Concrete is widely used in significant volumes because of its versatility and multiple performance benefits – for example it is abundant, strong, robust, durable, fire resistant and water resistant. For these reasons it has and will continue to be the foundation of society.

Growth in societal need for concrete is expected due to:

• megatrends of population growth and urbanisation

• necessity of concrete to deliver sustainable development

• contribution to resilience and climate adaptation.

A forecast has been made of what the total need for concrete might be through to 2050, assuming current practice. 

This forecasted an increase from the current 14.0bn m3 of concrete to approximately 20bn m3 in 2050. The CO2 emissions associated with this volume of concrete have also been calculated, assuming current practice, and amount to 3.8Gt CO2 emissions. 

There is significant regional variation in forecast demand through to 2050. Following recent decades of significant investment in infrastructure in China, where the majority of global concrete is consumed, demand is forecast to reduce.  The rest of the world, in particular Africa, India and Latin America, has a forecast increase in demand, due to population growth, urbanisation and need for infrastructure, even after taking into account the design and construction efficiency savings outlined in this roadmap.