During an episode of Renovation Nation, a Boston man has a little concrete emergency. It seems that the Bostonian engineer underestimated the amount of concrete that he would need in order to cover the floor of his new, eco-friendly home.
Much was made of this concrete fiasco, but it was peacefully resolved. You'll have to watch the show yourself to see exactly what happened.
Obviously, concrete can be used to build eco-friendly structures, but the show made me wonder if concrete was environmentally friendly.
The answer was a resounding yes. Concrete is one of the greenest building materials on the market, but there are concrete dissenters. Concrete is not perfect, but it is better than quite a few of the alternatives:
1. Concrete is almost always made locally. It dries fast and cannot be flown across the world or shipped by tanker.
2. Concrete is made from some of the most abundant resources on the planet. It's simply a combination of water, gravel, sand, air and cement.
3. Concrete can be recycled and contains recycled materials. It is also quite durable, adding sustainability as one of many virtues.
4. Concrete reduces heat in urban areas. Don't confuse concrete with asphalt. Asphalt increases heat in urban heat islands; concrete reduces it. Concrete is still hotter than nothing at all.
Concrete is a green building material. That's something you can set in stone. That pun, however, is kind of awful.