Is it realistic to imagine a technology that is in line with holistic thinking whilst also providing humanity with an acceptable material standard of living? This book illustrates the role and potential of building materials in such a perspective. And, in the same context, to illuminate the following aspects:
• Work. The methods used to produce each building component. How production takes place and can take place.
• Raw materials. Occurrence of material resources, their nature, distribution and potential for recycling.
• Energy. The energy consumed when producing and transporting the materials, and their durability.
• Pollution. Pollution during production, use and demolition, the chemical footprint of each different material.
A primary goal of this book is to enable the various actors in the building industry to pose environmental requirements, and to do this with greater precision. In order to ensure an environmentally responsible building, it is important to obtain precise answers to questions such as 'Is the steel produced in a blast furnace or an electric arc furnace?'; 'Are pozzolanas used in the cement clinker?'; or 'What kind of adhesive is used in the hemp matting, and how much?'. It is also hoped that the book will contribute towards reducing misleading advertising information. Green products are now much in demand, and many producers are claiming to fit this mould without apparent justification.
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