British Columbia Stone, Sand and Gravel Association
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Aggregates BUILD B.C.

BC Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

Where is Aggregate Used ?

Aggregate is produced in or near most every city and town in Canada and the United States. Annual per capita consumption of aggregate is about 10 to 15 tons in Canada and 10 tons in the United States. The industry is comprised of 3 main sectors; construction sand and gravel, industrial sand and gravel, and crushed rock. Crushed stone and sand and gravel are most often used by the construction industry.
Aggregate Use - Western Canada
Source: Construction Aggregates: National And Regional Trends by R.D. Irvine and G.O. Vagt, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario - BC Aggregate Forum
Construction Aggregate Uses
U.S. Consumption figures from California Study of aggregates use and demand.
Aggregates are produced for a number of reasons:
  • concrete aggregates,
  • road base and coverings and road stabilization,
  • asphaltic concrete aggregates and other bituminous mixtures,
  • construction fill,
  • concrete products, such as blocks, bricks, pipes, etc.,
  • plaster and gunite sands,
  • snow and ice control,
  • railroad ballast,
  • roofing granules,
  • filtration,
  • other miscellaneous uses.

The general public collectively consume the greatest amount of aggregate through government projects and government responsibilities. Public works utilize up to 65% to 70% of all aggregate in the construction and maintenance of roads and through the construction of larger buildings such as schools, hospitals, and administration buildings.
The following chart puts some perspective on aggregates use in everyday life.  

Aggregate Usage EstimatesMetric Tonnes
(1,000 kg)
Typical tandem axle truck capacity 15
Average 1,500-square-foot home, when considering its proportional share of new streets, schools, churches, municipal construction projects and shopping centers330
Single family residential - Vancouver83
Single family residential - Fraser Valley166
Six room house91
Low rise multifamily Development - PER UNIT20
Commercial building - PER 93 m2 (1,000 ft2)63
School or hospital14,000
Road and service construction per kilometre (2 lane)18,500
4 lane US highway per 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) - (Meador, Layher 1998)60,000
Rehabilitation of existing roadways, per kilometre40 to 320

Crushed aggregate remains the main competitor for sand and gravel, and competition for crushed rock includes combinations of the following products (USGS):
  • Geotextiles ­ both an ally and a competitor
  • Soil Cement
  • Lime Stabilized Soil
  • Rubblized Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) Pavement
  • Crack and Seat PCC Pavement
  • Recycled or Virgin Asphalt as Base
  • Construction and Demolition Waste as Base
Sand, Gravel, and Crushed Rock
Sand, Gravel, and Crushed Rock
BC Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
Paul Allard - Executive Director
Box 36065
Hillcrest Village PO
Surrey, BC V3S 7Y4
Phone: 778.571.2670
Fax: 778.571.2680