Although some say the buzz about sustainability has begun to die down, green building is here to stay. During a presentation at World of Concrete, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan included green building in his list of growth opportunities.
Citing increasing global demand for construction materials and high oil prices, Sullivan predicts green building practices such as using recycled materials “will continue to grow not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it makes economic sense.”
Concrete producers are often frustrated trying to keep up amidst a sea of research, articles, and news articles. Fortunately, there are a growing number of online communities specifically for our industry. The following websites help producers and their customers brush up on the latest sustainability issues.
Houston-based U.S. Concrete prides itself on being a supplier of green concrete technologies. The producer has created a portal for news, industry events, project profiles, and expert opinions related to sustainable construction. Visitors can read blogs and browse articles by topics such as research, education, architectural concrete, and pervious concrete.
“The blog's goal is to be relevant, reach a new level of engagement, and provide value to customers and prospects,” says Wally Johnson, vice president of sales and marketing. Users can post comments and request the weekly Concrete Green Building newsletter.
Ozinga Brothers Inc. is making a name for itself in sustainability throughout Chicago, Indiana, and Michigan. The Chicago-based ready-mix producer uses its website to answer customers' questions about going green with concrete.
The site covers U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system, including an overview, a list of credits concrete can earn on a project, and Ozinga's products that can help: Filtercrete pervious concrete, recycled materials, and decorative concrete flooring.
The Concrete vs. Asphalt section arms customers with in-depth research about concrete's environmental benefits, such as reducing urban heat islands.
For producers and contractors too busy to scour the Internet for updates, environmental and sustainability consultants Resource Management Associates in Forked River, N.J. post weekly blog entries about environmental issues relating to concrete, aggregates, and other construction materials.
The Resource page compiles articles about crucial topics for producers, such as plant operations, reclaimers, environmental regulations, and more.
Many associations provide resources to help engineers, architects, and designers understand concrete's sustainable qualities.
PCA compiles sustainable concrete solutions, applications, and case studies. A SimCity tour showcases sustainable solutions. Also, find green specification guidelines for concrete products, tech briefs, and energy performance results. The bimonthly “Concrete Thinking” newsletter provides updates.
NRMCA's sustainability portal covers concrete's environmental benefits, with micro-sites on specific topics, including pervious pavement, green roofs, and concrete parking lots. Specifiers can access a series of related webinars.
The National Precast Concrete Association provides resources such as The Little Green Book of Concrete with practical examples of sustainable precast design, a LEED credit reference guide, and a LEED calculator.