Sustainable Concrete: How Can Concrete Contribute to a Green Home

More and more homeowners are becoming aware of the impact of their activities on the environment and are pushing for more sustainable solutions. Although sustainable concrete may be considered a misnomer by environmental groups, it is actually one of the more environmentally friendly building materials available today.

Here are some of the reasons why using concrete is ideal if you want to build a green home.

 

Concrete is resource-efficient

Graphic of a sustainable concrete home

Cement, which is the primary material for concrete, comes from limestone, which is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet. There are potentially limitless deposits available above sea level, so ocean mining may never become an option in the future.

Concrete also contains other renewable materials such as silica fume, slag cement, and fly ash. These are materials that are considered as factory waste products and can also be easily sourced.

 

Concrete is durable

Concrete structures can withstand the test of time. Certain sustainable concrete treatments ensure that concrete buildings have double or triple the lifespan of other common building materials like wood or brick. Moreover, concrete products don’t rust, rot, mold, or burn.

Because of its long life, it’s highly unlikely for concrete buildings to fail over time. They’re more likely to come to the end of their life because no further use is available for them. In such instances, you don’t need to automatically demolish the structures. Instead, they can be stripped back to their core and be rebuilt to more modern specifications.

 

Sustainable concrete is energy-efficient

Homes that have concrete foundations, walls, and floors are energy-efficient. This is because concrete uses thermal mass and is able to absorb and retain heat better. Using concrete sustainability solutions for your home can help you control indoor temperature better and even significantly reduce your energy bills.

 

Concrete is reflective

Concrete produces reflective surface which can prevent overheating in homes. Light-colored concrete roofs and pavements are able to reflect radiation and reduce heat absorption. Compared to dark-colored materials like asphalt, a sustainable concrete design won’t turn your urban home into a heated tropical island.

 

Sustainable concrete is water-resistant

Micro reinforced concrete is inherently water-resistant and is the perfect choice for buildings and homes located in flood-prone areas. You can even use certain types of waterproof concrete additive or water repellent concrete additive that can reduce the impact of a flood and maintain your home’s structural integrity. Just remember that the extent to which the structure can resist water depends on the cement waterproofing additive used and the design specs.

For example, pervious concrete uses some of the best waterproof cement. You can use them to build parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks. This hydrophobic concrete admixture features a sponge-like network of holes where water can readily pass through. This network helps retain stormwater runoff and avoid erosion.

 

Concrete minimizes waste

If you’re wondering, “Is reinforced concrete sustainable,” the answer is a resounding yes. You can produce concrete in the exact quantities required for the project. If you have unused or unnecessary products, you can crush or recycle them into aggregates. Since aggregates can function as backfill, road base, or new pavements, you can significantly reduce construction waste.

Green concrete is also rising in popularity in certain countries like Malaysia. This type of concrete uses waste materials during the mixing process. Green concrete is an innovative product that can help reduce construction costs and overall waste.