Low carbon: Concrete is essential to deliver thermal mass and energy efficiency

The superior thermal performance properties of concrete can provide considerable in-use energy savings over the lifetime of buildings. The energy used in the operation of our homes and buildings is greater than the energy locked in the building fabric.

Residential buildings alone are responsible for 25% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Using housing as an example, the operational CO2 associated with concrete and masonry homes can offset their slightly higher embodied CO2 in just over a decade of use. CO2 emissions from the manufacture of concrete are reducing. Based on 2012 data, CO2 associated with the production of comparable concrete mixes is 23% less than the 1990 baseline.

For data associated with an ‘average’ tonne of concrete, suitable for use in a carbon calculator, visit www.sustainableconcrete.org.uk. Source: www.thisisconcrete.co.uk

Sustainability of Polished Concrete

When it comes to responsible sourcing, the concrete industry is leading other construction materials. 89% of all concrete in 2012 was certified to BES 6001 and of the production tonnage certified, 99% has achieved ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ performance rating.

The concrete industry is the first industry to link its sustainable construction strategy to BES 6001 and has produced a guidance document that supports the implementation of the standard. Designers can now easily source accredited material and gain maximum credits in sustainability assessment tools such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM.

Because concrete is locally sourced it means that monitoring its supply chain and ensuring its adherence to environmental, social regulatory and legislative benchmarks is relatively straightforward.

Responsible sourcing of construction products is an increasingly important issue for specifiers and clients. It touches all aspects of the supply chain. Of all construction products, concrete is best placed to deliver the highest level of responsible sourcing due to the local availability of materials, short supply chains and regulated management systems. Source: http://www.concretecentre.com