sustainability

/Tag:sustainability

4 Ways Project Managers and Contractors Can Promote Sustainability

Learn The Role You Can Play In Promoting Sustainability As A Construction Project Manager or Contractor

Today, people are finding it more important than ever to “go green”. Green initiatives are being implemented in almost every industry, and construction is no exception.

Contractors and project managers (PM) everywhere are realizing the importance of sustainable choices throughout the building process. However, it’s not always possible for you as a contractor or PM to give your two cents when it comes to green initiatives. That’s when it pays off to be a part of a Design Build project!

In a Design Build, project managers and contractors get to collaborate with architects and engineers before the building begins. This allows the contractor to make changes, give his opinion and make recommendations in regards to best eco-friendly practices.

But what exactly are the benefits of green building, and what are the best ways to promote and maintain sustainability throughout a project? To help you think it through, we’ve compiled a list of four ways to “go green”!

The Value In Green Construction For Project Managers and Contractors

Choosing sustainable options is so much more than “going green”. When contractors push for green options, they are making choices that benefit our environment and economy.

Benefits for the environment

By choosing eco-friendly options, green buildings can benefit our environment by conserving energy and reducing water usage. This can also reduce the amount of toxic or harmful fumes that threaten our environment, like greenhouse gas emissions.

With less power used and less fumes released into the environment, our world would be a different place. Imagine the impact on our environment if every building was made this way!

Benefits for the economy

Green buildings help save money in more ways than one! When tenants aren’t using as much electricity or water, they’ll definitely notice the decrease on their bill. Building owners will have higher resale value due to green materials, too.

Not to mention, sustainable materials are simply more cost effective in the long run. These items are meant to last, and require less to keep them going. While choosing energy efficient options may seem more expensive from the start, the amount owners will save down the road makes it completely worth it!

4 Tips Project Managers and Contractors Can Take With Them Into The Design Build Process To Promote Sustainability

Now that you know the benefits of taking your construction project green, here are four tips to keep your project sustainable:

1. Create A Sustainability Strategy

Before getting started on anything, create a sustainability strategy. First, take a look at your current situation. What are some areas that need improvement? By examining your current processes, you can determine what it will take to improve these areas. This will also help you set and maintain goals for sustainability throughout the project.

Second, once these goals have been identified, assign tasks to specific people who will be held responsible. Just like with any other project, team members have certain jobs to perform. This is no different! Assign project members tasks to promote and maintain eco-friendliness. When everyone has their own responsibility, it will be much easy to stay sustainable!

2. Set Sustainability Standards on Site

Once work has begun, it’s important for contractors to do all they can to remain sustainable on site. There are quite a few ways for this to be achieved:

LED lighting. While this may seem more expensive at first, it will definitely pay off in the end! Not to mention, LED bulbs and lighting options will last significantly longer than regular bulbs. Because of this, they’ll be able to make it through multiple projects, all while maintaining efficiency and keeping costs down.

Proper waste management and recycling. This is a major part of keeping things green. As the project manager, you have multiple ways to influence good habits when it comes to trash and recycling. Keep an eye on items that could be repurposed or recycled, rather than just hauled off to a landfill. Encourage members of your team to properly dispose of items that can’t be reused, and to recycle all items that can!

Monitor runoff. Set up retention ponds around the site to prevent debris from making it into community water areas or freshwater sources. That way you’re keeping the site clean and keeping things eco-friendly!

3. Opt for Green Materials

One of the best parts of being involved in a Design Build is that you get to give your input at the beginning! This is especially helpful when it comes to ordering materials. You have the power and opportunity to recommend ordering materials that are sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Also, you can make recommendations to other key members of the team about green options. Some things to consider are:

Energy-efficient electrical. Make recommendations to the electrical engineers about choosing more energy-efficient options. This could be solar paneling, appliances, wiring, or even making the suggestion to add more windows! This will bring in more natural light and alleviate the need for lights to be kept on all day (and cut costs on energy bills).  

Green HVAC. Having an energy-efficient HVAC is key to sustainability! By recommending a green HVAC, you can help owners save big in the future.

