January 21, 2011, (Coal Geology/NewsUSA) – If you’re planning on adding to the landscape work around your home, or building a house from the ground up, it’s smart to include elements that are eco-friendly such as concrete.
It may seem hard to believe, but concrete masonry products are quickly becoming the main choice for do-it-yourselfers tackling landscape or home-building projects. Besides being a creative and unique alternative, concrete is also more ecologically sound -; minimizing the use of precious natural resources.
Compared to other materials on the market such as wood and steel, concrete has several environmental advantages that make it ideal for saving energy and money. Not only is it durable, but its longevity, heat storage capability and chemical inertness all make concrete a great choice when taking the initiative to make your house or yard stand up to “green” standards.
“Concrete’s thermal mass property not only serves as a buffer by storing and releasing heat -; which keeps indoor temperatures more uniform -; but it also shifts peak energy demands to off-peak generation hours, thereby alleviating overloading of power-generation facilities and brownouts,” said Dennis Graber, an engineer with the National Concrete Masonry Association. “All of this adds to concrete’s energy efficiency and sustainability.”
With most, if not all, of concrete’s primary ingredients coming directly from the ground -; cement, sand, crushed stone and water -; additional components and preparation of modern concrete has made the product even more environmentally friendly.
Fly ash, a mineral residue by-product of coal-fired power plants, has become a popular addition to concrete because it cuts down on quarrying for stone and also decreases landfill space. Recycling concrete and reusing its raw material for roads keeps unnecessary pollutants from being released into the atmosphere.
So, whether it’s used for building in areas that are at risk for storm damage from tornadoes and hurricanes or simply for adding unique flair to your home, modern concrete is proving to be a vital facet in the fight to preserve our ecosystem.
For more information, visit www.ncma.org.