Environmental and economic life cycle assessment of recycled aggregates concrete in the United Arab Emirates

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the potential environmental and economic impact of replacing natural aggregates (NA) with recycled aggregates (RA) in the production of different sustainable concrete mixes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A life cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out according to the methodology proposed by the international standards of the series ISO 14040. The performance of concrete mixes having a similar design compressive strength was evaluated. Results showed that the inclusion of steel fibers (SF) led to an increase in the global warming potential (GWP), whereas mixes with cement replacement by fly ash, slag, or microsilica recorded a reduction in GWP. Furthermore, SF‐reinforced mixes created with 100% RA were at least three times more expensive than the NA‐based control mix, while the cost of those with cement replacement by min-eral additives was generally similar to that of the control. Material transportation was found to be a main contributor to the environmental and economic impacts, only second to cement, and its con-tribution increased with longer distances and steel fiber incorporation and decreased with RA re-placement. To integrate these individual measures and select optimum mixes for various applica-tions, multifunctional performance indices were developed. Research findings highlight the possi-bility to fully replace NA with RA (100%) while maintaining the performance and improving the economic and environmental impacts of concrete produced in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10348
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Economic impact
  • Environmental impact
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Multifunctional performance indices
  • Recycled aggregate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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