Non-toxic paint and finishes. Some cheaper paints and finishes emit high volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These not only threaten the health of the team, but also the health of the tenant. Suggest paints and finishes will lower levels of toxicity that aren’t detrimental to overall well-being, and that promote sustainability.

CarbonCure Technology. Carbon Cure’s CO2 utilization technology injects a precise dosage of carbon dioxide into ready-mix concrete masonry products, where it chemically converts into a mineral. Read more about this innovative technology and how it’s promoting sustainability.

4. Choose Reliable Partners

Align yourself with partners who care about sustainability as much as you do! Some partners and suppliers may try to cut costs, therefore nixing your green goals.

While convincing partners to go green is easier said than done, it can be a great opportunity to shed some light on the benefits of choosing sustainable options. If everyone involved in the project understands the value of green initiatives, they will be more willing to put these efforts into action.

However, we know picking the right supplier is no easy task! With so many to choose from, it’s hard to make sure your priorities and goals about sustainability align.

When you’re looking for a concrete supplier who cares about sustainability just as much as you do, look no further than Concrete Supply Co.

At Concrete Supply Co., we are committed to preserving natural resources to not only grow our business, but also protect our environment. We frequently audit our sites to make sure we are conserving our resources through recycling. Not to mention, we are the first ready-mix company in the Carolinas to have earned the National Ready Mixed Concrete Associations Green Star Environmental Certification.

We take pride in our efforts to create a more sustainable, green and eco-friendly environment throughout our projects. Ready to partner up? Contact us to let us know a little bit more about your project and how we can work together!

Looking for a supplier but not sure who to choose? Download our Guide to Pre-Qualifying Suppliers below to help you pick the right suppliers for you!

contractors-project-managers-meeting
2019-03-19T15:15:37+00:00

CSC is proud of the service of its employees

Concrete Cares Award

The Manufacturers, Products & Services (MPS) Division of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA) recently presented the 2018 Concrete Care Award to Concrete Supply Co., LLC, at NRMCA’s Annual Convention in Houston, TX.

CSC’s success is driven by its employees from an outreach program called, “Rock. Solid. Support!” In 2017, CSC began with their annual drive supporting the United Way, for which CSC has been a Pacesetter business since the mid-1980s. Contribution rates rose 32% across 22 countries and total pledged contributions from employees and corporate reached $138,000.

Through its “Rock. Solid. Support!” outreach slogan, CSC has supported numerous employee-driven fundraisers and events in support of local communities across the markets they service (see below under Community for a list of organizations supported). CSC also gives two paid community service days to all employees annually, giving each person freedom to decide when and where they want to give back to their local communities.

CSC is proud of the service of its employees, and the fact that these efforts are employee-driven. Its objective has been simple, leverage the size of the company and let its employees know that CSC cares about what is most important to them. This goes to show that Concrete Supply Co. stands by one of its most important values: Community. With ready mixed concrete plants in almost every community in America, NRMCA member companies are making a real difference in the communities they serve. The Concrete Cares Award recognizes these efforts and shines a national spotlight on the positive impact ready mixed concrete companies have in hometowns across the nation.

concrete supply cares yellow helmet
2019-02-11T10:46:36+00:00

Concrete Supply Makes Mid-Market Fast 40 List

2018 Fast 40 WINNER

Business North Carolina magazine has announced its 2018 list of the 40 fastest moving mid-size companies in North Carolina. Concrete Supply Co. ranks #14 on the list and was honored along with other companies that made the list in Pinehurst at a luncheon on October 10, 2018. The list ranks companies based on revenue and employment growth over a three year period.

To View the Full List CLICK HERE

north carolina mid-market fast 40 winner
2019-02-11T10:43:03+00:00

How CarbonCure Technology Is Taking The Concrete Industry From Gray To Green

The Impact CarbonCure Technology is Having on the Concrete Industry

Seven percent of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from cement production. One US Government agency revealed that global cement production was responsible for about four billion pounds of CO2 emissions last year alone.

