World-first fully recycled concrete building

A large housing unit complex under construction just outside Paris will be the world’s first building made of completely recycled concrete.

And Concrete Institute member Holcim is at the forefront of this 220-unit building project known as the Recygénie. The global company has developed the concrete made with recycled construction and demolition waste, recycled wastewater and rainwater.

That means all components – cement, aggregates and water – are all from recycled sources. The Holcim Innovation Centre developed this world-first recycled concrete specifically for this project using its ECOCycle proprietary circular technology platform.

Holcim global head of R&D, Edelio Bermejo, said, “We need to shift gears: from a linear take-make-waste economy to a circular one, to improve living standards for all, while staying within our planet’s limits”.

The Recygénie project (pictured) builds on another world-first for Holcim in 2022: 100% recycled clinker, which was used to produce fully recycled cement in the custom concrete for this project. It saved approximately 3000 tons of natural resources that would have been quarried and overall, the Recygénie concrete saved more than 6000 tons of natural resources.

As France’s building standards limit the use of recycled materials in new constructions, Holcim engaged a special monitoring program with the country’s national R&D organisation CSTB to develop the building with this first-of-its-kind concrete.

Architect: A26 BLM
Engineer: Ingea
General contractor: Legendre
Owner/developer: Seqens

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.