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Concrete components: cement, water, fine aggregate, and coarse aggregate. (PCA No. 55361)Using materials that are extracted locally and products that are manufactured locally supports the use of indigenous materials and regional economies. In addition, reduced shipping distances for local building materials minimizes fuel requirements for transportation and handling, and the associated energy and emissions.
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Quarry (PCA No. 13411)The primary raw materials used to make cement and concrete are abundant in most areas of the world. The cement, aggregates, and reinforcing steel used to make concrete and the raw materials used to manufacture cement are usually obtained or extracted from sources within 300 miles of the ready mixed, precast concrete, or masonry plant. Fly ash, slag cement, silica fume, and other supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) are also usually obtained locally. Most ready mixed plants are within 100 miles of the project site.
 
Most precast concrete and masonry plants are within 200 miles of the project site. Concrete consists of approximately 7 to 15% cementitious materials (cement and SCMs), 25 to 30% fine aggregate (sand), 30 to 50% coarse aggregate (gravel or crushed stone), and 15 to 20% water. The cement is manufactured primarily from limestone, shells or chalk, and shale, clay, sand, or iron ore mined from a quarry near the plant. Natural gravel and sand are usually dug or dredged from a pit, river, lake, or seabed. Crushed aggregate is produced by crushing quarry rock, boulders, or large gravel. Water is generally from public water supplies or nearby rivers. Cement and aggregates are relatively inexpensive and heavy, and shipping them by truck is generally not economical.
 
Shipping by boat, barge, or rail uses approximately 70% less energy than shipping by truck. Approximately 15% of the cement used in the U.S. is imported from countries other than Canada.
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Located at External Web SiteConcrete's Contrubition to Sustainable Development
Concrete is the most widely used building material on earth. It has a 2, 000 year track record ofhelping build the Roman Empire to building today's modern societies. As a result ofits versatility, beauty, strength,·and durability, concrete is used in most types ofconstruction, including homes, buildings, roads, bridges, airports, subways, and water resource structures. And with today's heightened awareness and demandfor sustainable construction, concrete performs well when compared to other building materials. Concrete is a sustainable building material due to its many eco{riendly features. The production ofconcrete is resource efficient and the ingredients require little processing. Most materials for concrete are acquired and manufactured locally which minimizes transportation energy. Concrete building systems combine insulation with high thermal mass and low air infiltration to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. Concrete has a long service life for buildings and transportation infrastructure, thereby increasing the period between reconstruction, repair, and maintenance and the associated environmental impact. Concrete, when used as pavement or exterior cladding, helps minimize the urban heat island effect, thus reducing the energy required to heat and cool our homes and buildings. Concrete incorporates recycled industrial byproducts such as fly ash, slag, and silica fume that helps reduce embodied energy, carbon footprint, and waste.
Located at External Web SiteGreen Streets Calculator
Concrete roads deflect less under loading, so trucks get better fuel mileage and require less fuel to construct than asphalt roads.
With more attention than ever being focused on energy conservation, vehicle fuel efficiency, and new alternatives such as hybrid cars and bio-diesel, few people realize the significance of road-type on energy use.
Located at External Web SiteICF Points to LEED (2008)
Insulating Concrete Form Systems contribute to LEED credits
This two page .pdf summarizes the credits available to designers and building owners when using high performing insulating concrete forms in wall construction. Documents available for download to ICFA members.