Cement is the primary–and most widely used–ingredient in concrete. As a result, these emissions are often blamed on the concrete industry.

The government endorsing environmental stewardship programs encourages architects and designers to reduce both the operational and embedded footprint of buildings. While this is a great step towards change, there’s still more that can be done! There are options for designers and architects that don’t just benefit the environment but the structure itself too. 

During a United Nations summit on Climate Change in 2007, Rob Niven saw a global need for less carbon emissions.

Rob Niven said, “The scientific community understands that CO2 can be chemically converted to a mineral within concrete. So why can’t we find a way to use CO2 in every-day concrete and help concrete producers respond to the demand for green building products?”

That same year, Rob Niven founded CarbonCure with a goal of reducing the carbon footprint of the concrete industry.

Today, CarbonCure is at the forefront of a movement to turn carbon dioxide into a valuable commodity–concrete!

The progress CarbonCure has made over the last ten years will change the concrete industry as we know it. We like to say, CarbonCure is taking the industry from gray to green–not literally, but definitely for the better!

How CarbonCure Recycles Co2 to Make Better Concrete

CO2 utilization is an innovative process in which industrial CO2 is captured and used to manufacture valuable products. CarbonCure is the only commercial CO2-utilisation technology currently serving the concrete sector.

CarbonCure’s CO2 utilization technology injects a precise dosage of carbon dioxide (generally between 1-5 fl oz/cwt is recommended) into ready-mix concrete and concrete masonry products, where it chemically converts into a mineral.

The use of CO2 in concrete shows no effect on the mix’s fresh properties–set-time, slump, workability, pump-ability, air content, temperature, and finishing. Or on the hardening properties of the mix–pH, freeze-that, density, color, texture, and durability.

Sourcing CO2

Sourcing CO2 is not the hard part. Third party gas suppliers collect CO2 from industrial emitters then purify, liquefy, and distribute it.

Ready-mix producers are able to store CO2 necessary for production at their plant in a refrigerated, pressurized tank which is refilled regularly by the gas supplier. When discharged, the CO2 is a mixture of gas and a solid white powder.

The Reaction

When CO2 is injected into a ready-mix, it reacts with calcium ions in the cement. Eventually this forms a nano-sized calcium carbonate mineral that becomes permanently embedded in the concrete.

This answers most people’s biggest question about CarbonCure: “Will the CO2 ever escape?” Once the CO2 is converted into a mineral, it cannot escape because it no longer exists.

This permanence is a huge sustainability advantage for CarbonCure technology. With almost all other applications, CO2 makes its way back into the atmosphere. CarbonCure will never be released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.

As we said, the concrete industry’s future just went from gray to green!

See the reaction explained in the diagram below.

CarbonCure_ConcreteIndustry

The Green Future With CarbonCure

The CarbonCure vision is to “make the introduction of CO2 into concrete standard for all concrete production across the globe”.

A world in which CO2 is sourced from cement plants and used by concrete producers to create stronger and greener concrete is now the biggest goal.

The beneficial reuse of CO2 industry is expected to become a $1 trillion industry by the year 2030 according to The Global CO Initiative (GCI).

CO2 utilization products for the concrete sector alone have the potential to reduce up to 1.4 gigatonnes of annual CO2 emissions by 2031. A greener concrete industry is possible.

Concrete Supply Co. is onboard with the change CarbonCure is helping the concrete industry achieve, now what about you? CarbonCure provides FAQ pages to answer all of your questions–whether you are a contractor, engineer, or designer.

Is being eco-friendly a concern of yours when ordering a ready-mix from your supplier? Check sustainability on our Concrete Checklist: Get The Best Ready-mix For Your Project, and plan to use CarbonCure technology with your next mix.

carbon cure technology
2019-02-18T15:59:43+00:00

What Makes Concrete a Sustainable Building Material?

The sustainability of our day to day processes and their impact on the environment is a top concern of society today. And one of the biggest industries in the sustainability spotlight is the construction industry.

Many are asking “how sustainable of a building material is concrete?”. We’re here to answer that question, set the record straight and tell you how we plan on increasing the sustainability of concrete in the future.  

