Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Green Concrete? (Part 2)

As promised, I'm back with more thoughts on Green concrete mixes. While it's not a perfect green solution, at least the industry is attempting to focus on the enormous carbon footprint that the production of concrete represents. Following are some pros and cons to current concrete mixes attempting to provide more responsible products:

  1. Removes fly ash (captured coal industry pollutants) from landfills
  2. Needs less water than standard concrete mixes
  3. Requires less quarrying of virgin materials
  4. Creates an extremely high density concrete
  1. Health affects are not known
  2. May attribute to radon build-up in homes & release toxins into interiors
  3. Takes longer to set up than standard concrete
  4. No environmental standards for these products have been developed yet
While there are some big drawbacks for the uses of Green concrete mixes, all is not lost. I would recommend using this concrete whenever possible for projects that are outside. Retaining walls, pathways, fence posts, etc.. This way, the possible health concerns can be mitigated while finding a way to trap these coal byproducts in something other than landfills. Let's give a shout out to the cement guys for trying and the encouragement to keep it up! In the meantime, if you have an immediate product, Quickrete has a ready-mix Green concrete (1101-63) with 50% recycled content you can ask for. Contact Quickrete for a supplier near you at:

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