Green Advantages of Concrete

by TRP Ready Mix on October 11, 2016

Why Concrete Is A More Sustainable And Environmentally Friendly Alternative To Asphalt

Concrete in Ottawa offers a variety of green advantages over asphalt.Because of its durability, concrete is popular for a variety of construction projects, including paving driveways and sidewalks. However, concrete is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to other construction materials, such as asphalt. When deciding between concrete and asphalt, consider the following green advantages of using concrete in Ottawa construction projects:

Made from Sustainable Resources

Concrete is made from sustainable resources, including cement, rock, sand, and water. These resources are abundant, natural, and easy to extract while asphalt, which is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.

Recycled Waste Materials

Industrial waste by-products that are destined for landfills can be recycled for use in concrete. These waste by-products can partially replace the cement in concrete, and often includes:

  • blast furnace slag from iron and steel mills
  • fly ash from power plants
  • silica fume from silicon production

Recycled steel from steel mills can also be used to reinforce concrete, generally in the form of rebar.

Conserve Energy

Since concrete is bright and reflective, it reduces the need for street lights at night. Concrete also reduces the urban heat island effect in cities due to its bright, reflective colour. By reflecting the sun light, concrete does not absorb as much heat as asphalt, so city temperatures should decrease with more reflective surfaces and pavement.

A decrease in city temperatures during the hot summer months means less energy will be used to air condition offices, homes, and buildings. This has a significant impact on the power grid during peak energy consumption times.


Concrete has a long service life. Concrete driveways can last a lifetime—up to three times longer than asphalt driveways. Also, concrete driveways do not need maintenance (such as resurfacing or replacement) as often as asphalt driveways, so they use fewer resources over their lifespan.


When concrete needs to be replaced, it can be recycled into new construction materials. The old concrete can be crushed and used as a base for pavement, as granular fill, or for new concrete.

For construction projects in Ottawa, concrete is a greener, more sustainable option. Concrete helps conserve energy, reduces the amount of industrial waste put into landfills, is made from renewable resources, and it is recyclable.

Not only is concrete environmentally-friendly, but it is also more durable, lasting longer than asphalt, meaning less costs and materials used for repairing or replacing concrete pavement.