Alabama concrete company Blair Block has started producing ultra-low carbon concrete blocks designed to significantly reduce emissions in the construction industry using CarbonBuilt technology.
Compared to traditional concrete blocks, these new blocks use CarbonBuilt’s carbon-reduction processes to diminish embodied carbon by 70% to 100%, according to the company. This first line of blocks will not only avoid at least 2,000 tons of carbon emissions but will also remove over 500 tons of atmospheric carbon each year, the companies said.
The new concrete blocks are both environmentally friendly and financially advantageous as they cost no more to produce than traditionally-used concrete. In fact, CarbonBuilt’s technology introduces a low-cost alternative to expensive, high-carbon Portland cement currently used in concrete manufacturing, the company said.
Concrete is currently the most consumed product globally next to water and is responsible for over 8% of the world’s emissions. In an industry known for its negative environmental impact, this recent innovation marks the possibility for the concrete industry to engage in regenerative practices going forward.
Cement blocks are vital materials for home, school, industrial, and commercial construction projects, and traditional carbon blocks serve as an obstacle to creating eco-friendly buildings. CarbonBuilt’s cement blocks solve this issue by using widely available, low-carbon materials. These materials are processed and strengthened in a furnace that uses waste biomass that would otherwise cause carbon emissions.
“This is not only a milestone for CarbonBuilt and Blair Block, but also for the broader concrete and building materials industries,” said Rahul Shendure, CEO of CarbonBuilt. “We’ve shown that it’s possible to massively reduce carbon emissions from concrete production without compromising on cost or performance. We look forward to replicating this success at concrete masonry plants around the country.”
C&C Masonry Plans to Use New Blocks in Upcoming Projects
In the coming months, C&C Masonry will use the first blocks off the line in existing and new contracts. One such project includes a new firehouse in the historically underserved West Montgomery Fairview Avenue district. The blocks are expected to integrate smoothly into this project and many others for the leading masonry contractor.
“It’s business as usual for us,” said Scott Cunningham, owner of C&C Masonry. “Thanks to Blair Block and CarbonBuilt, we’re now able to offer a much more sustainable option to customers without changing the way we operate, asking our masons to handle heavier blocks, or asking our clients to pay more. Everybody wins.”