It’s estimated that up to 50 percent of commercial building developers are currently looking for more sustainable construction solutions. This trend will continue to grow in the years ahead as the focus on preventing climate change intensifies. Suppliers across the construction industry will feel the pressure to lower their carbon footprint—especially concrete producers.
Concrete is coming under scrutiny for its significant climate impact. In fact, carbon performance is predicted to be the defining competitive issue for concrete producers in the foreseeable future. As a result, producers are seeking ways to reduce the global warming potential (GWP) of their operations and deliver greener concrete products to their markets.
CarbonCure’s technology is already used in more than 400 concrete plants around the world—and that number increases every month as more and more concrete producers realize their potential to win more business from the growing green building market and reduce cement costs to improve overall profitability.
The best news is that our groundbreaking technology is now available to precast and prestress concrete producers.
How does CarbonCure for Precast work?
CarbonCure for Precast works by injecting recycled carbon dioxide (CO2) into fresh concrete during mixing. Once injected, the CO2 undergoes a chemical reaction where it transforms into a mineral. This improves the compressive strength of the concrete, allowing for the reduction of cement content in mix designs. Cement production is a carbon-intensive process, so reducing its use can significantly improve the carbon footprint of precast and precast concrete.
Installing the technology at a precast plant is straightforward and won’t disrupt plant operations. Like our original CarbonCure for Ready Mix technology, CarbonCure for Precast involves the installation of two boxes at the plant:
- The CarbonCure Valve Box
- The CarbonCure Control Box
The Valve Box connects to a CO2 tank and delivers a metered quantity of CO2 into the concrete mix. The CO2 is stored onsite in a pressurized tank and is sourced easily from local industrial gas companies. The Control Box monitors the performance of the valve box system in real-time and feeds usage data back to the CarbonCure Command Centre (which syncs with the customer portal myCarbonCure).
The CarbonCure Control Box’s software integrates seamlessly with all existing batching software, so adding CO2 into a mix is just like adding an admixture—there is no impact on batching or loading cycle time.
The CO2 changes state once it leaves the CarbonCure Valve Box and is similar in consistency to dry ice or snow. Upon contact with the mix, the CO2 undergoes a chemical reaction and converts into a mineral—Calcium Carbonate—which makes the concrete stronger. What was once CO2 is eliminated, never to be re-released into the atmosphere.
No Impact on Fresh or Hardened Properties
Precast concrete made with CarbonCure acts no differently to concrete made without it. The fresh and hardened properties are not affected in any way. Mix designs can be adjusted to include an optimized dose of CO2 and a reduction of cement content without compromising the concrete’s strength.
This means precast concrete made with CarbonCure can be used in a variety of commercial and residential applications from parking structures to buildings to agricultural and civil projects.
More Sustainable Precast Concrete
Every cubic yard of precast concrete produced with CarbonCure saves an average of 25 pounds of CO2 emissions (15 kilograms per cubic meter) from entering the atmosphere. For example, an average parking garage built with CarbonCure would save approximately 195 tonnes (215 US tons) of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 238 acres (96 hectares) of forest in a year.
Reduced cement content means reduced costs and a reduced carbon footprint, and more business from the green building markets.
With CarbonCure, precast and prestress producers can create a legacy of sustainability in their communities while attracting and retaining employees who want to work for an employer that does something positive for the environment.
Carbon Savings Estimate for Average Parking Garage
In a typical parking garage with 6,368 cubic yards (4868 cubic meters) of concrete, there is an opportunity to save 195 tonnes (215 US tons) of CO₂ from entering the atmosphere by using CarbonCure for Precast.
This is equivalent to 238 acres (96 hectares) of trees absorbing CO₂ for a year OR 483,013 miles (777,334 kilometers) of driving in a gas/petrol-powered car.
Cement Reduction = Cost Savings
In a typical installation, the technology costs are offset by cement savings. Some producers are reducing cement in their precast design by up to 10 percent—and saving up to $1,000 USD per day in cement costs at one plant alone.
The installation is straightforward since the technology can be retrofitted onto any wet batch precast or prestress plant and seamlessly integrated with existing batching software.
If you’re interested in learning more about about CarbonCure for Precast, get in touch.