Using lightweight concrete in high rise construction can help lower the cost of the building. In addition to the reduced weight of the materials, it can also reduce transportation costs and save money on foundations, framing and insulation.
The use of lightweight concrete is becoming more common, particularly in New York City and other major cities. The cost of lightweight concrete is generally about $175 to 180 per cubic yard (CY), compared to normal weight concrete, which is about $145 per CY.
Lightweight concrete reduces the cost of construction by decreasing the number of trucks required to deliver the material. It also helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions, because less material is required to make the structure. It also allows for fewer joints, resulting in an easier erection process.
Another benefit of using lightweight concrete is thermal insulation. For thermally sensitive structures, thermal insulation can provide a significant benefit. The use of lightweight concrete can help reduce the total cost of the structure, particularly the heating and cooling costs.
Aside from thermal insulation, lightweight concrete can also help improve the strength of a structure. It reduces dead load, which reduces the amount of force needed to resist earthquakes. This reduction in load can result in smaller inertial forces and less deterioration.
The use of lightweight concrete can also increase a building’s height. In fact, the world’s tallest concrete building, The Shard, was constructed using lightweight concrete. It took four years to build, and is now 95 floors tall.