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Concrete poses a problem when it comes to green building. Whilst in comparison to other building materials concrete is environmentally friendly, the large scale of its use and its production requires a lot of energy.
Green concrete is currently in its infancy and companies are experimenting with different forms of concrete, however these are still to meet current building standards.
Concrete also relies on by-products of other industries such as fly-ash (which is produced in environmentally unfriendly coal-fired power stations) and as such in its current form can not be deemed sustainable.
Concrete has good thermal mass as it stores heat, which makes it good where passive solar heating is a factor. Concrete is promoted as a green building material now, which is rather strange. Steel is also now promoted as green since it is recycled if a stell or metal building is demolished.
See also our page on Concrete buildings >