Concrete has gained a bad rap over the years, particularly in sustainability circles, with a reputation for releasing high levels of CO2 emissions during its production.
When it comes to traditional concrete, this negative reputation is built on solid foundations; cement is one of the main components of concrete and the production of cement equates to around 7% of the globe's CO2 emissions.
Due to the amount of CO2 released by manufacturing cement, there is a strong argument that traditional concrete isn't a sustainable material.
However, there are modern concrete variants on the market that have started taking sustainability into account. Low-carbon concrete is making waves in the industry, offering a version of concrete with significantly lower CO2 emissions.
Traditional concrete has an overall negative environmental impact due to the way it is manufactured and used.
The large amount of CO2 that is produced in the manufacture of cement, which goes into concrete, will be contributing to global warming. CO2 contributes to global warming because the properties of the gas cause it to trap and radiate heat.
The process involved in the manufacture of concrete uses a lot of natural resources. Firstly, coal and natural gases are often used in the creation of cement, which needs to be heated to high temperatures.
Secondly, the transportation of moving concrete involves large trucks, further contributing to the production of CO2.
A lot of water is used in the concrete industry. According to an article written by The Science Museum, "concrete consumes almost 10% of the world's industrial water supplies". Not only is this taking water from other places in the natural world, it also costs a lot to transport such vast amounts of water.
One of the main benefits of concrete buildings is that they last for a really long time and therefore don't use a lot of CO2 once built (for repairs or rebuilding, for example). However, the amount of CO2 produced by manufacturing the concrete for a building still does not outweigh the low levels of embodied energy.
Nowadays, there are low-carbon concrete options, which is considered a more sustainable construction material.
This type of concrete helps to offer the best of both worlds - all the durability and strength of traditional concrete, without the same environmental impact.
There are three methods that manufacturers can use to limit the amount of CO2 produced in the making of concrete:
Therefore, it's important to us that we find new, more sustainable ways to make concrete and offer it to our customers.
For this reason, we have recently partnered with Primekss, creators of PrīmX - an alternative, and more sustainable, concrete flooring material. It offers all the benefits of traditional concrete with a reduction of up to 70% in CO2 emissions.
We're excited to be able to offer this more sustainable choice - continuing to work with the material that we love, in a more environmentally friendly way.
Contract Nationwide Concreting for your next project and benefit from using PrīmX concrete flooring to make your construction work more sustainable. Request a quote or call us on 01590 676 585 for more information.