14 Feb '12, 10am

The world's favourite building material gets a green-over... Retrofitters, this is for you:

The cement industry is responsible for twice as many man-made carbon emissions as aviation. Portland cement (named by its 19th century inventor who thought it resembled the rocks of the Isle of Portland) is the essential ingredient in most concrete; a building material that literally surrounds us - from sewer pipes and tunnels to pavements, bridges and buildings. The other ingredients in concrete are water, sand and aggregate (usually gravel, although it’s more environmentally sound to recycle crushed concrete and masonry from local demolitions). Today, some three billion tonnes of Portland cement leaves the silos of thousands of cement works annually - enough to make 30 billion tonnes of concrete. That’s four tonnes for every person on the planet. ‘Whole mountains are being mined for the raw materials of cement,’ says Rob McLeod, a certified designer of Passivhaus homes t...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/home/12436...

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