeability, moisture content, curing period, abrasion, temperature and carbonation.


The theoretical contribution of the research work is the procedure that depends on the development of the theory and the advancing the current theory with some of the facts and logics. A phenomena can be explained properly with the use of certain theories. In this way the theoretical works are ahead of the survey or descriptive works. In the basic construction material one of the main important materials is concrete. The procedure of making the traditional concrete is not so good for the environment. While manufacturing the concrete the carbon footprint has increased tremendously. The dust particles which have been created while producing the concrete increased the pollution level of the environment and created a huge threat for the human beings lives in the locality. In the process of making materials, many different types of pollutants are released from the factories. Here are some names of the pollutants which make the environment more polluted, and these all are released from the factories (Curumsinget al. 2019). The pollutants are, a huge amount of dust, construction waste materials, polluted chunks of sand, and gravel is released into the environment. Quality assurance of the materials of the buildings are essential in order to ensure strength of the structure. The whole work of the project can be managed by using some of the theoretical aspects. These processes will involve scope planning, definition of the scope, definition of activity, planning of resources, sequencing of activities, estimating the duration of activity, estimating the cost of the project, a schedule is developed, cost budgeting and the plan of the project is developed. The output that we receive from the processes, the plan of the processes.

The practical contribution of the research work focuses on the sustainability, introduction of the recycled material in the construction materials that will reduce the waste disposal problems. This involves application of green building processes. The sustainable practices of construction involves smart methods of designing, the use of latest technologies like “BIM (Building Information Modeling)” that helps in estimation of the requirements of the materials at each stage. This limits the overusing of materials which ultimately turns into wastes (Ferahtia, 2021). The designing insulation that can help in preventing the loss of energy. This can be achieved with the use of materials that have higher insulation properties and adapting the cool roof concepts. This will reduce the energy demand that is required for temperature regulation. The practical contribution also involves adaptation of sustainable design practices by selection of materials. By optimizing the geometrics that can reduce the amount of concrete and steel to be used in construction of buildings. The materials are purchased that are locally manufactured will eliminate high cost due to transportation. The materials of green buildings are generally used. Innovative design of buildings will involve using of natural materials like clay, timber, straw bales etc. These materials have lower embodied energy along with the property of good insulation. Using of recyclable materials will enhance the building’s sustainability. Responsible sourcing of materials like timbers are required. The selection of materials and elements of building are made on the basis of cost, structural properties and thermal properties. Using of tools in the construction method that are highly efficient, thus will result in reduction of pollution and also saves the time. Instead of using of in- situ method the prefabrication method should be given priority in order to reduce the transportation factor that also significantly contributes towards emission of greenhouse gasses. The planning of various processes of construction should be done beforehand in order to minimize the chances of overuse of materials. Using of plastic cement needs to be practiced. The selection of materials is done by using tools like BEES.

There exist some limitations of the research work. Very less number of research studies done on the topic in the past. Depending on the scope of the research topic, the prior studies done on the topic is limited. This creates a literature gap and it requires further development in the study area. Limited access to data due to lack of related research work on the same topic. Another limitation is the time constraint. The time availability for the study of research work is limited. Further study is required for the collection of more information on the topic. However, in the mo0dern buildings, the ventilation can be controlled with automated systems and therefore considered as design products. Some types of variables are interdependent indirectly. The density of occupation that will involve large gain internally, which can increase the demand of cooling and heating demand is decreased (Santos et al. 2018). The other limitations can be availability of testing equipment for the testing of construction materials. Some constraints of the construction projects are lack of availability of technology, materials, labor, plant and skills. Sometimes it may be the budget that effects the construction project. Requirement of specific performance. Access to site, local infrastructure. Restriction to regulation of building and its planning. The climatic condition can also be a factor that can hamper the construction process. However, technical constraint will involve completing the activities of the construction. Various steps are there in the construction of building and all the steps are linked with each other, this means that only after completion of one task the other task can be started. In this way all the task acts as a constraint to the next task. Other constraints like tolerances of construction, handling areas or storage availability and access to sites.

The future work research should focus on use of recycled materials in the construction materials. The materials that can be used are plastic which are not readily disposable, so they can be used as a substitution to finer aggregate in lesser proportions like 15%, 10%, 25% and 20%. Using plastic in concrete of non- structured due to its properties like high workability and in this way contributes towards reduction of environmental wastes (Bahnan, 2021). Greenhouse practices should be adapted. Environmental risks of construction can be minimized by the following uses. However, there are various large and small scale strategies in order to minimize the impacts of the environment. Creating an environmental strategy can reduce the environmental impact.

