Category: Construction industry

Mixing steel and wood to cut construction emissions

Read the full story at Anthropocene.

A new computational tool developed by researchers at MIT could let architects and engineers lower the carbon footprint of buildings and bridges. The tool helps designers pick the best material that minimize carbon emissions of trusses, those crisscrossing structures of beams and struts used to construct bridges, antenna towers, and buildings.

Creating a market for construction & demolition fines

Read the full story at Construction and Demolition Recycling.

Canada-based Sanexen creates valuable end markets for C&D fines through the development of a first-of-its-kind recovery plant.

Sustainable construction must consider the whole business operation

Read the full story at New Civil Engineer.

There is still a lot of work to be done on site projects. But solely focusing sustainability improvements on site processes limits what we can achieve. Likewise, only focusing on environmental accreditations and innovations means we miss opportunities to improve social and economic sustainability. We need to think bigger. Every business function, from procurement to IT, has a role to play in improving sustainability.

Energy-efficient infrastructure projects hold a key opportunity for contractors

Read the full story at Construction Dive.

The largely underutilized 179D tax deduction rewards building designs and enhancements that will be widespread in environmentally-sound infrastructure projects.

LafargeHolcim, CenterPoint enter 6-million ton ash recycling phase

Read the full story at Concrete Products.

LafargeHolcim and waste management subsidiary Geocycle have logged the first coal ash shipment in a multi-year initiative with CenterPoint Energy Inc. Delivered by barge via the Mississippi River, the 2,000-ton load will replace natural clay and fine aggregate as raw feeds at the Holcim (US) Ste. Genevieve mill in Missouri, North America’s largest cement operation.

Cement is responsible for 8% of global emissions—but it doesn’t have to be

Read the full story at Fast Company.

A new startup, backed by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, is producing the ubiquitous building material in a way that doesn’t release huge amounts of CO2.

What does it take to achieve net zero? Opportunities and barriers in the steel, cement, agriculture, and oil and gas sectors

Download the document.

The report provides insights from sustainability experts on what is required to achieve net zero transition in climate-intensive sectors such as steel, cement, agricultural commodities and oil and gas, and what investors engaging in these sectors need to know in order to have real economic impacts on green transitions.

DOE announces $45 million in carbon storage technologies for building materials

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $45 million to support the development of technologies that can transform buildings into net carbon storage structures. With carbon-storing building materials often being scarce, expensive, and geographically limited, DOE is pioneering technologies that overcome these barriers to lower or eliminate emissions associated with their production. This will also increase the total amount of carbon stored in buildings to make them net carbon negative and contribute to President Biden’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

“Building materials and construction techniques offer huge promise as carbon sinks. As it has done in so many other sectors of our economy, DOE’s ARPA-E is going to try to change the game yet again.”

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm

 
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the material manufacturing and construction, renovation, and disposal of buildings at the end of their service life, accounts for about 10% of total annual emissions in the United States. These embodied emissions are concentrated at the start of a building’s lifetime, making them essential to address given the urgency of meeting national energy and environmental challenges. More importantly, these emissions are making up an increasing percentage of total building life cycle emissions as operational emissions decline due to factors like efficiency improvements and the decarbonization of the electric grid.

DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will provide up to $41 million in funding to Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA), for the development and demonstration of building materials and whole-building designs that are net carbon negative by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the production process and storing carbon in the finished product. DOE is also funding $4 million to develop the building life cycle analysis tools and frameworks associated with carbon drawdown and storage in building construction.  
 
Successful HESTIA proposals will reduce the environmental footprint from the production, and use of, domestic resources, along with using building materials and designs that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon in the finished product. 
 
For additional information on the HESTIA funding opportunity, visit ARPA-E’s website.

Recovery plant creates new materials from C&D fines

Read the full story in Construction & Demolition Recycling.

Consisting of primarily soil, wood, concrete, gypsum and other miscellaneous material particles, fines have received increased scrutiny due to their association with hydrogen sulfide (H2S)—a colorless gas that generates toxic emissions, odors and a risk for fires even in low concentrations.

In addition to H2S, concerns over toxic compounds polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have left recyclers stumped on how to utilize fines in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

The less talked-about side of construction

Read the full story at Multi-Housing News.

Quest Resource Management’s Ray Hatch on making operations more sustainable through smart management of construction waste.

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