AbstractThe ongoing Syrian civil war began in 2011 and has left more than 130,000 buildings destroyed, 70% of which are RC buildings. When the war is over, it is estimated that the millions of displaced refugees will return within 8 years, thus requiring a rapid urban redevelopment of the country. This study examined the feasibility of reusing concrete from destroyed buildings as recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), and will assist in developing much-needed recommendations for the sustainable redevelopment of Syria’s infrastructure. Although the concept of RCA is not specifically novel, the properties of RCA generated from different sources must be assessed thoroughly to confirm its reuse potential. Never has demolished concrete been so widely available as it is now in parts of Syria, rendering the potential impact of this work enormous. In this study, simple and established methods were implemented to collect and test materials, to simulate more closely real-life scenarios of when the country’s reconstruction is to start. The chemical and physical properties of the aggregate were measured, followed by the determination of fresh and hardened properties of the concrete produced using a mixture of RCA and natural aggregates. For the first time, this study provides evidence that RCA from the rubble of war-destroyed Syrian buildings can be immediately valorized as a sustainable alternative to natural coarse aggregates in concrete; up to 50% replacement can be achieved without significantly affecting the performance of the new concrete.

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