  • Energy efficiency of the tools to be used are increased: The changes in the climate lead to focus on the energy efficiency. Innovations in the efficiency of the tools to be used means this will allow using of tools that will require lower energy. The energy use of machinery and the individual tools at the site of construction in order to identify the areas of problem.
  • Sustainable materials to be used: The use of sustainable materials not only reduces the overall cost of construction wastes without reducing the strength of the concrete materials. Recycled materials, this materials are generally used like metal and wood. Cement to be used is made from the plastic materials. “Green thermal insulation” in order to reduce the dependency on heating and air conditioning. Straw bales are generally used for replacing the plaster and alternatives of cement. A renewable lightweight alternative is bamboo to many of the products of wood.
  • Minimizing and waste disposal: The side effects of the environment in the construction is the production of wastes, with the demolition and construction wastes contributing towards landfill waste of 40%. Having a proper strategy for the management of wastes is an important way for reducing the environmental impacts of construction (Mukizaet al. 2019). This can be achieved through planning ahead of time and avoiding over ordering and ordering is done as per the requirement. Sustainable materials are purchased. A waste disposal service that is environmentally friendly is used generally.
  • Efficiency of vehicles: About 16 percent of the emission of greenhouse gasses are contributed by the transport sector. By employing the strategies of vehicle efficiency, the fuel usage and emission on the site of construction. However, this may include reduction in the haul distance, idle time of the vehicle is reduced considering the constraints of the truckload in order to save the ideal time. Wherever possible hybrid vehicles are used. Sources of green fuels or LPG is considered. Planning ahead of time in order to reduce the usage of unnecessary vehicles.
  • Reduction in consumption: In order to advance the recycling of the reinforcing bars, it is necessary that certain policies be introduced and planned. Reusing the structural section that requires regulations and design standards required to be established. The functioning market for reusing the sections needs to be developed.
  • Material selection: Tools of material selection like BEES that are required to be promoted by educating the designers. The material’s database in BEES that needs to be enlarged.
  • That focus on sustainability, thus increasing the energy and water efficiency, use of eco- friendly materials, reduction of emission of CO2 and other waste products (Zhang et al. 2019). Some technologies need to be developed that can fasten the testing of the materials which can further prevent the use of sub- quality materials in the construction process.
  • Greenhouse practices also involves using reused materials for the construction process. However, the use of slag of blast furnace will reduce the consumption of concrete. This in turn will contribute towards cost reduction. This will also solve the problem of waste disposal that is produced in large amount due to blast furnace slag. In this way it contributes towards reducing the environmental impact. This reduces the emission of CO2 which reduces the global warming conditions.


From the study it can be said that the construction materials contribute significantly to the generation of wastes, thus causing a major impact to the environment. About a million tons of wastes are generated by the construction industry which causes a huge amount of CO2 emission. CO2 is mainly produced due to cement and also due to manufacturing and transportation processes. The study focuses on the impacts of the construction materials on the environment. The impacts that are caused to the environment are global warming, pollution and increased waste production. That further causes difficulty in the waste disposal process.

In order to eliminate a problem from its root it is important to know the root cause of its occurrence. The construction waste is generated due to the use of extravagant resources. However, the reduction of waste generated can be improved from the initial stages only with the use of proper design and lacking proper procedures that can mitigate such problems. The process of manufacturing and transportation also generated wastes. However, these issues can be resolved with the use of a waste management plan. The materials used in construction that ultimately turned into waste needs to be re-used, recycled and reduced. The “Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP)” is used for strengthening the structure and increasing its durability.

This can be improved with the introduction of technologies that can fasten the testing of construction materials which will further eliminate the use of sub- quality construction materials. Use of plastic material in the materials of construction further eliminates waste disposal problems. Proper design is required so that waste generation can be reduced by preventing extravagant use of materials. This can be done by using the latest technology of BIM which estimates the approximate quantity of materials that is required at every stage. Hence eliminates overusing of materials. Various tests are performed in the materials of construction in order to reduce the adverse effect of using of sub quality construction material. This tests will involve compression strength of brick, hardness test. The compressive strength determines the amount of compressive load that the material can bear. The test of determining the moisture content of the bricks is essential. For the selection of materials tools like BEES are generally used. Planning is done in advance to reduce the excessive use of materials. Lean building approaches are generally adopted to ensure proper building design that give emphasis in reduction of efforts and time.

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