Paul G asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

Can concrete be used as part of a green and sustainable piece of architecture?

Anyone any sites or information on whether concrete is environmentally friendly and a sustainable piece of architecture?

Is it green? Why?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, concrete can be recycled. Many of the green buildings use recycled concrete.

  • 1 decade ago

    Concrete has by far the highest embodied energy of any material. Embodied energy refers to the quantity of energy required to manufacture, and supply to the point of use, a product, material or service.

    However, at the Green Building Festival in Toronto a few weeks ago was - the Cement Association of Canada. You can get concrete in lite versions with recyclables in it. So some concretes are greener than others, but still it is a stretch.

    The Portland Cement Association lists five ways that concrete helps build Green, all of them questionable, and each giving LEED points.

    LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

    Five Ways Concrete Helps Builds Green

    1. Concrete creates sustainable sites.

    They may get LEED points but it is a misuse of the system. If you build an underground garage you reduce a building footprint and get a point. underground garages are built of concrete.

    2. Concrete enhances energy performance.

    Yes, it has great thermal mass, but no insulation value

    3. Concrete contains recycled materials.

    Like fly ash and slag from other green industries

    4. Concrete is manufactured locally.

    And destroys local environments through gravel excavation and transport, mixing plants and delivery in big heavy vehicles.

    5. Concrete builds durable structures.

    Unfortunately, we would like to be rid of some of them.

    There are two sides to every coin.

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