LafargeHolcim, a global building solutions firm, has recently introduced ECOPact, the industry’s broadest range of green concrete for high-performing, sustainable and circular construction.
As I wrote in May, concrete remains a critical barrier to climate-friendly buildings. It is responsible for at least 7% of carbon emissions worldwide, according to clean energy research group BloombergNEF. While ‘green concrete’ is being used in some states, the Biden Administration hasn’t prioritized it as much as electric vehicles or renewable energy, and it is still in its infancy. So innovations like ECOPact are key to advancing the market.
ECOPact comes in a range of low-carbon levels, from 30% to 100% less carbon emissions compared to standard (CEM I) concrete. Where regulatory conditions allow, ECOPact products integrate upcycled construction and demolition materials, further closing the resource loop. The mix is made of cement containing a high portion of what the company calls supplementary cementitious materials.
Among other customers, Baltimore-based Belfast Valley Contractors is using ECOPact on Georgetown University’s 55 H Street 12-story residence hall, the first major Washington, D.C., construction project to use the low-carbon mix. The product will help contribute to the project team’s goal of exceeding LEED-Platinum certification. The project, which will use approximately 7,000 cubic yards of ECOPact, is slated for completion in 2022.
According to Construction Dive, ECOPact’s formulation is not that much different than working with traditional concrete, said Kevin Riley, project manager for Belfast Valley Contractors. “We didn’t see a difference in what it looks like or its set times,” he said. Future adoption of ECOPact, Riley feels, will depend on ready availability of Portland cement and “something we all need to be cognizant of, look at and push for, if it makes sense on each project given the design team and ownership.”