Sustainability and the Concrete Industry

Concrete Life Cycle

Lambcon is committed to sustainable development that meets the needs of the present while minimizing the social, economic and environmental impact of construction. Protecting our environment is fundamental to the long term vision of our company. When taking on new projects, we are careful to choose methods and materials that are sustainable and lessen the impact of new construction.

Ready mix concrete is an excellent choice for green building.  Concrete is environmentally friendly from raw material production to the end of the product life. As a building material it stands out as a sustainable choice. Here are some of the key factors that make concrete a environmentally solid choice:

Durability

It is no secret that concrete lasts a long time. Concrete buildings are durable.  They do not rust, rot, or burn. Life spans for concrete building products can be double or triple those of other common building materials. By increasing the life span of the buildings, concrete avoids the consumption of valuable natural resources. It also allows for buildings to be reused once the original plan for them has run its course.

Thermal mass

Tennessee has crazy weather, some days it seems like we have all four seasons in just a few hours.  This fluctuating weather drives up energy use to heat and cool buildings. The use of concrete as a construction material can increase the enry efficiency of buildings by increasing its thermal mass. Concrete can absorb and retain heat to keep temperatures steady and decrease the energy that it takes to regulate the temperature inside a building. Not only does this decrease the environmental impact, it can significantly decrease the cost heating and cooling bills and increase the life HVAC equipment.

Reflectivity

Have you ever walked outside of a building and felt the heat radiating up from the asphalt. It is miserable. That heat is retained by darker paving materials like asphalt and it creates what is called a heat island. This is why urban areas are always a little warmer than rural areas. Concrete minimizes the effects that produce urban heat islands. Light-colored concrete pavements and roofs reflect more solar radiation and absorb less heat than dark-colored materials.

Storm Water Retention

It is incredibly important for the natural water cycle that storm water is allowed to make it into the soil. Many paved surfaces are impervious and disrupt natural water infiltration. This can lead to a lot of potentially severe problems such as imbalances in the natural ecosystem, erosion, flash floods, water table depletion, and pollution. Pervious concrete is a special type of concrete that allows water to pass through readily. When used for paving parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and other paved surfaces, pervious concrete can help to retain storm water and replenish local water supplies.

Resource Efficiency

The key raw material for ready mixed concrete is limestone, one of the most abundant materials on Earth. This allows most of the raw materials to be mined locally reducing transportation waste, and supporting the local economy. Concrete can also be made with other materials like slag, silica fume, and fly ash which are all waste products from other manufacturing facilities. Diverting this waste material from landfills to a construction material is beneficial to the environment.

Waste Avoidance

Our Ready mixed concrete is batch mixed.  That means we only make what you need when you need it. By producing only those quantities we avoid the waste associated with many other building products. This alone is a huge benefit of using ready mixed concrete, but the waste reduction doesn’t end there. Every structure has a life span.  At the end of a structures intended life, the concrete used in its construction can be crushed and recycled for use in new concrete or any number of other uses.

Lambcon

These are just a few of the environmental benefits of choosing concrete. At Lambcon, we care about our community and the environment and we want our work to reflect these values. Reducing the environmental impact of our projects helps leave a better world a little better place. To learn more about sustainability in the concrete industry, be sure to read about NRMCA’s Sustainability Initiatives.

 

 

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