Concrete is the world’s most used construction material, but it’s also one of the biggest contributors to climate change. The manufacture, transportation and use of concrete accounts for up to 8 percent of the world’s carbon “embodied energy” emissions.
Luckily, the industry is working on several innovative and scalable solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete without compromising its durability and structural performance. Concrete design and optimization innovations, 3D-printed and self-healing concrete, as well as methods to minimize waste in formwork and support infrastructure are all helping to increase opportunities for sustainable building with concrete.
As concrete doesn’t burn, it eliminates the need for expensive Maitland Concreting Solutions fireproof materials and minimizes the risk of noxious fumes and structural disruption caused by the razing of existing structures to make way for new ones. In addition, concrete’s excellent soundproofing properties make buildings that incorporate concrete more comfortable for their occupants, without the need for costly and energy-intensive insulation systems.
The ability of concrete to withstand the most extreme conditions has opened up many new possibilities for its uses, including underwater and high-heat applications. New mixes of concrete, utilizing industrial byproducts such as fly ash and blast furnace slag, can enhance its various performance characteristics. And, by using recycled aggregates, the concrete can be made even more environmentally friendly.
Another advantage of concrete is its ability to be used in a variety of settings, from sewage treatment plants and airport runways to roads and bridges. It is especially useful in coastal areas where storm surges and flooding can cause significant damage. Its strength, durability and low maintenance costs are making it a popular choice for urban planning projects to create resilient cities.
When choosing a concrete supplier, it’s important to choose one that can supply all of the necessary ingredients to make concrete on-site. This allows for more efficient production and reduces the time and money required to erect and dismantle equipment. Additionally, using a company that can produce concrete in-house can lower the cost of the finished product as they will be buying the raw materials in bulk at much cheaper prices.
In order to save on the amount of concrete needed for a project, concrete producers can use innovative techniques like precasting. This involves pouring concrete in a mould before the foundations of a building are installed, cutting down on both the amount of concrete and the construction time.
For stubborn concrete stains, muriatic acid and trisodium phosphate can both be effective, but must be applied carefully with the appropriate safety equipment. In most cases, however, it is more practical to simply hire a professional concrete resurfacing contractor to get the job done properly and quickly.
Concrete can have an incredibly long life. Its low maintenance requirements and longevity mean that it is rarely out of use for repair or replacement, which cuts down on the need for resources such as steel and timber, as well as reducing the need to transport them from far-flung places.