Concrete is the most consumed building material in the world, with its versatile properties making it ideal for a number of different structures, from towering office blocks to bridges. As time goes on, growing environmental pressure means concrete and cement industries all over the world are innovating new ways for this material to be as sustainable as possible, while still keeping costs down and quality high.
This push for sustainability includes both small and large changes, aiming to decrease harmful carbon dioxide emissions and preserve natural resources. Beginning right at the concrete production stage all the way through to construction and beyond, these changes can go a long way to helping the environment for years to come.
At Mix It, we are aware of our responsibility to the environment and strive to be as green a company as possible. When we built our newest concrete mixing plant in Barking, it was therefore important for us to also include a concrete recycling plant.
Using a state-of-the-art Schwing Stetter system, we are able to save the waste concrete that would otherwise end up in landfill by separating the small concrete particles, to reclaim the aggregate that would otherwise be lost. This process is also used as part of our normal truck washing procedure, so no additional water is used in the recycling process, making it efficient as well as environmentally-friendly. This reclaimed aggregate is then used in the production of both our ready mix concrete and concrete blocks.
Throughout the industry, manufacturers and activists are revolutionising the way concrete is made. Companies have begun using waste materials from manufacturing plants, such as blast furnace slag from steel production, instead of standard cement, keeping these products out of landfill. Others are using the waste from demolished concrete buildings to form aggregate and help save natural resources.
As a construction material, concrete can greatly increase a building’s sustainability. Its high thermal mass means it can help keep your building cool in the summer and warm in the winter, reducing the need for artificial temperature controls and bringing down both the resulting costs and the environmental impact.
Concrete is also a long-lasting material. Structures built from concrete are extremely durable and have long lives, minimising the potential negative impact of regular maintenance and potential rebuilding that could occur if using other materials.
Across the globe, great efforts are being made to make concrete a more sustainable construction material. In Australia, there has been proven success in using recycled plastic rather than steel to reinforce concrete structures. This was found to reduce carbon dioxide production by around 50%. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a robotic construction method has been trialled that is said to reduce the carbon emissions of concrete slab production by 20%.
Here at Mix It, we provide sustainable ready mix concrete and concrete blocks throughout North London and Essex. To find out more about our products and services, call us on 0207 538 2266 or email us at [email protected].