Friday, 25 May 2012

Recycling concrete

RMan and I have a problem.  Our current home is 210 mtrs2.  Our little farmhouse  is currently only 48mtrs2.


Even with de-cluttering, squashing the boxes and the balance of the furniture into 48mtrs2 is going to be tight.  So, once we get the finance from our (town) house sale we need to build our garage as quickly as possible. Continuing with the locally produced clay bricks is my only option for the balance of the farmhouse, but we have found a solution for the garage which will enable us to build a secure and waterproof storage area quickly.


We found a company in Cape Town who have partnered with a demolition company to re-use the concrete from demolished buildings in the process of making their concrete blocks.
Recycled concrete blocks
As a result, their concrete blocks contain 70% recycled content.  In fact, the company goes through 70 000 tons of recycled aggregate a year.  I like that :)


As far as the transport from Cape Town is concerned, during our trips to the farm RMan and I have noticed that a lot of trucks are travelling to, or from, Cape Town, empty.  We have managed to find a trucking company which has a one way empty trip, and they are prepared to take the bricks to the farm, so that reduces the transport footprint.
Strong - if not stronger than normal concrete blocks :)
Using these blocks, even with the foundations which still have to be dug, and the foundation walls which still have to be built, and even allowing for the foundations and floor slab to dry out, should result in our having an enclosed garage in 6 weeks.  I can live with (all the piled up boxes and furniture in the house) that!


So, we're off to the farm later today to provide access to the property for the digger loader - so that we can get the foundations dug... 


...and, apparently there is a surprise waiting for me on the farm.  I wonder what it is?  See you next week :) 

16 comments:

  1. Wow, you're moving right along with things. I'm so glad to see there are options using recycled materials. And don't worry about moving to a much smaller place---you won't even miss the stuff you get rid of, it's easier to maintain, and certainly has a "cozier" feel to it. The only down side? If you ever do have a fight with the "other half", it's hard to find a place to sulk in-LOL!
    Have a great weekend, Dani!
    :)

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  2. Sue - I'm so chuffed to find these recycled concrete blocks - makes it easier on the conscience and quicker to build our temporary storage space / garage. Yeah - sulking space will be limited LOL Ah, well, guess I'll have over 2Ha to lose myself in if, and when, the situation arises... Nothing like a good walk with the MP3 player in the ears - sorts out moods quickly ;)

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  3. Brilliant Dani!! I particularly love the transport negotiation. Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone thought like this.

    And enjoy the surprise!

    Sandy

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  4. I also love the transport idea! We travel to and from Hluhluwe (northern KZN) quite often as my in-laws live there, and far too often we see empty trucks doing long distances. It seems such a waste. If only more people thought like this.

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  5. What a fantastic way to repurpose concrete! Just think of all the wasted building materials that end up in our landfills that could be recycled back into other projects...should be mandatory that all such materials be recycled in my opinion, but unfortunately that is not the case, leastwise in this country. I love that you are using products from this company.

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  6. We spent 3 years in a caravan while we owner built our house - amazing what you can do without. Love the earth friendly choices.

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  7. Hi, I have arrived from the prairies of the US via a friend in SA, to see what you are up to. We run a small sustainable farm out in the un-beating heart of industrial horticulture, like you we reuse just about everything and work very hard to keep our impact low. I am especially impressed with you finding an empty truck to bring your blocks out. I would say that is the very very best you can do! Good morning from the Farmy! celi

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  8. Thank you all for your comments. Forgive me, I'm going to do a communal reply, as on the farm our connection is not brilliant:

    Sandy - Thank you. Yeah, I'm also chuffed :)

    Crystal - Keep you eye open, and take down the names of the transport company. A quick phone call will tell you if you are going to get lucky :)

    Mr H - I'll reply to your e-mail when we're back in town :) Thanks - was getting worried about you both... I agree, recycling should be mandatory!

    GG - Yeah - I know ALL about caravans LOL Just a bit small as a permanent home LOL

    Cehi - Welcome - thanks for the visit and for taking the tie to comment :) I look forward to investigating your blog next week.

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  9. Very interesting. I have never seen a recycled cement block. What a great idea.

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    1. Jane - Thanks - yeah, I reckon they are for the purpose of our garage :)

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  10. Jane beat me to it, a recycled cement block? How cool is that!!! I need to see if someone in the US does this.

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    1. 1st Man - There MUST be someone manufacturing these in the US - you are, after all, a First World country :)

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  11. I have never heard of recycled block what a great idea to repurpose them! I wish there where one near where I live! :)
    Kim

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    1. Kim - Welcome - thanks for taking the time to comment. As I said to 1st Man - I'm sure there must be a manufacturer in the US...? :) Yeah, any concrete which can be saved from landfill and recycled has got to be good!

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  12. I need around 300 of these for my garden beds! Gonna do some research to see if any are made in my region.

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    1. DFW - I hope you can find them. If you do, won't you please post a link so that others have a "shortcut: ;)

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