How Miller & Long Are Curbing the Environmental Impact of Concrete Projects

Jim Martinoski is proud of the work they do at Miller & Long Co., Inc., a full-service provider of concrete construction services delivering quality concrete to the mid-Atlantic region. A well-respected employer and active in their local community, Miller & Long are now also proving themselves to be a leader in sustainability in their market.

“Sustainability is not a nice-to-have thing or a nice story to present. It's become necessary-to-do work and if you're not part of it, you're going to get run over by it. And so we need to either lead it or be part of that story,” he said.

In a recent webinar, Jim — the Vice President of Miller & Long — talked about the number of ways they are reducing their environmental impact, including implementing CarbonCure in their portable plants.

A Sustainability Toolkit

Miller & Long take an integrated approach to sustainability, using a number of initiatives to curb their environmental impact. Even their use of portable plants – located close to or on building sites – reduces carbon emissions from truck travel. 

“Everything we do contributes to the carbon footprint and so if we can do something without contributing to it, then we’re a winner,” said Jim.

Some of the tools in their sustainability toolkit include:

  1. Water reuse. Reclaiming and recycling the water used in their operations, saving thousands of gallons of water weight per week. 
  2. Waste diversion. Turning end-of-life lumber into mulch for local landscaping companies.
  3. Renewable energy. Using solar panels and hybrid generators to power their plants, trucks, radio batteries and computers used on-site where possible.
  4. Value engineering. Looking at ways to reduce costs while also improving the environmental footprint of buildings.

Going Further with Low Carbon Concrete

Well aware that Portland cement generates 7% of CO2 globally, the team at Miller & Long knew that finding a way to reduce this ingredient in their mix designs would substantially impact the carbon footprint of their concrete.

“We produce roughly 50% of the concrete that we place in the buildings that we construct,” said Jim. “So we have a vested interest in making sure that the concrete we place in buildings is sustainable.” 

Amazon HQ2, the online giant’s new headquarters in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia, provided the perfect opportunity for Miller & Long to take the next step in curbing the environmental impact of their projects.

Meeting Amazon’s Goals

As the concrete contractor for a 1.2 million square foot (111,484 square meter) building at Amazon HQ2, Miller & Long are using CarbonCure in two portable batch plants, set up just a couple of blocks from the jobsite. 

Bringing CarbonCure to the project was important to Miller & Long – and helped to meet Amazon’s goal to reduce embodied carbon. “You could tell from the specifications that it was a very important topic, so we wanted to be very aggressive with everything we could possibly do from a sustainability perspective,” said Jim. 

With sustainability in mind, the company turned to CarbonCure early in the process to make sure they had everything lined up to be successful.

Developing the Right Mix

With Amazon HQ2 being Miller & Long’s first experience working with CarbonCure’s concrete technology, they knew that testing would be key to finding the best formula for their needs. They spent a few months before starting work at the jobsite testing a number of different mix designs.

“The CarbonCure team was gracious enough to allow us to move from portable plant to portable plant with the technology so we could do testing with cementitious reductions,” said Jim.

“We ultimately landed at 5% total cementitious reduction across the board for all the mix designs that we have at HQ2 phase one.”

Jim Martinoski, Vice President, Miller & Long Co.

Using CarbonCure’s sustainable concrete solution at Amazon HQ2, MIller & Long have saved over 1000 tons of CO2, which is comparable to around 1400 acres (567 hectares) or forest absorbing CO2 for a year.

As well, their mix designs have at least a 25% better impact on global warming potential compared to the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association baseline.

These impressive results have been achieved without reducing the quality of their concrete and while meeting the demands of a challenging schedule and climate.

Exponential Demand for Sustainable Concrete

Jim’s excited about what he calls an exponential demand in his market for sustainable concrete. While bottom-line budgets remain important, he’s seeing a real shift in prioritizing sustainability. 

“If our budget's going to be 10% higher than the next person’s, we typically don't get that job,” said Jim. “But if we have a sustainable product, and it contributes less to the carbon footprint, we're in that conversation. And that's not just Miller & Long, it's everyone.”

Taking an integrated approach to sustainability means that Miller & Long have a number of tools available to them to reduce their environmental impact and act as a leader in sustainability.

“We know if we don't change with the sustainability initiatives or what the market tells us we need to do, we're going to get run over by it. So, we accept that change, we embrace it, and we move forward with it,” said Jim.

To learn more about Miller & Long’s experience curbing the environmental impact of concrete and adopting CarbonCure in their operations, watch the on-demand webinar.

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