Concrete IS a sustainable building material

There are multiple reasons why concrete is and will continue to be a sustainable building material:

Minimal Waste

Unlike other building materials that must be cut to size, concrete can be produced in the exact quantity needed. It is then poured into exact molds which eliminates excessive leftover material. If there is left over product, it typically goes back to the plant to be molded into large, semi-regular blocks. These are then used to shore up eroding hillsides, among other purposes.

Ability to Retain Stormwater

Pervious concrete is a special type of structural concrete with a high porosity. Because it allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through, it’s mainly used for flatwork applications. When pervious concrete makes driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and other paved areas, it can help retain stormwater runoff and replenish local water supplies. Paved surfaces tend to be impervious and can prevent natural water infiltration into the soil leading to erosion, flash flooding, water table depletion, and pollution. Pervious concrete is one of the many low impact development techniques that builders use to protect water quality and work towards sustainability in construction.

Reflectivity

Light colored concrete pavements and roofs absorb less heat than dark-colored materials like asphalt. They also reflect more solar radiation back into the atmosphere than dark-colored materials like asphalt. This means concrete does not contribute to the urban island effect.

Energy Efficiency

Homes built with concrete walls, foundations, and floors are highly energy efficient. When you build with concrete, you get to the opportunity to take advantage of concrete’s inherent thermal mass. Homeowners and businesses can significantly cut their heating and cooling bills and even install a smaller-capacity HVAC system.  

Durability

Other products like wood can rot, mold and burn. However concrete structures are durable, long lasting, and will never combust omitting toxic particles into the air. Life spans for concrete building products can be double, sometimes triple those of other common building materials.

Abundant and Renewable

The predominant raw material for the cement in concrete is limestone. Which just so happens to be one of the more abundant minerals on earth. Marine life remains are responsible for forms Limestone (calcium carbonate). Since there are so many deposits available above sea level, ocean mining may never come into play for manufacturing concrete.

Limestone isn’t the only element of in concrete. There are renewable sources such as fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume. All of which are waste byproducts from power plants, steel mills, and various other types of manufacturing facilities.   

New developments and innovations for sustainability in the concrete industry

In addition to the previously listed points, there are also new developments and innovations being made within the industry. These developments allow for the removal of environmental pollutants and aim for sustainability and construction that is environmentally-friendly.

Any environmentally concerned individual knows that CO2 is a known greenhouse gas, accounting for nearly 84% of global greenhouse gas. Cement production accounts for about 3-5% of the world’s CO2 greenhouse gas emission, creating a concern for the concrete industry!

While it’s true that the production of cement results in the emission of CO2, there are many steps the industry is taking to not only make the process less harmful for the environment but remove CO2 from the air altogether.

CarbonCure technology advances sustainability efforts

One especially innovative technology called CarbonCure has found a way to use CO2 to make better concrete products. The technique works like this:

  • Collect CO2 from smokestacks of large polluters.
  • Purify CO2 and deliver it to a concrete plant.
  • Store CO2 in a liquid state in pressure tanks.
  • Inject liquid CO2 into cement mix (done with a controlled operating system).
  • The CO2 combines with CaO in the mix to form a solid mineral.

What results from the CarbonCure process is permanent CO2 sequestration (the capture and storage of CO2 forever) and a concrete mix that looks, finishes and performs the same as any regular concrete mix.

We acknowledge that cement’s carbon footprint is a significant environmental concern but know that concrete is a sustainable building material. As a result, we are and will continue to take steps towards making the production of concrete more sustainable. The future of concrete and our environment is looking bright!

In order to get the perfect mix for your project, (including a mix that is green and environmentally friendly, such as the CarbonCure mix mentioned above) answer the questions on this checklist to help your ready-mix producer create the best mix for you.

Furthermore, if you’d like your team to learn about the sustainability of concrete and the CarbonCure system we offer, we offer a lunch and learn presentation on the topic. Click here for information on our lunch and learn presentations and how to schedule one.

construction site with concrete truck
2019-02-28T19:33:54+00:00