Urban housing models are now more of a destiny than a trend for the average person in the most populated parts of Asia, China and India. In the developing world, people increasingly flock to high-density living areas as they have easier access to commerce, healthcare and other amenities. The building materials industry’s infrastructure in Asia for trade and manufacturing has only reached a reasonable application of green building materials model within the past decade or so. The shift in lifestyle and housing infrastructure has led to concerns over energy, and carbon footprint. Researchers are concerned that the concrete, cement, etc, used in the making of modern high density living apartments is to blame for a large part of the pollution produced by these regions.
Almost a quarter of India’s CO2 emissions come from residential and commercial real estate construction. Increased growth in China and India, two industry giants, contribute greatly to the global carbon footprint. In India, 20% of water and 30% of natural materials are used in the construction and building materials industries.
Mr. Jack Yuan from the Institute of Technical Information for the Building Materials Industry in Beijing says that contamination and erosion of earth and air caused by dust and asbestos are hazardous byproducts of construction activities. The team at ITIBMI, operating under the China Building Materials Academy, researches sustainable and progressively green infrastructure, while keeping in mind the cost and benefits of efficiency. “Nowadays the economic benefits can be seen through water and energy efficiency, with most green technologies focusing on the conservation of water, power and natural materials. ”
Yuan goes on to site specific technologies on the market, focusing on city specific construction. “ Pre-cast, reinforced hollow concrete blocks/ paneling made from fly ash, or Glass fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) walling, are a few examples of modern housing construction technologies. Efficiency in time, energy, cost and supplies will continue to propel the industry through innovation. “
Construction companies are increasingly embracing technologies consisting of fly ash and gypsum. These bi-products can be locally sourced and inexpensive because transportation costs are low. Coal fired power stations and factories are selling them at a low cost to keep up with landfilling and other environmental regulations, making exporting/importing of fly ash another viable options for companies without local sources.
Issues arise logistically when construction and building material manufacturers are far from these resources or do not have the infrastructure in place to get the product from power station to manufacturing facility. As the world transitions to green energy, including solar and wind technologies, some countries have been forced to import bulk ash from producing countries. To read more about this logistical issues and trends, please be sure to read our upcoming newsletter, due out at the end of 2017. To be put on our newsletter mailing list, please click the link on the main page.