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How Advances in Green-Friendly Formulations Have Improved Concrete

Posted on June 18, 2015 by Chelsey

As construction methods have become more complex, the materials used to build and renovate existing structures have also evolved to suit a brand-new set of needs. Concrete is no exception to this rule and has changed considerably over the time it has been in use in the construction field. Your Houston general contractor can provide you with guidance and support in selecting the right type of concrete for your building or renovation project to ensure the greatest longevity and functionality in everyday use.

Cement and Concrete

Cement is the base material for concrete and serves to hold together the aggregate materials to ensure the strength and utility of these materials. Anthropologists have discovered evidence of the use of cement as many as eight millennia ago as part of concrete flooring and structural supports for larger buildings. Various materials were used to create cement during this time period, including burned limestone, volcanic ashes and crushed bricks. Over time, the formulas used to make cement became more uniform and provided more consistent support for concrete structures, reducing the likelihood of deterioration over time.

Specialized Cements for a Range of Needs

Today, the cement binders used in concrete are available in a wide range of formulations specifically designed to suit a range of environmental conditions and construction requirements. Non-hydraulic cements are suited for use in areas in which the concrete can be exposed to dry air for a prolonged drying period. Hydraulic cements, by contrast, can be used safely in underwater environments and are generally resistant to chemicals, making them a solid choice for swimming pools and chemical containment structures. Blended cements are generally designed to meet a specific set of needs in the construction industry and may be formulated to provide added strength and durability, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to enhance the green-friendly characteristics of concrete installations.

Addressing Environmental Concerns

Concrete is considered one of the most green-friendly choices available for builders for a number of reasons:

  • Cement is usually formulated from naturally occurring materials. The aggregate material used to turn cement into concrete is also found in nature and requires little or no chemical processing prior to its addition to the concrete amalgam.
  • Concrete is an excellent insulator against heat and cold, making it a solid choice for residential and commercial construction projects and reducing the costs of climate control for these buildings.
  • In many cases, concrete is produced locally to reduce the energy costs associated with transporting materials to construction sites.
  • The materials used to produce concrete are often recycled to reduce environmental impact even further.

The innate versatility of concrete makes it a popular choice for colored flooring in many Texas homes. Working with a Houston build-to-suit contractor can ensure that property owners receive the best guidance and the most accurate information regarding the available styles and colors for these innovative floor installations.

Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The carbon dioxide emissions generated during the curing process represent one of the few environmental drawbacks to the use of concrete in the construction industry. Fortunately, new formulations and building methods have proven useful in reducing these emissions and producing a cleaner and greener concrete for use in a wide array of industrial, commercial and residential projects. As these materials become more commonly available in the construction marketplace, concrete will become an even more essential element in building a green-friendly tomorrow.

Companies that offer Houston general construction services can provide you with added information regarding these advances in concrete formulations and in the ways in which concrete can be used to provide added insulation and improved energy efficiency for your planned project. By choosing concrete, you can ensure the highest degree of durability while protecting the environment at the same time.