We start from the ground up.
There’s no getting around the fact that aggregates are literally the “foundation” of our economy and society. We need aggregates – like sand, gravel, and rock – to meet our basic needs for home and office buildings, bridges, roads and highways, institutions, public transit ways, services, consumer goods and environmental protection.
If you’re building, you’re building on aggregates. And that’s what has allowed us to build Canada right: knowing that aggregates are included in virtually every form of construction, we’ve seized the opportunity to include recycled aggregates wherever we can. As buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures are demolished every year, hundreds of thousands of tons of debris is generated. Lafarge Canada’s aggregate team has closed the resource loop by seizing this debris, processing it, and reusing it in our Aggneo and recycled asphalt paving projects.
Are you sure we can do this?
The purpose of aggregate is to increase the volume of a concrete mix while ensuring minimum air is trapped within the structures. The material that makes up the aggregate is of different shapes and sizes, allowing them to fit snugly with one another. In concrete, virgin aggregate (e.g. sand, gravel, crushed stone, and lightweight aggregate) occupies approximately 60 to 75 per cent of the volume. This aggregate needs to be clean, and free of absorbed chemicals or coatings of clay or other fine materials that could cause concrete deterioration. Aggregate properties such as gradation, maximum size, unit weight, particle shape, surface texture, and moisture content (MC) significantly impact workability and pumpability of plastic concrete, as well as its durability, strength, thermal properties, and density once hardened.
But: virgin aggregates have to be mined from surface deposits of sand and gravel or by blasting and crushing rock in quarries. As urban areas expand, it is more difficult to obtain permits for new pits and quarries, requiring aggregate to be transported from increasing distances. All of those translate to environmental disruption via quarrying and dynamiting, GHG emissions from transportation impacts, and cost disruptions to clients based on availability.
And that’s where we come in.
Recycled concrete aggregate is a viable choice for various applications and offers numerous environmental and efficiency benefits. As with any material, the maximum benefit is obtained only when it is used for the right applications. The Lafarge Canada team has an unparalleled quality control system that ensures every performative aspect of the recycled content is met.
We can’t take chances. So instead, we take the time and effort to test every load of recycled material, qualify it, and process it.
This is how Canada builds right.
Recycled aggregate is a readily available, flexible, and sustainable product that has a proven track record as a high-performance material for sub-base and other road construction projects. Up to a certain replacement level, it is also a viable substitute for virgin aggregate in concrete for an increasing number of applications.