What’s the Most Sustainable Concrete Mix to Use in Your Green Building Project?

Are you wondering about the long-term environmental impacts of concrete, and trying to figure out whether concrete is an appropriate material for using in your green building project? Would you be interested in learning about which concrete products are the most sustainable — and what their long-term environmental impacts are?

Complicating the issue: the concrete mix you would use would depend on your specific needs for the building project you have in mind. There are zillions of possible concrete mixes, and the appropriate mix depends largely on the specifics of the project:

  • Is it a commercial or residential building project?
  • Which application(s) will the concrete be used for?
  • What are the local building codes and requirements?
  • What are the strength requirements for the concrete?
  • Etc.

Although I don’t have a quick answer for you to the above questions, I can direct you where to go to get some reasonably quick answers regarding how to evaluate which would be the most eco-friendly concrete mix for your particular needs. I say “reasonably quickly” because there’s a detailed but comprehensive report you can use for this purpose. The report isn’t a quick read, but even so, it could save you weeks or months worth of research, not to mention significant expense — as the data detailed on the report is otherwise costly to obtain.

The report was compiled and published by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and independently verified by NSF International, which is an organization that develops standards, tests and certifications for a broad range of products and applications.

The report is actually an EPD, which is short for “Environmental Product Declaration.” This particular EPD is an industry wide report, which compares multiple products from a wide variety of suppliers to disclose ratings for the following environmental impacts:

  • Global Warming Potential
  • Ozone Depletion Potential
  • Acidification Potential
  • Eutrophication Potential
  • Photochemical Ozone Creation/Smog Potential

Click Here to Download the Industry-Wide Environmental Product Declaration at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association website.

If you’re not already familiar with the lingo and specifications used by concrete industry professionals, you might find it helpful to access a video about how to use this report. You can click here to see the video.

If you have questions about the report, the best person to contact is Lionel Lemay at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Associated website. You’ll find his contact information at the bottom of this NRMCA press release.

Click Here to Find More Concrete EPDs and Industry Benchmarks

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