It catches pollution with an ancient formula

Many solutions for a better future come from our ancestors. In fact, ancient civilizations achieved some knowledge that remains surprising today. For example, Roman concrete is known to have great resistance and durability, making it stronger than today’s concrete. Buildings like the Colosseum in Rome or the Roman Theater in Mérida, Spain, are two thousand years old and still stand to prove their characteristics. A material that remains a reference for contemporary construction.

The discovery of archaeology at Dadiyuan, China in the 1970s showed that the initial lightweight version of concrete was much older. At this archaeological site, a team of researchers used the latest techniques, such as carbon-14 dating, X-ray diffraction or scanning electron microscopy (SEM), to conclude that The remains of these houses are more than 5,000 years old.

The composition of this primitive concrete, which is considered the oldest in the world, was also revealed. It is a mixture of calcined ginger nut aggregate, red clay, and concurrency, a type of limestone. Dicalcium silicate (C2S) found in soil is one of the main components of modern cement. Based on what was found at Dadiwan, engineers from Kajima Corporation, one of the most important companies in the construction sector in Japan, proposed development using existing technologies and components. Concrete with a useful life of up to 10,000 years.

One of the concrete walls in the Block Wall House

One of the concrete walls in the Block Wall House

Nendo/Takumi Ota


The research, which involved other public institutions and private companies in addition to Kajima, coincided with the first attempts to produce carbon-negative building materials. The end result of the entire process is CO2-SWECOM, A new type of concrete just built by Japanese design and architecture studio Nendo One of the world’s first carbon negative homes.

Concrete that captures carbon dioxide

The idea of ​​looking for new mixtures that turn concrete into a sustainable material has been around for a long time. the second The most consumed substance on the planet after water It is directly responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gases, and companies such as Bartana or Carpi Crete have already proven that it is possible to manufacture concrete blocks capable of capturing carbon dioxide with waste generated by other industries to provide a more resistant product, and, above all, A friend of the environment.

(New concrete blocks that change construction: more resistant, without cement and trapping pollution)

In the case of CO2-SUICOM, which is an English abbreviation for “Use of Carbon Dioxide Storage for Infrastructure Using Concrete Materials” and is very similar to the Japanese word suikomuwhich means “absorb”, similar but has its own composition. In this case add Additive in powder form based on dicalcium silicate They call it γ-C2S, while half the cement is replaced with industrial by-products, such as coal ash or blast furnace slag.

This result, instead of reacting with water, reacts with carbon dioxide in the air to harden. After mixing, Kajima technicians suggest it The material is located in places containing high levels of carbon dioxideFrom roads to thermal power plants, the blocks trap the gas inside them and solidify.

CO2-SUICOM concrete parts

CO2-SUICOM concrete parts

Kajima Building


After subjecting it to all kinds of laboratory tests, the CO2-SUICOM has proven its extraordinary capabilities. Compared to the 288 kg per cubic meter of emissions generated by the standard concrete manufacturing process, this revolutionary material reduces them by up to 197 kg/m3, thanks to industrial by-products used instead of cement. But the best thing is its unique properties thanks to the additive, which allows it to capture about 109 kg/m3, so Total emissions are -18 kg/m3.

Its first use in construction, in this case as casting molds, was to manufacture molds on site Bridge pillars for a section of Hanshin Expressway (In Osaka Prefecture, near the city of Fukushima). In addition to a 100% reduction in CO2 that regular concrete would have emitted during its production, the end result was -59 kg of CO2 per cubic meter.

Block Wall House

With lessons learned in the field of infrastructure, The first residential application for CO2-SUICOM was just one week ago. Its director is architect Aoki Sato, of Studio Nendo, who designed Block Wall House as a private residence in Karuizawa, a rural area about a 3-hour drive from Tokyo.

Being located next to a highway, Sato was looking for “an innovative solution to protect privacy from traffic and pedestrians, while enjoying the natural environment,” according to its website. That’s why he decided to install Many concrete walls serve as filtration screens.

Block Wall House, the first house built with carbon negative concrete

These blocks, over 2,000 in number, are manufactured with CO2-SUICOM, and They are staggered in parallel rows forming a total of five walls 3 meters high. The layout of the house is governed by these external areas, with living space designed to “fill the gaps” between the walls.

The strange thing is how the architects calibrated the angle of each block to adapt it to and with each room Ensure privacy in rooms such as the bedroom or bathroom. Arranged in a stepped pattern, these unique bricks are also there to provide a spacious ambiance in both the living room and dining room. The result represents a decisive step towards decarbonizing the construction sector.

(tags for translation)materials

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