Kovler K.

UDC 691:502

KONSTANTIN KOVLER, A/Professor, Head of Building Materials,

Performance & Technology Department,


National Building Research Institute, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Technion Israel Institute of Technology,

Haifa 32000, Israel


The paper deals with three interrelated issues: (a) uses natural vs. artificial stone materials; (b) uses of gypsum vs. portland cement binders; and (c) low-contaminant materials – how pure they should be from the points of view of the customer, producer and of the society. These three topics are of great importance in the development and implementation of sustainable construction materials and technologies for the future. Understanding these dilemmas the society faces in the last years and answering these questions will help scientists and engineers to ensure that the production technology under development would be both environmentally friendly and sufficiently advanced from the technological point of view, and that the materials themselves would be safe and not harmful for the building occupants during all the life cycle of the building. All of these three topics were in the focus of the author's research over the last 30 years.


  1. Alksnis F. (1988). Hardening and Destruction of Gypsum-Cement Materials. Leningrad: Stroyizdat (in Russian).
  2. Bentur A., Kovler K., Goldman A. (1994). Gypsum of improved performance using blends with Portland cement and silica fume. Advances in Cement Research, 6 (23), 109–116.
  3. Dinelli G.; Belz G.; Majorana C.E.; Schrefler B.A. (1996). Experimental investigation on the use of fly ash for lightweight precast structural elements. Materials and Structures, 29, 632–638.
  4. Euro-Roc (1998). Good environmental practices in the German industry of dimensional stone.
  5. Heinzerling L.; Ackerman F. (2002). Pricing the priceless: Cost-benefit analysis of environmental protection. Georgetown University.
  6. IAEA. (2003). Extent of Environmental Contamination by Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) and Technological Options for Mitigation. Vienna, Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency.
  7. Kovler K. (2001). Enhancing water resistance of cement and gypsum-cement materials. ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 13 (5), 349–355.
  8. Kovler K. (2009). Radiological constraints of using building materials and industrial by-products in construction. Construction and Building Materials, 23, 246–253.
  9. Kovler K. (2006). Role of ettringite, thaumasite and monocarbonate in hardening and destruction of Portland cement – gypsum system. RILEM Proc. PRO 46 "Concrete Durability and Service Life Planning (ConcreteLife’06)" (pp. 70–80). Bagneaux, France: RILEM.
  10. Kovler K. (1998a). Setting and hardening of gypsum - Portland cement - silica fume blends. Part 1: Temperature and setting expansion. Cement and Concrete Research, 28 (3), 423–437.
  11. Kovler K. (1998b). Setting and hardening of gypsum - Portland cement - silica fume blends. Part 2: Early strength, DTA, XRD and SEM observations. Cement and Concrete Research, 28 (4), 523–531.
  12. Kovler K. (1998c). Strength and water absorption for gypsum-cement-silica fume blends of improved performance. Advances in Cement Research, 10 (2), 81–92.
  13. Kovler K., Rozenfeld Y., Zingerman S. (1999). Potential of natural stone in Israel for construction. Proc. of the 1st National Congress on Construction and Infrastructure, (pp. 217–220). Tel-Aviv, Israel.
  14. Kovler K.; Perevalov A.; Steiner V.; Metzger L. A. (2005). Radon exhalation of cementitious materials made with coal fly ash: Part 1 – Scientific background and testing of the cement and fly ash emanation. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 82 (3), 321–334.
  15. Lau B.M.F.; Balendran R.V.; Yu K.N. (2003). Metakaolin as a radon retardant from concrete. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 103 (3), 273–276.
  16. Maidl B., Herrenknecht M., & Anheuser L. (1995). Mechanised Shield Tunneling. Berlin: Ernst & Sohn.
  17. RP-112. (1999). Radiological Protection Principles Concerning the Natural Radioactivity of Building Materials. Luxembourg: European Commission.
  18. Smith K.R.; Crockett G.M.; Oatway W.B.; Harvey M.P.; Penfold J.S.S.; Mobbs S.F. (2001). Radiological Impact on the UK Population of Industries which Use or Produce Materials Containing Enhanced Levels of Naturally Occuring Radionuclides, Part I: Coal-Fired Electricity Generation. Chilton, UK: National Radiological Protection Board.
  19. Tilton J. (1996). Exhaustible resources and sustainable development, Resources Policy, 22 (1/2), 91–97.
  20. Volzhensky A.V. (1944). Gypsum Mortars of Enhanced Water Resistance. Moscow: Institute of Building Technology, Academy of Sciences, USSR (in Russian).
  21. Volzhensky A.V., Ferronskaya, A.V. (1974). Gypsum Binders and Products. Moscow: Stroyizdat (in Russian).
  22. Volzhensky A.V., Stambulko V.I., Ferronskaya A.V. (1971). Gypsum-Cement-Pozzolan Binders, Concretes and Products. Moscow: Stroyizdat (in Russian).

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