Five Ways Concrete Helps Builds Green
1. Concrete creates sustainable sites. They may get LEED points but it is a misuse of the system. If you build an underground garage you reduce a building footprint and get a point. underground garages are built of concrete. Pouring concrete to store cars gets points?
2. Concrete enhances energy performance. Yes, it has great thermal mass, but no insulation value
3. Concrete contains recycled materials. Like fly ash and slag from other green industries
4. Concrete is manufactured locally. And destroys local environments through gravel excavation and transport, mixing plants and delivery in big heavy vehicles.
5. Concrete builds durable structures. Unfortunately, we would like to be rid of some of them.
The ::concrete network makes even more specious arguments.
The Cement Association of Canada has pages on the sustainable benefits of concrete, complete with obligatory pictures of smiling children.
Read "What Makes a Product Green from the ::BuildingGreen.com and it is hard to imagine concrete.
Read the wonderful "::Design for Lifestyle and the future" , Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes, and learn about embodied energy.
Conclusion: There is a place for concrete, but it ain't at the Green Building Festival.