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Watershed Materials Hopes to Make Cement-Free Concrete Blocks a Reality

Concrete blocks. Ever since manufacturers developed techniques to make them cheaper than traditional clay-fired bricks, concrete blocks have been one of our most ubiquitous construction materials. However, this ubiquity comes at a price: worldwide, the production of concrete accounts for around 5% of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions, and concrete blocks (as opposed to in-situ concrete or concrete panels) contributes a significant portion of these emissions.

To curb these runaway carbon emissions, a California-based company called Watershed Materials is developing alternatives to the traditional concrete block which uses less cement, dramatically reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced; they even have a product in the works which they hope will offer a widely applicable concrete block alternative which uses no cement at all.

Sustainable private residence by Arkin Tilt Architects. Image © Ed Caldwell A design using Watershed Blocks by Atelier Hsu. Image © Mark Luthringer A design using Watershed Blocks by Atelier Hsu. Image © Mark Luthringer A sustainable residence by Arkin Tilt Architects using Watershed Blocks. Image © Ed Caldwell + 13

Mountain View Residence / Atelier Hsu

© Mark Luthringer
© Mark Luthringer
Mountain View, United States
  • Architects: Atelier Hsu
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  2200.0 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2011

© Mark Luthringer © Mark Luthringer © Mark Luthringer © Mark Luthringer + 13

California College of the Arts Graduate Center / Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects

© Mark Luthringer © Mark Luthringer © Mark Luthringer © Mark Luthringer + 7

San Francisco, United States