Lightweight aggregates play an important role in the sustainable development of society, today and into the future. Providing a valuable resource in the sustainable construction of concrete structures enables new practices and insights that can extend the life expectancy and performance of pavements, buildings and bridges. The use of this material additionally enables the increased hydration of cement, improves the energy performance of structures, reduces the total cost of ownerships of structures built with concrete utilising this resource as well as reduces the environmental impacts traditionally associated with construction and the transportation of construction materials.
The use of lightweight aggregates like natural Zeolites, furthermore, has become firmly established as an essential component in green roofs and rooftop gardens. Weighing approximately half the weight of traditional planting material, the medium provides an effective resource in development and implementation of green roofs in numerous building developments. Whether the development is a residential community, office structure, recreational facility, apartment building, airport or shopping centre, green roofs are becoming popular additions to construction process. Not only do they provide an attractive area for building occupants to utilise, developers and construction companies are recognising their value-added proposition, while contributing to the long term efficiency of the structure through the reduction of costs associated with air conditioning.
The use of advanced materials in the green roof environments is the difference between a successful propagation of plant life as well as stability in the structure. Lightweight aggregates assists in the management of the runoff of storm water, improving the water quality of that runoff assists in the management of urban and building heat which contributes to increased conservation in energy use. Furthermore, due to the reduced weight of this resource, the green roofs developed with such materials reduce the dead load and structural load that is placed on the structure. Providing a green space for residents or users of the building, especially in urban environments, have positive health benefits for its users and a competitive advantage for developers who implement them into their projects.
When developing green roof areas, the incorporation of lightweight aggregates such as natural Zeolites ensures that the planting medium has permanent internal aeration, even after years of use and consolidation. Furthermore, using a resource like Zeolite ensures the plants have stable root support, that promotes not only drainage but also moisture and nutrient retention essential for plant growth and will not degrade or shrink over years of use and enjoyment. Due to the complex nature of green roof construction, it is essential to have the best inputs to ensure its long term viability and success; this is exactly what lightweight aggregates produce.