In response to the overwhelming desire of designers to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, the Concrete Products Group, a group of market leaders in the concrete products industry, has developed a technology – the CarbonX CMU technology — to lower the embodied carbon of various concrete masonry units (CMU) and select veneers.
Concrete Masonry Units are one of the most versatile products in the construction industry. They can provide the structure of a building as single wythe walls or by providing a strong back up wall for many types of veneers. Concrete masonry walls can even be the veneer system itself with options such as smooth face, split face, ground face, polished, sculptured units.
The technology re-engineers the generally accepted mixing, batching and curing methods used in the industry. This allows the production of concrete products that meet accepted strength and performance standards while using significantly less cement. The reduction is made without relying on cement substitutes – a significant departure from prior industry attempts at cement reduction. As a result, there is a significant reduction in carbon emissions solely due to source reduction in the usage of cement.
The CarbonX technology enhances the amount of carbon dioxide the concrete product can sequester during the curing and storage phases of the manufacturing process. As a result, the resulting product can demonstrate significant amounts of sequestration from “cradle to gate” even before it is delivered to the customer. This is an unprecedented advancement in the concrete products industry.
Innovation Yields Benefits Beyond Environmental Performance The manufacturing process is very cost-effective and yields other product quality enhancements, beyond the environmental benefits. The technology allows manufacturers to avoid leaving excess unhydrated cement in the finished concrete product. Unhydrated cement can cause problems such as efflorescence.
Measurement You Can Trust For the first time, a masonry industry-vetted protocol now exists for easy measurement of the amount of carbon sequestration that occurs. As a result, all CarbonX-based products have documented performance characteristics regarding their cement content and carbon sequestration rate, along with standard test results for strength and other required characteristics. This peer reviewed test protocol has been published in The Masonry Society (TMS) Journal.1
The Concrete Products Group (CPG) is happy to provide qualified architects and designers product samples to meet design requirements.
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