Construction Technology Lowers Concrete’s Carbon Footprint

by RaeAnne Marsh

Sustainability is increasingly a priority for architects, engineers and developers as they urgently seek solutions that reduce embodied carbon in the built environment, which is generated by the manufacturing of building materials and construction.

Coreslab Structures, a premier producer of precast/prestressed concrete products, can utilize a carbon dioxide removal technology supplied by CarbonCure Technologies in its day-to-day operations in Arizona to provide low-carbon, precast concrete solutions to customers upon request. This ensures architects and engineers in Arizona can secure concrete solutions that deliver a significantly reduced carbon footprint without compromising strength or quality.  

CarbonCure’s technology injects recycled carbon dioxide into precast concrete during mixing. Once injected, the carbon dioxide undergoes a process known as mineralization, chemically converting into a nano-mineral and becomes permanently embedded in the concrete. This mineralized carbon dioxide increases the strength of the concrete and enables the reduction of cement content in precast elements, further reducing the carbon footprint of the concrete.

“CarbonCure provides us one more weapon in our sustainability arsenal, allowing even more cement reduction in our already lean high-performance concrete mix designs,” says Phil Richardson, SE, sales manager with Coreslab. “This, together with our low water-to-cement ratios and the reduction of mild steel reinforcing, replaced with prestressing technology, yields a green, sustainable building solution.” 

Carbon Cure’s partnership with Coreslab started at the company’s Austin, Texas, precast plant in August 2020. Based on the success of that partnership in Austin, Coreslab is now deploying the technology at its Arizona and Missouri locations.

To date, across Coreslab’s plants in Arizona, Missouri and Texas, CarbonCure’s technology has saved a total of 726 tons of CO₂. That’s equivalent to taking about 150 cars off the road for a full year or the amount of carbon sequestered across 800 acres of forests in a year.  

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