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How Ecologically Detrimental is Concrete?

How Ecologically Detrimental is Concrete?
How Ecologically Detrimental is Concrete?, Tricorn Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, 1965. Credit: RIBA Library Photographs Collection
Tricorn Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, 1965. Credit: RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Concrete has long been considered particularly harmful to the environment. However, Architect Magazine recently published an article on Nature Geoscience, which may offer some concrete (pun intended) findings regarding the issue.

The study, inspired by the large increase in concrete production in China, utilized an algorithm-based stimulation technique — titled the Monte Carlo analysis— to quantify the carbonation of global cement. Though their results are not completely comprehensive, the team solidified the extreme scale of concrete weathering. 

The full range of results represents our estimate of uncertainty. The team concluded that carbonating cement materials have sequestered a total of 4.5 gigatons of carbon between 1930 and 2013, and therefore represent a significant carbon sink that has been largely ignored, said University of California, Irvine Earth-system science associate professor, Steven Davis in an interview with the Architect Magazine.

Regardless of the uncertainty, the study finds that concrete awareness (increasing exposed surface area while decreasing surface treatments) would be a more sustainable solution, eliminating weathering. This thereby allows concrete to be a net-positive material.

News Via: Architect Magazine

About this author
Cite: Natalina Lopez. "How Ecologically Detrimental is Concrete?" 24 Dec 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/802161/how-ecologically-detrimental-is-concrete/> ISSN 0719-8884

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