Eco-friendly Building: Sustainable Features of Readymix Concrete   

by TRP Ready Mix on April 18, 2024

Green building practices represent a substantial shift in the way we think about construction. Instead of viewing a building as a standalone structure, sustainable practices approach it as a part of a larger ecosystem. This means taking into account how construction affects the environment and the people who will inhabit or use the structure.

At the heart of green building is the principle of sustainability.

The focus is on creating energy-efficient buildings, using sustainable materials, minimising waste, and creating a healthy environment for occupants. But these sustainable practices extend beyond the building itself, also considering the impact on the surrounding environment and community.

The public works sector is increasingly embracing these practices. Government agencies and contractors see the value of sustainable construction, not just for environmental reasons, but for economic and social reasons too. Green buildings are cost-effective in the long run, given their energy efficiency and lower maintenance requirements. They’re also healthier spaces, offering benefits like improved air quality and natural light.

How ReadyMix Concrete Contributes to Sustainability Goals

When it comes to materials that support sustainable construction, ReadyMix concrete stands out. It plays a significant role in achieving sustainability goals in several ways.

One of the key advantages of ready mix concrete is its durability. Its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist decay means that structures built with ReadyMix concrete have a long lifespan. This longevity reduces the need for frequent repairs and replacements, which in turn cuts down on construction waste and energy use. ReadyMix concrete is also resource-efficient. It’s manufactured to exact specifications, resulting in minimal waste during the construction process. Any unused material can be easily recycled back into the production process, further reducing waste.

Additionally, ReadyMix concrete is often locally sourced and produced, cutting down on transportation requirements and the associated carbon emissions. This local production also supports local economies, contributing to the social sustainability aspect of green building.

These factors show how ReadyMix concrete aligns with the principles of green building, making it an excellent choice for sustainable construction projects. Not only does it offer environmental benefits, but it also supports economic and social sustainability goals.

Recycled Components in Modern Concrete Mixes

A key aspect of sustainable building practices is the inclusion of recycled materials in the construction process. This approach aims to give new life to materials that would otherwise end up as waste, and when it comes to ReadyMix concrete, this principle is wholeheartedly embraced. ReadyMix concrete mixes often incorporate recycled aggregates, such as crushed stone, sand, and even recycled concrete. By using these recycled components, the demand for new, raw materials is significantly reduced, which in turn reduces the energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with mining and processing these materials.

For public works and infrastructure projects, this is particularly advantageous. These types of projects often require large volumes of material, so the ability to use recycled components can have a significant impact on the overall environmental footprint of the project.

In addition to reducing the demand for raw materials, the use of recycled components in ReadyMix concrete can also contribute to reducing waste. Construction and demolition waste represent a significant amount of solid waste, and by recycling these materials into new concrete mixes, the volume of waste that ends up in landfills can be significantly reduced.

Efficient Transportation and Delivery: Reducing Carbon Footprint

The transportation of construction materials represents a significant portion of a project’s overall carbon footprint. Transporting materials long distances consumes fuel and produces harmful emissions. However, with ReadyMix concrete, these emissions can be significantly reduced.

Since ReadyMix concrete is often produced locally and delivered in precise quantities as needed, the distances materials need to be transported are significantly minimized. The result? Lower fuel consumption and fewer carbon emissions. Moreover, the efficiency of ReadyMix concrete delivery also contributes to sustainability goals. Delivering exact quantities reduces the risk of overordering and the potential waste this can create. On a busy construction site, the last thing you need is unused materials taking up space!

The nature of ReadyMix concrete production and delivery also means there’s less need for on-site storage of materials. This can reduce the footprint of your construction site and lessen the potential impact on the local environment and community.

By choosing ReadyMix concrete, you’re not only ensuring an efficient and less wasteful construction process, but you’re also contributing to reducing the environmental impact of your project. Sustainability isn’t just about the end product – it’s about every step along the way.

