While not entirely environmentally-friendly, concrete does still offer several environmental benefits. For one, it’s a long-lasting material. Secondly, concrete surfaces reduce the amount of fuel vehicles consume compared to other types of roadway pavement.
In its natural powder state concrete is environmentally friendly as it’s made up of natural and biodegradable materials. But, extraction and creation of concrete places strain on the environment and natural resources. It uses up water, and there’s always some level of waste or pollution involved in the production process. Once concrete is manufactured into a building material it is no longer biodegradable.
All that being said, concrete is still less environmentally taxing than many other popular building materials. In fact, there are several benefits of concrete that make it more sustainable than you might think.
1. Often Made Locally
For the most part, concrete is made nearby the building site it’s to be used at. As a result, the cost and strain of transportation-related energy emissions are greatly reduced. Plus, this helps provide more work for locals which naturally benefits your neck of the woods.
2. Reduces Lighting Needs
Concrete is a light reflecting surface, which means you need less lighting (aka less energy) to power lights at night. Yet, even with fewer lights, people are safer because it’s easier to see when navigating concrete surfaces at night.
Additionally, the color and properties of concrete work to reduce the heat island effect. This is an issue impacting many urban areas around the world in which a lack of natural surfaces and plants leads to hot pockets that further strain energy resources.
3. Helps Solve Stormwater Management Issues
Pervious concrete allows water to run through it, which can help solve issues with stormwater management.
4. Energy Efficient to Boot
Concrete’s thermal mass is key to moderating serious temperature fluctuations. When concrete is used to form structures, it can be outfitted with insulation to add even more energy efficient properties.
5. Better for Vehicle Fuel Efficiency
Anyone who drives across concrete roadway surfaces can thank you later because they’ll be spending less money at the pump after you apply concrete. Road surfaces impact a vehicle’s active gas millage. As a rigid surface, concrete offers improvements in gas millage efficiency compared to more flexible pavement surfaces.
6. Concrete is Incredibly Long Lasting
Concrete is sort of like the incredible hulk—it maintains its strength over the long haul. Concrete surfaces don’t need to be replaced as soon and that is eco-friendlier in and of itself.
What About Disposing of Concrete?
Disposing of concrete is not eco-friendly because concrete is not biodegradable. If this is a concern to you, consider asphalt millings. Asphalt millings are made from previously used surfaces. These recycled materials can be used to create strong and reliable roadways. Asphalt millings can help you save money by reducing the cost of raw materials. Plus, they are LEED certified, require little to no maintenance and are weather-friendly.
Concrete by Kleenco Construction
Turn to Kleenco Construction for all your commercial concrete needs in Tennessee. Want to work with something more environmentally friendly than concrete? We’ve got options! Together we can create a sustainable construction plan. Take advantage of our expertise and give us a call today.