Concrete is becoming a more popular choice for civil engineers and road builders. Previously, asphalt was the favoured material for building roads but concrete has some unique qualities and benefits that make it a good choice. The three main benefits of using concrete to build roads and driveways are its strength, durability and sustainability.
Another major reason why concrete is becoming a popular road material is its cost-effectiveness over the long-term. Concrete roads will cost a similar price to tar roads, but they will need less maintenance and are less susceptible to potholes over a long period of time. Concrete is a good investment for roads, driveways and parking lots.
Benefits of concrete for roads and driveways
On average, a road will last between 20 and 25 years before it needs to be completely resurfaced. Roads often need major repairs within the first seven years of their life. Concrete, on the other hand, is a much stronger building material. Concrete roads can last up to 50 years before needing major repairs.
This is due to the strength of concrete. These roads often outlast their initial lifespan. Concrete is designed to last long and withstand lots of wear and tear. This is important for road that need to support heavy vehicles and the friction of rubber tyres.
This brings us to our next point; concrete is durable enough to withstand years of punishment from daily traffic. It is a highly durable material that does not crack or crumble under the weight of vehicles. Concrete can also withstand rain and hot weather, which means fewer potholes.
Concrete has the ability to spread the weight of traffic evenly, which minimises the pressure on the internal structures of the road. Normal roads cannot do this as easily, which is why they are less durable and more susceptible to cracks and potholes. This leads to earlier repair and maintenance needs for normal roads.
Concrete is highly sustainable and 100% recyclable. Old concrete structures can be broken down into rubble, which is then reused on new building sites. Concrete is the most widely-recycled construction material. It is also environmentally-friendly, for a number of reasons.
Concrete roads have a light grey colour which is highly reflective. Unlike black road surfaces, concrete roads reflect the sun’s radiation which helps to cool the surface temperature of the road. This is better for vehicle tyres and surrounding buildings – it helps to keep cities and towns cool. Concrete is also manufactured from recyclable natural materials, such as fly ash from coal-fired power stations.
Concrete is an affordable building material – that is why it is so popular. During its lifetime, a concrete road will cost the government and taxpayer less to maintain and use.
These reasons highlight why concrete is a better building material for roads and pavements. Concrete is relatively inexpensive, but it offers far more advantages over its lifetime. It is strong, durable, sustainable and affordable – ideal for any construction project, including roads.
LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.
LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.
At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.