Holcim and Seqens to build first fully recycled concrete building

Cement manufacturer Holcim France and French social housing provider Seqens have teamed up to construct the first fully recycled concrete building in the world.

Holcim’s Innovation Center developed a groundbreaking concrete in which all components (cement, aggregates and water) are made of recycled materials.

Located in Gennevilliers outside Paris, the Recygénie building will be a 220-unit housing complex, including 70 social housing units,

Construction is currently underway, with completion expected in Q4 2024.

The aim is to reduce the artificialisation of land and ultimately reduce CO2 emissions from construction.

Edelio Bermejo, head of global R&D, said: ‘We need to shift gears: from a linear “take-make-waste” economy to a circular one, to improve living standards for all, while staying within our planet’s limits. The development of the world’s first fully recycled concrete in this social housing project marks a major milestone for us, as we want to make circular construction accessible to all, as the norm and not the exception. I am proud to put this innovation to work in the Recygénie project, making sustainable housing accessible to all.’

Stéphane Dauphin, managing director Seqens, added: ‘The partnership with Holcim, which results in an untested green technology, is an important step for Seqens. It is the result of unprecedented teamwork. Participating in the construction of a residence made of 100% recycled concrete is in line with our CSR approach and our proactive policy on re-use.’

The Recygénie project builds on the world’s first 100% recycled clinker produced by Holcim in June 2022.

This clinker was used to produce a fully recycled cement for use in the Recygénie concrete, saving approximately 3,000 tons of natural resources that would have been extracted from quarries.

The concrete is made exclusively with recycled aggregates from construction and demolition waste (CDW), recycled wastewater and rainwater, saving more than 6,000 tons of natural resources.

Initially, Holcim will replicate the development of fully recycled concrete across its European markets, adapting the solution to local building norms and material availability.

Holcim launched the world’s first cement with 20% recycled CDW inside in Switzerland and is working to scale this solution up across Europe, to build new from the old.

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