Concrete and Green Building: Reducing Impacts, Avoiding Toxic Chemicals
Concrete and other cementitious materials have both environmental advantages and disadvantages. As builders and designers, should we be looking for alternatives or embracing concrete over competing materials?
A new report from BuildingGreen, What You Need to Know About Concrete and Green Building, takes a look at how these materials are made, presents the key environmental considerations relating to their production, use, and eventual disposal, and describes ways to reduce their environmental impacts.
The report is the first to address the proposed concrete product category rule (PCR) being developed by the Carbon Leadership Forum, and the reactions of stakeholders including the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), builders, and architects. It describes how the new rule establishes a framework for evaluating concrete's environmental attributes, giving concrete an opportunity to compete against steel and wood in LEED v4 credits that it has lacked in prior versions of LEED.
The report includes the latest information for architects and builders on concrete constituents, applications and specialty products.
- Overview: The green pluses—and minuses—of concrete.
- Environmental Considerations: How to weigh concrete's ecological drawbacks and advantages.
- Thermal Performance: Thermal mass... or thermal bridge?
- Reducing Environmental Impacts: Ways to minimize concrete's environmental and toxicological footprint, enhancing its green attributes.
- Using Fly Ash in Concrete: Are toxicity concerns a show-stopper?
- Autoclaved Aerated Concrete: Widely-used in Europe, is it right for your project?
- Polished Concrete Outshines Other Flooring Options: A functional, cost-effective, environmentally responsible innovation.
What You Need to Know About Concrete and Green Building, available for $49, is free to BuildingGreen members. Those who aren’t yet members can get the report for free when they sign up for a free 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
Earn continuing education credits
BuildingGreen members can receive continuing education credit for reading this report. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has approved this course for 3 HSW/SD Learning Units. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has approved this course for 3 GBCI CE hours towards the LEED Credential Maintenance Program.
Upon completing this course, participants will be able to:
- Recognize concrete's environmental footprint and how to reduce the quantity of concrete used in buildings.
- List the advantages and disadvantages of at least three alternative types of concrete.
- Explain the fly ash conundrum.
- Summarize the benefits of polished concrete floors and multiple aspects of concrete structural components.
To earn continuing education credit, read this report and pass this quiz.
Posted by Tristan Roberts on October 18, 2012
— Share This Posting!
I am a little (a lot) late to this conversation, but I think the only wood-burning appliances should be direct vent masonry ovens which burn at...
Am hearing about this new technology and seeing positive reviews online but have also being told that they're not appropriate for larger, older...