Date: October 7, 2015

Recycled Concrete for a Better Base

Recycled concrete provides many benefits to the contractor as it proves to be an excellent granular base.

When properly processed and tested for appropriate specification compliance, recycled concrete use as an aggregate in base or subbase applications is accepted by many jurisdictions in 20 states including Maryland.

Below is a list of all the positive features recycled concrete can bring to the table:


Absorption: High absorption is particularly noticeable in crushed fine material derived from air-entrained concrete and ranges between 4 and 8% (compared with 2% or less for virgin concrete aggregates.)

Durability: Recycled concrete aggregates generally exhibit good durability with resistance to weathering and erosion and is not susceptible to frost.

Drainage Characteristics: Recycled concrete (mainly coarse fraction) is free draining and is more permeable than conventional granular material because of lower fines content.

Gradation: Recycled concrete must be crushed and screened to satisfy AASHTO M147 and ASTM D2940 requirements for aggregates.

Low Compacted Unit Weight:  Recycled concrete aggregates compared with conventional mineral aggregates results in higher yield (greater volume for the same weight), and is therefore economically attractive to contractors.

On-site Processing: For large reconstruction projects, on-site processing and recycled concrete are likely to result in economic benefits through reduced aggregate hauling costs.

Specific Gravity: The specific gravity of recycled concrete aggregates is slightly lower than that of virgin aggregates.

Stability: Recycled concrete has high friction angle and consequently demonstrates good stability and little post compaction settlement.

Strength Characteristics: Processed recycled concrete is highly angular in shape and exhibits California Bearing Ratio (CBR) values ranging from 90 to 140 depending on the angularity of the virgin concrete aggregate and strength of the Portland cement matrix.  Its strength gives it the ability to stabilize soft, wet underlying soils during early construction phases.

Take advantages of all these benefits and consider recycled concrete material for a better base. Recycled concrete is available at most of our Maryland and Virginia locations.