Longevity and Durability: Lesser Need for Repairs

When it comes to sustainability in construction, longevity and durability play crucial roles. Materials that are capable of withstanding the test of time contribute to sustainability by reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements. Enter ReadyMix concrete – a material renowned for its durability. ReadyMix concrete is incredibly strong and resilient, making it perfect for substantial public works and infrastructure projects. Once set, concrete provides a sturdy and long-lasting structure, whether that’s a wastewater treatment plant, a bridge, or a public building.

The durability of ReadyMix concrete means that structures require fewer repairs over their lifetime. Fewer repairs translate to less consumption of materials, less energy expended on maintenance work, and, of course, less disruption to the public. This durability also means that concrete structures often have a much longer lifespan than those constructed with other materials.

The long lifespan and durability of ReadyMix concrete significantly enhance its overall sustainability. Less frequent replacements mean fewer resources are needed over time, and less waste is generated. In the long run, choosing a durable material like ReadyMix concrete can significantly reduce the environmental impact of a structure.

Concrete’s Role in Passive Solar Building Design

ReadyMix concrete doesn’t just contribute to sustainability through its production and durability; it also plays a vital role in creating more energy-efficient buildings. One of the ways it does this is through its role in passive solar building design.

Passive solar design is a construction approach that takes advantage of the sun’s energy to maintain a comfortable temperature in a building, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling. How does ReadyMix concrete fit into this? It has everything to do with thermal mass. ReadyMix concrete has a high thermal mass, meaning it can absorb, store, and later release significant amounts of heat. During the day, concrete walls or floors can absorb heat from the sun, storing this energy. When the temperature drops at night, this stored heat is released, helping to keep the building warm.

In cooler Canadian climates, this can be particularly beneficial for public buildings, reducing the reliance on energy-consuming heating systems. For large-scale public works projects, this passive heating can result in substantial energy savings, contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs.

By integrating ReadyMix concrete into passive solar building designs, public works projects can not only achieve sustainability goals but also create comfortable, energy-efficient spaces for the community.

Eco-friendly Additives and Admixtures in ReadyMix

In addition to the fundamental components of ReadyMix concrete, some various additives and admixtures can enhance its performance and sustainability. These components are carefully chosen and blended into the mix to give concrete specific features that make it even more suitable for green construction.

One of how admixtures enhance the sustainability of ReadyMix concrete is by reducing the need for cement—a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions. Admixtures like fly ash or slag, industrial by-products that would otherwise go to waste, can partially replace cement in the mix. This not only makes use of waste materials but also improves the strength and durability of the finished concrete.

Water-reducing admixtures are another eco-friendly component in ReadyMix concrete.

They improve the workability of the concrete mix, allowing a reduction in the amount of water needed. Using less water in the mix can save this precious resource and also decrease the energy needed to pump and mix the concrete.

Using eco-friendly admixtures and additives is part of a larger commitment to sustainability within the construction industry. It’s about making the most of available materials, reducing waste, and creating a product that performs well while minimizing its environmental impact.

Moving Forward: The Green Future of Construction

The construction industry is at a critical juncture.

As awareness of the environmental impact of construction increases, so does the demand for more sustainable building practices. ReadyMix concrete, with its versatile and eco-friendly nature, is well-positioned to meet these demands.

Firstly, the continued use and development of recycled materials in concrete mixes will be a significant part of this sustainable future. Advancements in technology and research will continue to enable the inclusion of more and varied recycled materials in ReadyMix concrete, further reducing its environmental footprint.

Another important trend is the increasing use of concrete in energy-efficient building designs. From passive solar designs to green roofs, concrete’s thermal mass and durability make it ideal for these innovative strategies.

Looking towards the future, it’s easy to see ReadyMix concrete’s role in modern construction growing. With its sustainability benefits paired with its structural advantages, it’s hard to beat as a choice for environmentally-conscious public works and infrastructure projects.

As we move forward, we can look forward to seeing how ReadyMix concrete will continue to shape a more sustainable and environmentally friendly construction industry.