A new kind of green concrete is gaining traction in some of Manhattan’s high-rises. iCrete touts a 40 percent reduction in GHG emissions, advanced mix designs, and higher performance and quality control; branding itself as the highest strength concrete ever poured in the history of New York.
Less than a year since its introduction, the new concrete has been used in projects such as Freedom Tower, Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower, 11 Times Square and more than 30 construction sites in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.
Another company working to make its concrete environmentally friendly is Ceratech which makes its concrete using fly ash, a waste stream product from coal fired power plants.
While the new concretes are making headway, a new study from Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project finds that concretes made from cement kiln are emitting twice the EPA’s mercury pollution estimates in 2006.
- Mercury emissions from cement kilns is now estimated to be nearly 23, 000 pounds, twice the EPA’s estimate in 2006 of almost 12,000 pounds.
- A small number of cement plants using extremely dirty raw materials and fuels are among the worst mercury polluters in their states, releasing as much or more mercury as coal fired power plants.
- Future mercury pollution will grow even worse if left unregulated.
Last summer, U.S. Concrete said it substantially replaced traditional Portland cement, which accounts for six to eight percent of human generated CO2 in the environment, with reclaimed fly ash and slag.