Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 1447-1454
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1327
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
The European Commission (EC) estimates that current construction activity represents for about half of the whole materials that we extract and the energy we use and about one third of the water we consume. In addition, this activity generates itself around a third of all waste produced. So that, the development policies prioritize to the protection of the atmosphere and the natural environment in order to ensure the future sustainability of the environment in which we subsisting. This fact supposes that the guidelines for managing the construction sector clearly aim to enhance all procedures to achieve a suitable management of available resources. Thereby special priority is considered for recycle and reuse of the construction and demolition waste for reducing the demand of natural resources and energy. In addition, the EC considers that concrete has a strong interest to be a perfectly recycled material in construction or demolition.

In this line, the Agronomy and Forestry Engineers develop their professional activity looking for the optimization of available resources for getting the maximum development of the environment, according to the implicit sustainability criterions to ensure its use. Thus, in the Agricultural & Forest Engineering School (ETSIAM) of Albacete – University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) -, the teaching programmes of all subjects are coordinated to include environmental protection criterions and trends for guaranteeing the sustainable development. Thereby, the subjects on structural design and infrastructure development, which represent an important study load in the curriculum, also incorporate these criterions. These subjects included the knowledge of the structural behaviour of concrete, since the graduates will be able to work as designer engineers, project management engineers or quality control technicians. So the construction activity is considered an important job opportunity in the recent years.

Therefore, a complementary technical seminar is offered by the ETSIAM with the aim of incorporating the sustainability criteria to the conventional study programme. The main topic is focused on the quality control and strength properties determination of the structural concrete, but the objective is to introduce basic knowledge on Recycled Concrete, (an ECOEFFICIENT material), as a perfectly viable alternative to conventional concrete behaviour. Thus, the teaching program begins showing the main quality requirements for conventional concrete in the structural Spanish Code (EHE-08) to the students. Lessons have been designed in an eminently practical mode and in consequence, the recycled concrete items are experimented in parallel with the equivalent conventional concrete one. As a result of this comparison, students can perceive by themselves the specific characteristics in the concrete derived from this recycled material and indirectly they are being familiarized with this material as a possible alternative to consider in the future development of their professional activity. Furthermore, the high potential of the recycling concrete is analysed and compared with the conventional concrete behaviour, and the students can verify how this material has no problem for reaching the mechanical and quality requirements demanded by the structural code for the conventional concretes.