Concrete is a staple of the building industry that in recent years has become much more environmentally friendly. These innovations include such products as green concrete and smog-eating concrete that are used for buildings and sidewalks. If you are involved in construction, consider using these substances that are much friendlier to the planet than regular concrete.
Regular concrete requires the use of cement, the production of which contributes greatly to global warming and pollution. The entire process of creating the material causes significant CO2 emissions and produces 7% of all greenhouse gasses. By replacing the cement in concrete with fly ash, concrete becomes a "green" material instead of a drain on the planet. Fly ash is a waste product from thermal power plants and is comprised of clay, quartz, shale and feldspar. Using fly ash in concrete also saves manufacturers from having to store or dispose of it, which is another significant ecological benefit.
Green concrete or geopolymer concrete is made from inorganic polymer and 25% to 100% of industrial waste. In addition to its environmental benefits, it also lasts longer and has less shrinkage than concrete made from cement. Green concrete is more fire resistant and can survive temperatures of up to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. It also is less likely to corrode.
Concrete that actually helps the environment is a reality. Developed by Luigi Cassar, an Italian chemist, it was first used in a building designed by Richard Meier in 2000. Called "photocatalytic," the concrete is sprayed with titanium dioxide, a substance that neutralizes air pollutants once it is activated by natural sunlight. In good weather, it can reduce nitrogen oxide by as much as 45 percent. On average, it reduces pollution by 19 percent every day and can even clean the air 2.5 meters away. The nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides in the air are turned into nitrates or sulfates that the rain can easily rinse off buildings and sidewalks. Chicago was the first U.S. city to use smog-eating concrete for its sidewalks, although it has been used in Europe for years.
As a builder, investing in environmentally friendly concrete can make a huge difference to the health of urban dwellers the world over. These products are still being underused: however, and could be easily implemented into many more building projects each year. Before beginning any construction project that requires concrete, look into using green concrete or smog-eating concrete. The planet will be glad you did. For more information, contact a professional like Robar Enterprises Inc.