Supplementary cementitious materials and their impact on sustainable construction

Agnieszka J. Klemm, Rohollah Rostami, Stewart MacLennan, Fernando Almeida

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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As the construction sector is incessantly challenged by the growing societal demands for safer and cost-effective infrastructures, more and more environmentally-friendly products and processes have to be developed and adopted into industrial practice.
Although cementitious materials are one of the most commonly used construction materials worldwide, there are still some major concerns about their sustainability and durability. Firstly, the production of concrete is releasing large volumes of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, one of the Greenhouse Gases attributable to the climate change. Secondly, even though cementitious materials are very versatile and robust they may suffer from various deteriorative processes, leading to shortened service life, and in consequence, to intrusive/expensive costs for maintenance and repair.
To meet the expectations of consumers, demanding more durable, less labour and service intensive materials at a competitive price, numerous new composite materials and technologies have been developed over the last couple of decades including blended cements with Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM). This paper provides a brief overview of the current situation, underlines environmental impact of these new materials and processes, and suggest some solutions for the future of construction practice. It is argued that the role of further research is critical not only in development of sustainable concrete but also in contribution to the global sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrittle Matrix Composites 12 - Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Brittle Matrix Composites, BMC 2019
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9788365550217
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2019


  • sustainability of cementitious materials, supplementary cementitious materials, alkali activation, internal curing, copper slag, mining wastes


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