A world first: CO₂-reduced concrete

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Leading the way: Rieder as the first manufacturer of low-carbon facades.

We have identified the levers where we can intervene in order to produce and operate CO2-neutrally by 2025. Now we are implementing our plan, evaluating the results and developing them further,” says Wolfgang Rieder, summarising the timetable of his company’s expedition towards climate neutrality. Innovation through new material combinations, digitalization, the radical reduction of waste and the extension of the useful life of products and buildings are the driving forces in our transition to become a climate-positive company in eight years. Simply put, this means offsetting more CO2 than we emit.

“The life cycle of buildings must increase”. This, according to Wolfgang Rieder, is a key factor for a more ecological construction industry that is economical at the same time. This can be achieved not only by converting and revitalizing existing buildings, but also through more durable building materials. The model for this is the opus caementicium, the cast masonry used by the Romans. The Romans added pozzolana as a binder, which gave the material a durability that exceeds that of modern concrete, as is illustrated by the Pantheon in Rome built at the beginning of the 2nd century. The cement used in the Rieder facade panels is thus gradually being replaced by pozzolana; this material require lower temperatures for production and therefore emits less carbon dioxide. Inspired by ancestral knowledge and driven by the will to minimise the company’s ecological footprint and offer products that help bring about a climate reversal, Rieder developed a world first.

The company created a cement-reduced concrete matrix, which eventually will become cement-free. In a first step, 50 percent of cement was substituted, thus saving 30 percent in CO2 emissions. This makes the family-owned company the first facade manufacturer to produce CO2-reduced glassfibre reinforced concrete. The products concrete skin, öko skin and formparts are soon available with the cement-reduced matrix 3.0 in selected colors.

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