As Kermit likes to say, “It’s not easy being green.” That’s may be true, unless we are talking about concrete. Concrete is one of the greenest materials you can use for building because it is exceedingly environmentally friendly in all of its stages and for all of its uses.
Ok, let’s talk durability. Concrete structures are long-lasting. They will not rust, rot or burn, as other commonly used building materials can. Even when concrete has outlived its objective, it can be recycled and repurposed into aggregate for things like road base and backfill.
So, how is concrete beneficial to the environment? The principle raw material component for cement in concrete production is limestone, which is the most plentiful mineral on the planet. Concrete can also be made with manufacturing facility waste byproducts, such as slag cement and fly ash; and it be created in very specific quantities, ensuring very little waste upon production.
When used for driveways, sidewalks and parking lots, concrete can help retain water and replenish water supplies. It can also be used to build retention walls and for fill to help stop erosion.
Now let’s address conservation of energy. Structures with concrete walls, foundations and/or floors are energy efficient because concrete absorbs and retains heat. Additionally, the reflectivity generated by light colored concrete can even reduce urban heat.