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Green parking space for Changi aircraft

24 June 2013

Aircraft parking space at Changi Airport is undergoing “green” replacement

A parking stand being paved with the recycled concrete
Photo: Changi Airport Group

Aircraft parking space at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and cargo area is undergoing repaving after more than 30 years of use. Engineers at NUS are helping the “green” replacement of the 31 spaces or stands – measuring 80 m by 80 m – with recycled concrete mix as good as new material.

The team has already developed a 20 per cent recycled concrete mix to repave eight stands in phase one. With Changi Airport Group’s support, the researchers proceeded to improve the mixture using 40 per cent recycled coarse aggregates, a first in Singapore. For comparison, the usual Singapore and international standards is limited to 20 per cent recycled coarse aggregates.

Research consultants for the project are Professor Fwa Tien Fang and Professor Tan Kiang Hwee, both from the NUS Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Prof Fwa, who is also Director of the Centre for Transportation Research, noted that the good quality of the original concrete allows the high degree of recycling. The main challenge stemmed from concrete mix design, an area the NUS team managed to address.

As long as the process of reclaiming the old concrete is controlled and not affected by pollutants, quality is not an issue, Prof Fwa said. Furthermore, to ensure the strength and durability of the new material to cater to the heavy traffic, stringent tests are conducted, he emphasised.

“The concept and technique can be applied to any other projects.  The key is the availability of good-quality recycled coarse aggregates,” added Prof Tan.

Mr Teoh Eng San, Assistant Vice-President of Changi Airport Group’s engineering and development, said that besides minimising precious land for waste disposal, reprocessing the concrete contributes towards environmental sustainability. The cost of applying the recycled materials for paving is almost similar to that with fresh concrete, and the Group will look into using it for new construction projects.

The four-phased project is targeted for completion in 2019. Currently in phase two, 10 stands are being repaved using the concrete with 40 per cent recycled coarse aggregates.