Concrete is "One of the most versatile materials on the planet", but the cement industry is under increasing pressure to make it a less polluting construction material, according to a recent article in Building Magazine and their accompanying website.
The challenge is to come up ways of reducing its carbon footprint, says the report - which reveals that significant progress is already being made in the form of the Decarbonising Precast Concrete, which will provide significant sustainability benefits. There is no doubt that the material is hugely significant one, the author Thomas Lane reveals. "Without concrete, the world as we know it would not exist. Most of the structures we take for granted rely on concrete for their construction." "Concrete is incredibly versatile – it can be moulded into complex shapes, is immensely strong and extremely durable, and can look good too. These qualities, and the fact that it is readily available and cheap, mean that – after water – it has become the most widely used substance on earth."
The disadvantages of concrete are of course well documented, being responsible, for example, for as much as 7% of global emissions annually writes Lane. Nonetheless, the report concludes in a very positive way, with a feature on the Decarbonising Precast Concrete project which has already make significant strides to address sustainability issues involving the material, with identified innovations that will only need to be "relatively minor".
PCE Ltd is working in partnership with consultants Akerlof, Accelar, Curtins and precast product manufacturer Forterra as part of an Innovate UK funded consortium to map the embodied carbon within the existing Ministry of Justice secure accommodation designs and to identify opportunities to reduce their actual carbon footprint in the future.