Why Concrete is Not Environmentally Friendly

Empty and crumbling structures are not just a nuisance, but a drain on the economy and a waste of productive land. Increasing construction requires more and more cement and steel factories, which are increasingly discharging pollution and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Chinese landscape designer Yu Kongjian has highlighted the fact that this process also suffocates ecosystems (fertile soil, self-cleaning streams, storm-resistant mangroves, flood-preventing forests) that humans ultimately depend on, posing a threat to what he calls “ecosecurity.”The production of concrete leads to air pollution due to the transportation of raw materials to production sites and the transportation of concrete to construction sites. Green concrete is an environmentally friendly form of concrete that is made from waste or recycled materials from different industries and requires less energy for its production.

Compared to traditional concrete, it produces less carbon dioxide and is considered cheaper and more durable. The cement industry is one of the main producers of carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Concrete causes damage to the most fertile layer of the earth, the top layer of soil. Concrete is used to create hard surfaces that contribute to surface runoff that can lead to soil erosion, water pollution and flooding. On the contrary, concrete is one of the most powerful tools for proper flood control, through dam construction, diversion and diversion of floodwaters, mud flows, and the like.

Light-colored concrete can reduce the urban heat island effect due to its higher albedo. However, the original vegetation results in an even greater benefit. Concrete dust released by building demolition and natural disasters can be a major source of hazardous air pollution. The presence of some substances in concrete, including useful and unwanted additives, can cause health problems due to toxicity and radioactivity (usually of natural origin). Wet concrete is highly alkaline and should always be handled with appropriate protective equipment. Concrete recycling is increasing in response to improved environmental awareness, legislation and economic considerations.

In contrast, the use of concrete mitigates the use of alternative building materials such as wood, which is a natural form of carbon sequestration. In its raw state, concrete powder is environmentally friendly since it is a natural component. But it is in the industrial extraction of materials, mixing and application of concrete that it ceases to be environmentally friendly. Manufacturing is one of the most polluting processes on the planet, and manufacturers would like to find a solution to protect the planet. Of course, the idea is noble but not as easy as it seems.

And not because of the indication of “green concrete” on the bags will this product be carbon-free?Green building is the concept of building houses and buildings that we need today without depleting resources for future generations. In the new world of sustainable construction, information is emerging about the strength, durability and indestructible nature of concrete as an ingenious building material. In the midst of the dismantle and replace mentality that still prevails in today's world, concrete stands out defiantly. Try to replace concrete with an alternative building material, and it will be difficult to find a substitute that possesses the same thermal qualities, design flexibility and permanence. Fortunately, there is a paradigm shift in attitudes about resource conservation and sustainability.

More builders and homeowners are now embracing green building, and concrete is emerging as a champion rather than a rebel. Read on to find out why and how you can use concrete to build environmentally responsible homes without compromising beauty, comfort or economy. The predominant raw material for cement in concrete is limestone -the most abundant mineral on earth. Concrete can also be made from fly ash, slag cement and silica fume - all waste by-products from power plants, steel mills and other manufacturing facilities. Concrete builds durable structures that won't rust, rot or burn. The service life of concrete construction products can be twice or triple that of other common building materials.

Homes built with concrete walls, foundations and floors are highly energy efficient because they take advantage of the inherent capacity of thermal mass in concrete to absorb and retain heat - meaning homeowners can significantly reduce their heating and cooling bills while installing smaller capacity heating and air conditioning equipment. Concrete minimizes the effects of urban heat islands - light-colored concrete floors and roofs absorb less heat while reflecting more solar radiation than dark-colored materials such as asphalt - reducing demand for air conditioning in summer months. Paved surfaces tend to be waterproof which can block natural infiltration of water into soil - creating an imbalance in natural ecosystems leading to problems such as erosion, flash floods, depletion of water table & pollution. Permeable concrete is a special type of structural concrete with a network of sponge-shaped voids through which water passes easily - when used for driveways, sidewalks & parking lots - permeable concrete can help retain stormwater runoff & replenish local water supplies. Concrete can be produced in quantities needed for each project - reducing waste & once a concrete structure has served its original purpose - it can be crushed & recycled into aggregate for use on new pavements or as road fill or base. For most builders & homeowners - expressions such as sustainable development & green building were not part of their vernacular several years ago (although commercial builders have long been familiar with these terms). But with growing concerns about rising energy costs & continued depletion of finite resources - these environmental buzzwords are becoming widespread. In conclusion - although there are many advantages associated with using concrete as a building material - it's important to remember that it's not environmentally friendly due to its manufacturing process which releases pollutants into our atmosphere & depletes our natural resources.

Chloe Robinson
Chloe Robinson

Evil pop culture fanatic. Extreme zombie trailblazer. Devoted coffee fanatic. Hardcore social media scholar. Wannabe coffee geek.