Concrete, particularly due to its cement content, has the largest building product carbon footprint. About 5% of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from cement.
“When it comes to building products, reducing the carbon footprint from concrete is one of the most significant actions that the building sector can take.” -Ed Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030
As a widely used building product, concrete offers great structural benefits, has a long service life, and is an important thermal mass material for passive system applications.
As we move to designing more high-performance buildings, concrete will play an important role, and low-carbon concrete will move us that much closer to true, carbon-neutral buildings.
The Concrete Product Category Rules (PCRs) released yesterday by the Carbon Leadership Forum are a critical step in the move towards low-carbon concrete. They set a standard methodology for calculating and disclosing the environmental impacts of concrete, including its carbon footprint.
The PCRs will lead to consistent, comparable data which in turn will drive innovation and low-carbon decisions.
The old adage rings true, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Now that the PCRs have been established, we can move on to the next steps of measuring and reducing the carbon impact of concrete, and meeting the 2030 Challenge for Products.