Add Innovation And Mix: Designing Projects That Help Concrete Show Its Greener Side

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It's understandable if you don't have ready mix concrete or building cement on your mind when you imagine taking steps to go green at your business facility. Concrete isn't exactly cuddly or cute like a sod roof or a native wildflower garden. Ready-mix concrete is a part of making the world a more beautiful, clean place to live, though.

As you build or expand, explore the ways you can have a greener facility using concrete products. There are interesting and innovative examples to guide you:

Biodynamic cement

Imagine buildings in crowded urban areas that clean the pollutants from the city air. An recent development has seen the use a unique blend of concrete and other materials to create a structure that serves that very role.

The cement used for the Palazzo Italia building in Milan is made of 80% recycled materials to capture specific toxins and turn them into inert salts. The final cement mix is poured into "wall" molds that are designed with 3D printers.

Some of the recycled material is Carrara marble which makes the mixture a bright white that is airy and clean. Concrete manufacturers all over the world are experimenting with a variety of materials to find ready-mix products that detoxify the environment while creating inspiring and elegant city structures.

Permeability research

A grant was recently awarded to collaborators including state storm water officials, a university and an aircraft manufacturer to study how well a byproduct of the manufacturer's production process might work in making concrete more strong and permeable.

Building parking lots, streets and driveways that are permeable keeps groundwater from flooding roads, eroding land and overwhelming storm drains. Permeability must be achieved without using toxic additives to concrete, however, or groundwater will be polluted.

The grant winners will study the effects on permeability and toxicity after the addition of recycled carbon fiber composite material to concrete mixtures. If the carbon fibers can help concrete maintain strength and drain water while being environmentally safe, it will be truly green innovation that benefits nature, the aircraft and cement industries, and builders.

Cleanup solutions

Concrete acting as its plain old boring self does quite a bit of good in the world cleanup department. As scientists and researchers study new ways to decontaminate liquids and fouled water, ready mix concrete helps them create the retention ponds, filtering pools and other structures that help rid water and liquids of poisons and bio-hazards.

Whether you need a filtering solution of your own or you want to create a greener parking area, consult your ready mix concrete experts to learn about new products and innovations that will help your business be a model of sustainability as your business grows.

For more information, contact Van Doren Red-E-Mix or a similar company.