Concrete is GREEN!!
Though concrete has been in use since ages, the GREEN benefits of this humble yet maximally used construction material are being realized only now. Concrete is affordable, strong, durable, fire-resistant, low on maintenance, energy efficient and can be made impervious to moisture induced damage.
Affordability – Use of simple components such as fly ash, gravel, sand, water and cement in producing concrete makes it extremely affordable. In comparison to other construction materials, transporting concrete is relatively inexpensive. It is the only construction ingredient that is produced locally and not traded internationally. Its on site mixing further checks the cost and waste due to excess production.
Use of industrial byproducts – ash and blast furnace slag – as cement replacements lowers production costs. This environment friendly technique also reduces the amount of waste to be dumped in landfills.
Versatility – Concrete is extremely versatile and can be used to construct a variety of structures including residential/commercial spaces, dams, bridges, roads, pavements, runways and even sewage systems.
Low CO2 Emission – Compared to other materials, production of concrete emits limited amount of CO2. When weighed against CO2 emissions from electrical equipment, production and use of concrete fairs far better.
Durability, Strength and Sustainability – Concrete, one of the strongest materials, has stood the test of time. Many concrete buildings constructed centuries ago are still there in their full glory exhibiting few signs of a run down place. Unlike other materials which weaken gradually, concrete strengthens even more with time.
Concrete remains unaffected by rains, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, mold, termites and even man-made calamities. The Coliseum in Rome abundantly showcases the strength of concrete.
Advancements in production of concrete have resulted in development of its waterproof version which further makes a building more energy efficient.
Concrete generally is a maintenance free medium resulting in additional savings.
High Albedo – The reflective quality of a material is referred to as its albedo. Concrete has high albedo as it reflects back most of the sunlight and absorbs very little heat thereby limiting the 'urban heat island' effect and keeping the buildings much cooler. This implies concrete buildings need not be fitted with elaborate cooling or heating equipment. Concrete drastically cuts down the overall energy consumption.
LEED Certification – Using concrete helps developers earn 19-28 points in their effort to obtaining a favorable rating from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
No doubt, using concrete is one of the best ways to leave a green impact on our planet.