As sustainability is becoming a fundamental requirement for all industrial activities, upcoming environmental research efforts should be intended to efficiently reduce the use of raw materials and carbon footprint. Moreover, the concrete industry itself concerns by this challenge due to its excessive natural resources and energy consumption. This paper presents an overview of the research activities currently ongoing at the Sustainable Centre for Construction Materials and Technologies (NUMATS) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) demonstrating the feasibility of using alternative aggregates for the production of “Sustainable Concrete Construction” in the Amazon Region. Particularly, this work reports the physical and mechanical properties of concrete mixtures characterized by significant replacement rates (50- 100% in volume) of ordinary aggregates by alternative ones. In order to promote sustainable solutions for concrete mixtures produced in the Amazon region, two possible solutions are considered herein: the use of local products (e.g. aggregates derived from Amazon rivers) and the development of integrated processes aimed at rationalize the use of recycled aggregates coming from Construction Demolition Waste (CDW). This study analyses the properties of the alternative aggregates and investigates how they influence the concrete performance in fresh and hardened states. The results demonstrate that sustainable concrete mixtures, attending workability requirements, strength performance and durability capacity, can be designed with partial or total replacement of ordinary by alternative aggregates.
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