IN THE TRANSITION from fossile fuels to renewable ones, it is, to put it mildly, contradictory that humanity continues to use cement. Cement foundations for houses are almost standard in Sweden today, yet cement is a very energy-intensive product to produce, the cement slab as a house foundation is a fatally failed construction that is neither easy to demolish nor to rebuild. What to do when you want to put new pipes in the plate? It turns out to tear up floors and tiles and mill new grooves and cast in new pipes… Roads and bridges are built of cement. The new route of the E4 past Uppsala is a cement slab. Now it turned out that it did not last for 40 years as it was said and was also a very noisy coating. It only lasted almost 10 years, and now you have had to pave it with asphalt anyway…
What then is cement? It is a natural product, say the proponents of these uses, and undeniably it is an easy-to-use and for some purpose superior product in construction contexts. But environmentally, you should keep in mind that cement is a lime product and lime, it is something that comes from fossil coral reefs. In Sweden, it is mostly Gotland that is known for its lime resources. Gotland was once in ancient times a large coral reef in a larger sea. When we think of coral reefs in today's world, it is probably atolls in the Indonesian ocean that we will first think of. They are endangered ecosystems that are increasingly affected by human pollution and the exploitation of the planet's resources. In the Nordic countries, there are no coral reefs and thus no regrowth of lime resources. Lime, as well as rock oil, natural gas and other fossil products, are declining dramatically due to the fact that too many people are overexploiting the earth's resources together.
Cement which, in addition to being a fossil and dying resource, is very energy-intensive in its production. cement is thus not a sustainable product and its use should be limited to those purposes where it is difficult to replace. cement tiles as house foundations should be banned, they are bad and unsustainable constructions that are easy to replace with solid creeping foundations that are really just air and which are also good storage spaces, which create good ventilation for the house floor from the outside, and where it is very easy to expand , repair and renovate. There is simply no need to build cement house foundations. cement is used for stairs, corridors are laid of cement tiles etc. Roads of cement have proven to be bad and bridges of cement can be replaced by iron bridges. In most cases, there is a good replacement for cement. If you are now going to use cement, you can mix it with other products that you make in light cement where it is clay balls that act as a filling mass and also make the cement lighter. The proportion of sand and gravel can be increased in many constructions.
It is high time to consider why we are building at all. Construction is a threat to sustainable development because all human structures take up land that should have been used for biological fuel production, cultivation of food and more. And not least, buildings take up land that would otherwise be a coal mine. With each building, the area of biodiversity that is the cornerstone of the earth's ecosystems also decreases. Construction must be reduced and a national construction halt is largely a must to turn the development towards a sustainable one. The number of homes must be reduced, the number of buildings and roads must be reduced. Of the resources available in these demolition projects, much can be recycled and reused for the renovation of the buildings we need.
Cement is a fossil product. cement should be classified as an unsustainable product as there is no regrowth of lime. It is not just crude oil that has reached its peak. We have reached a global "Peak Everything" in the 21st century. cement requires drains manufacturing energy. Cement production is said to account for as much as 25% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions! Limestone quarries are often located in areas with high natural values, as they do on North Gotland. cement is often easy to replace with other renewable products. It's time to phase out cement as well.