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Construction with Low Carbon Concrete

Thomas Concrete led a conversation on low-carbon concrete at a Lunch and Learn at the Harbour Club at Westedge in Charleston, SC. Guests included general contractors, architects, and Charleston city officials.

The challenge of decarbonizing construction

Joy Davidson, TCI Sustainability Manager, cited statistics from the UN Global Status Report 2022 that estimate 37% of global operational energy and process-related CO2 emissions derive from the buildings and construction industry, with roughly 10% of this sector represented by building materials, such as concrete and steel. Meeting the demands of anticipated infrastructure growth while decarbonizing construction is a significant challenge facing the industry as we near the climate crisis tipping point. 

Joy Davidson, Sustainability Manager, addresses guests at the Lunch and Learn.

Tools for reducing CO2 emissions

The good news is that we have a solid set of tools in our toolkit to reduce the CO2 emissions from concrete already available to us, while other methods are in development and some in early deployment from stakeholders across the construction industry. 

Justin Lazenby, Director of Technical Services, explained the importance of performance-based specifications and concrete mix optimization, noting the use of supplementary cementitious materials to replace cement. 

Justin Lazenby, Director of Technical Services, emphasized the use of
alternative binders in mix designs.

Solutions and economic benefits

Thomas Concrete’s Green Offer, including THOMAGREEN® products, consultative design services, and EPDs, were also presented as solutions to help customers meet project requirements and sustainability goals. A review of economic benefits associated with green building certifications cited from recent research prompted a comment from the audience on a green certification program local to Charleston called “Charleston Rises, offered by Charleston’s Sustainability Institute.

To explore more about our sustainability initiatives, events, workshops, and presentations on various sustainability topics, visit our Sustainability Communication page

Joy Davidson

Joy Davidson

Sustainability Manager

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