The contribution of building materials’ production to environmental impacts becomes significant in the new energy efficient buildings that are currently built. Among those materials, cement represents a major part of the embodied carbon footprint of buildings. Development of alternatives to traditional Portland cement have emerged over the last decades; however, their environmental assessment over their life cycle have resulted in conflicting results, which give a confusing picture of the strategic path to be followed. This paper focuses on the alkali-activated cement and concrete and points out the variability linked with the choice of energy source for the production of the activators and precursors. A review of existing studies is then performed in order to highlight the main benefits of these alternative cements in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, the results presented here highlight further research trends for new cements and concrete.
Habert, G., & Ouellet-Plamondon, C. (2016). Recent update on the environmental impact of geopolymers. RILEM Technical Letters, 1, 17. https://doi.org/10.21809/rilemtechlett.2016.6