Going Green with Concrete

Concrete has been in use for many years but it has recently become renowned not only for it’s strength and durability but also because it is an ecologically friendly, “green” building material. Individuals and businesses who are looking to make improvements and investments to their property while remaining eco-conscious are increasingly turning to concrete as an ideal building material.

So what makes concrete earth-friendly? Well, to be honest, some of the manufacturing techniques used in cement production contribute to pollution, however there are ways to select concrete that do help to reduce the carbon footprint. Many materials that would otherwise end up in landfills can be used in concrete. Slag cement, for example, is made from a byproduct created during the manufacturing of iron. Using slag cement helps prevent this material from entering the landfill and slag cement can even help buildings achieve the LEED standard.

Here are a few tips that you may wish to consider and discuss with your cement worker or concrete contractor when selecting the best type of concrete for your cement and concrete project.

1. Try to use concrete made from local materials. This will eliminate the need for great fuel consumption as the concrete supplies don’t have to travel far.

2. Consider the use of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete, which uses less Portland cement and is likely to contain higher quantities of recycled materials

3. Select a concrete that replaces some of the Portland cement with another type of cement. Possible ingredients include slag cement, silica fume and fly ash.

4. Use water-based products for finishing and cleaning concrete and cement whenever possible.

5. Select non-toxic sealers whenever possible.

6. Ask your contractor if they recycle the concrete from their concrete replacement projects. Even if your project does not require concrete replacement, you can feel good knowing you support a cement and concrete business with ecologically sound practices.