Use of Quartz Sand to Produce Low Embodied Energy and Carbon Footprint Plaster


  • Jiajian Chen Foshan University
  • Pui-Lam Ng Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
  • Roman Jaskulski Warsaw University of Technology
  • Wojciech Kubissa Warsaw University of Technology



carbon footprint, embodied energy, plaster, quartz sand


Plaster is a widely adopted material in buildings. However, since the manufacturing of cement, a common component material in plaster, involves heating limestone and emits a lot of carbon dioxide, there is inherent problem pertaining to plaster that it is associated with a large amount of embodied energy and carbon footprint. One strategy to solve the problem is to employ quartz sand, an economic and abundant natural resource, to partially replace cement for plaster production to directly reduce the embodied energy and carbon footprint. To investigate the feasibility of practical use of quartz sand in plaster and quantify the effect on reducing the embodied energy and carbon footprint, a total of 30 plaster mixes with quartz sand content varying from 0% to 20% at various water/solid ratios were produced for laboratory testing, and the embodied energy and carbon footprint of each plaster mix were quantitatively estimated. Results demonstrated that the incorporation of suitable quartz sand in plaster could improve the workability for mixing and trowelling and reduce the embodied energy and carbon footprint as well as the cost at the same time.