Material Requirements for Infrastructure Development

1st October 2017
Author: Michael Burrow, Son Quang Pham

This literature review aims to identify published studies providing projections of the global demand for, and remaining stock of, materials important for construction that could be constraints to the development of infrastructure worldwide. Our review found very little evidence and few projections addressing this issue. Although a wide variety of materials could potentially constrain infrastructure development, in our research we were only able to identify good quality projections for four materials: aluminium, cement, steel, and wood. Estimates of the energy needs, water requirements and likely carbon emissions of mining and processing these resources are also provided.

Download Report
Suggested Citation

Pham, Son Quang, and Burrow, Michael (2018) Material Requirements for Infrastructure Development. K4D Emerging issues Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


1st October 2017


Continent: Global