Green concrete reducing the harmful effect of SMOG on human health

Green concrete reducing the harmful effect of SMOG on human health


Period of implementation of the project: 



  • According to the latest study, cities are currently inhabited by half of the global population, and by 2030 the number will have increased to about 60 percent. Such a dynamic development of cities has had its consequences connected,among others,with the issue of transport.The European Union transport is the source of almost 54 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions and 45 percent carbon oxides emissions. Nitrogen oxides are very reactive and,thus, have a negative effect on human health, even at a low concentration in the air. They particularly cause inflammation in the respiratory tract, which, in the long term, may lead to the shortening of one’s lifetime.
  • Reduction of nitrogen oxides, present in vehicle fumes, is a very important issue because intensive car traffic leads to emergence of ozone, a major component of city smog that has a negative impact on human health. 


Skanska – our green concrete strategy

Green concrete is a technology which is becoming a standard at Skanska’s construction sites, improving the comfort of being in the vicinity to office buildings in city centers, places of work and meetings.
During tests of this R&D project in Warsaw in the 350 sqm. of pavement area, data was collected from special measuring stations. At the same time, the level of air pollution in the area, where there was no environmentally friendly concrete, was also examined. The measurements, carried out jointly by Skanska and renowned scientific units, proved that the area where green concrete had been installed showed a 30% lower concentration of nitrogen dioxide in comparison with  the normal surface section. Thanks to this research, it is also known that green concrete will achieve even better results in the fight against Warsaw’s smog and in other cities. In laboratory conditions the reduction of NOx was measured up to  70%. Skanska installed a temporary measuring station that examines the concentration of air pollutants in the vicinity to compare the laboratory results with those in natural conditions

This is the first application of air cleaning concrete on a large area in a commercial project in Central-Eastern Europe.

The concept was appreciated by the Municipal Roads Board in Warsaw and its representatives announced that green concrete pavements will be built within the city infrastructure development plans.

  • We do it with awareness – the process step by step:
    1. First we analyze the air and we check whether there is an environmental need – it is the case in Krakow.
    2. We study the samples of the material we plan to build in in order to achieve a satisfactory level of pollution reduction – here this condition has also been met
    3. We decide on the implementation and application of the technology in a given project.


  • Thanks to its unique properties the nanometric TiO2  under the influence of sun rays initiates the photocatalysis reaction. As a result, the air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, are reduced to simple compounds
  • The photocatalysis reaction causes reduction of toxic compounds from car fumes, including nitrogen dioxide, on the surface of a pavement plate. The NOx molecules break into harmless neutral compounds similar to those used for plant fertilization and are easily washed off the pavement by water. 
  • The photocatalytic properties of concrete containing TX ACTIVE cement are also used in self-cleaning concrete technology  because the oxidation processes not only affect the harmful compounds present in the air, but also the dirt that gathers on concrete surfaces over time – oils, grease, dust, bird droppings.
  • The cost of using green concrete plates is between 10 and 20 percent higher if compared with ordinary plates. They look identical to the traditional ones and the method of laying is the same.
  • After successful Skanska’s research results, cities of Warsaw and Krakow considered to use the technology in the public investments

Category: Planet

Company: Skanska Commercial Development Europe

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About the company: 

Skanska is one of the leading companies in Europe in development and construction. Outside the Nordics, the company has operations in building construction and civil engineering in Poland, Czech Republic & Slovakia and the UK.

Sustainable Development Goals



The partners of the project are Skanska and Górażdże Cement SA and the scientific units involved were the Institute of Geophysics PAN (Polish Academy of Sciences)

The Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology and the Faculty of Geology at the University of Warsaw