We’re all surrounded by concrete, and it’s easy to overlook just how important this material is for us and our world.
Its benefits are numerous. After all, we’re using concrete to make almost everything – our schools, hospitals, roads, homes, even sewage systems.
It can be said that concrete is probably the most used material in the world. According to some, we’re using around three metric tons of it annually, for each person on this planet.
This might sound like bad news to some, but it is not. Why? Because in terms of price, performance, and durability no other man-made material can even come close to concrete.
Just because concrete is gray, people usually mean that it is bad for our environment. You can always hear people who are saying that we’re living in concrete jungles.
But that’s actually good. Since concrete is durable, and it has excellent thermal mass, it should be used as a key component in green building. That’s right; concrete should not be shunned.
In order to prove that concrete is actually a good choice for sustainable construction we just need to look at the first zero-carbon house which was built by the UK’s volume housebuilder – Barratt Developments. Concrete plays a major role in maintaining temperatures in it.
Let’s take a look at some reasons why concrete is the best choice for sustainable construction.
You simply cannot outclass concrete in this category. With concrete, you can make a long-lasting building which will not rot, rust, or burn quickly. That means that lifespans of concrete buildings are much longer when compared to those made out of other materials.
Gray is not everyone’s favorite color, but the fact that concrete is gray actually plays a significant role when it comes to preventing heat. That happens because light-colored roofs, roads, and pavements actually reflect more solar radiation than dark-colored materials.
In short, this means that concrete reduces the need for air conditioning in buildings during long, summer days.
Buildings made out of concrete are energy-efficient simply because they’re better at absorbing and retaining heat.
In the long run, this means that owners of homes built with concrete walls and floors can sleep like babies since they’ll have to spend just a small amount of money on their cooling and heating bills.
This is probably the greatest thing about concrete. It produces no waste or at least minimal waste. On-site tilt panel construction is the prime example of that. Tilt panels are built on site, and that means that no transportation is necessary. They can also be built to suit any unique requirements in a short period of time.
After the construction has been finished, concrete can be crushed and recycled. Yes, that means that you can even recycle any part of the building you’re not satisfied with and start anew, or that you can simply use the rest of the concrete to create a pavement, road base, etc.
Concrete is extremely water resilient, and that makes it the perfect candidate for building waterproof buildings, dams, or any other kind of water barriers.
We’ve saved the best for last. Limestone, the most abundant mineral on our planet, is used to make concrete.
Of course, concrete can also be made with slag cement, fly ash and all waste byproducts from different manufacturing facilities. This is one of the main reasons why concrete is a good green choice for construction!
All in all, it can be said that concrete will be the best choice for sustainable construction in the years to come.
No other material delivers environmental, social, and economic benefits that concrete provides.
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