Project Journal

Pouring (over) Concrete
by Robert Fortunato on April 3rd, 2011 No Comments

Lucas’ words were ringing in my ears as the second cement truck finished unloading.  When asked what materials his Danish eco village tries to avoid, the number one item is poured concrete because of it’s high embodied energy and the fact that you can’t really recycle it.   Discarded concrete just get’s crushed into road bed.  Better than nothing, but it does not go back into the making of new concrete.

Unlike Denmark, we have seismic activity that needs to be accounted for in the structural engineering– that means lots of concrete and steel rebar in the foundations.

As with so many things we are discovering, there is no perfect answer – but there is a perfect opportunity for innovation in the “green engineering” arena.    Budding green entrepreneurs out there, how can we reduce the impact of poured concrete?  By weight alone, it has more impact than almost anything else we are doing in the construction process.  Every ton of cement produces a ton of CO2 emissions.

In the meantime, we are reducing the amount of cement needed by reusing 90% of our existing foundation and as much of the garage and driveway slabs as possible.

Pouring Concrete 1


Pouring Concrete 2


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