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TCA Announces Top 10 List for Most Recycled Concrete Content

By: Kimberly Kayler, Constructive Communication, Inc.

TCA is inviting project submissions to be considered for a new Top 10 list highlighting the “Most Recycled Concrete Content” on a project.

The list, which already has one entry, was initiated in response to the market’s interest in sustainable solutions. “The use of Tilt-Up concrete goes a long way in achieving sustainability, thanks in large part to its durability,” said Jim Baty, TCA’s Technical Director. “Structures built with concrete tend to last two to three times longer than buildings constructed with other common building materials. In addition, the same qualities that make concrete a viable green material, such as thermal mass and reflectivity, also help make concrete structures sustainable by providing constant energy efficiency throughout the building’s life cycle. Also, recycled aggregates and supplementary cementitious materials are of great interest in the market now, and we see them being used in increasing quantities.”

According to Baty, buildings seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification can benefit greatly from the material and resources opportunities afforded by Tilt-Up construction, particularly when it’s used in conjunction with recycled-content concrete. Materials such as reinforcing steel bars and concrete mixtures containing fly ash, ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBF) or possibly silica fume, aid in certification, as does the use of materials that are produced within a 500-mile radius from the building.

Such was the case for the Enterprise Park project, which currently tops the list as the greatest use of recycled aggregates for a Tilt-Up structure, with 2,305 tons of recycled content used in the wall and foundation ready mixes. The 441,000-square- foot office-park project is part of the redevelopment of Denver’s former Stapleton International Airport, and the recycled aggregates used were drawn from 6.5 million tons of material that once comprised the airport’s runways. Not only did the proximity of the recycled material give the project an extra environmental boost toward LEED certification, but it also helped keep costs low. In addition, the use of recycled material allowed the concrete admixtures to be tailored to the needs of each part of the project.

“Using recycled aggregates gives ready-mix suppliers greater flexibility in customizing mix designs that fulfill the needs of the project,” says Jay Hock, vice president of sales and marketing for ReCrete Materials, Inc., which mixed the concrete for the project. “Depending upon the recycled aggregate, you may be able to reduce your cement content and/or change the ratio of cement to fly-ash or slag.” The foundation mix for the Enterprise Park project incorporated 620 tons of recycled aggregate and 115 tons of fly-ash, while the Tilt-Up walls featured 1,570 tons of recycled aggregate.

“We noticed little, if any, difference in the recycled material, including the ability to pump and finish,” said Marty Christensen of CAL Construction Company, the Tilt-Up and foundation subcontractor on the project and a longtime TCA member. “In fact, strengths have actually come out higher. I would not hesitate to use recycled materials again if they were available.”

This project marked CAL Construction’s first experience using a recycled-content mix, and Christensen credits ReCrete, which specializes in creating recycled-concrete ready mixes, with helping the project run smoothly. “Some traits of the concrete were different due to different aggregates, cement and admixtures, so it was a real asset to have a supplier with experience and a knowledge of mix designs that consist of recycled aggregates.”

The completed Stapleton Enterprise Park will house three industrial-office buildings with office, showroom, research, assembly and warehouse space, featuring 10-foot-tall glass windows and a host of energy-efficient features. The office park is conveniently located with access to the city’s major transportation sites and corridors, including Interstates 70 and 25, and the Denver International Airport. According to David Johnson of The Etkin Johnson Group, the real estate developer for the project, “Stapleton Enterprise Park will meet the city’s growing demand for Class A warehouse/distribution and industrial flex space, while also providing businesses with a highly desirable address.”

Those interested in their project being considered for the TCA’s Top 10 list highlighting the “Most Recycled Concrete Content” on a project should contact Baty at or call the Association at 319-895-6911.

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.