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Concrete Sustainability

September 13, 2018

Concrete itself is a more sustainable building material than alternative options. It is made from some of the most abundant materials on Earth, including sand, stone, and water. These materials are much safer for the environment than petroleum-based products, such as asphalt.


Byproducts like slag, fly ash, and reclaimed water can be used in concrete to create mixes that are up to 50 percent recycled. Over the course of 2017, Ozinga recycled over 70,175 tons of slag and 115,800 tons of fly ash that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Recycled materials reduce Ozinga’s use of cement, the production of which is responsible for 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. These recycled materials reduce production emissions from virgin materials and can help buildings achieve LEED certification.


Portable crushing allows for demolished material to be reused, resulting in reduced cost, less landfill material, and a cleaner environment. Often times, material crushed onsite is recycled to create products like stone or aggregate. CA6 stone, a common byproduct of concrete recycling, is used as a base under flooring, sidewalks, and roads. Recycled concrete is also used to create stone and fill sand.


Ozinga creates concrete blocks from unused mixed concrete. These blocks have several uses, such as holding or storing material, blocking off traffic, and decoration.


Ozinga’s Filtercrete Pervious concrete is a porous building material that allows water to pass through it, filtering out pollutants and recharging groundwater and aquifers. Plants and trees surrounding Filtercrete are able to grow faster and healthier due to increased moisture and oxygen levels in the soil.


High albedo concrete, a light-colored concrete, reflects more light than other building materials. This reduces the amount of energy needed to cool buildings. High albedo concrete also reduces the heat island effect, which occurs when dark surfaces absorb heat during the day and release it at night, raising surrounding air temperatures.


CarbonCure Technology actively works to sequester carbon dioxide inside concrete. Due to the unique chemistry of concrete, carbon dioxide captured from local polluters is permanently converted into nano mineral materials when mixed with fresh concrete. This reaction makes concrete stronger and allows for reduced cement usage to further improve the concrete’s carbon footprint. A medium-sized building constructed by Ozinga with CarbonCure Technology sequesters the same amount of carbon dioxide that a forest would in 200 years. Implementing CarbonCure globally could annually reduce 700 megatons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the emissions from 150 million cars.

In September 2017, Ozinga partnered with +Plus House, a green home-building company, to use CarbonCure in all house foundations. This technology allows each house to sequester the same amount of CO2 that a car emits driving 8,300 miles.

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