Low-Embodied Carbon Concrete Resources

On May 18, 2020 the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson passed a resolution committing the local government to promoting the use of low embodied carbon concrete products in building and infrastructure projects within the Village (see HERE for the full text of the Resolution). This resolution is part of a larger effort to reduce the Village’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson is the first municipality in New York State to publicly commit to promoting the use of this technology. 
 
Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world. It is low cost, strong, and durable, and is a significant component of all building and infrastructure projects, including those of municipalities. Cement, the critical ingredient that gives the concrete its strength, is responsible for up to seven percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, mainly through a chemical process called calcination, as well as through the use of energy in production derived from the combustion of fossil fuels. Embodied carbon refers to the carbon emissions generated as a result of the manufacturing and transportation of materials and the construction of building and infrastructure projects.
 
The simple act of switching to low-embodied carbon concrete can make a radical difference in lowering carbon emissions. Low-embodied concrete is concrete that has been verified, as measured by a Global Warming Potential (GWP) metric to embody lower carbon emissions as compared to the baseline embodied carbon emissions of conventional concrete. Lowering the embodied carbon emissions from concrete can be achieved through diverse methods and processes, including but not limited to: (a) using less cement in concrete mixes; (b) replacing or substituting cement with supplemental cementitious materials (SCMs) such as fly ash, blast furnace slag, or ground glass pozzolan; (c) using locally produced cement and other concrete components resulting in reduced emissions from transport; (d) the utilization and mineralization of carbon in concrete materials.
 
On Tuesday, June 30 at 10:00 am, Hastings Mayor Nicola Armacost will be hosting a webinar titled, The Hastings Resolution: Decarbonizing Concrete Through Local Action. The webinar will be an illuminating resource for local government representatives, NYS Climate Smart Community coordinators, contractors and architects, and anyone interested in learning about the role low carbon concrete can play in decreasing global greenhouse gas emissions. Register for the webinar here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-hastings-resolution-decarbonizing-concrete-through-local-action-tickets-108479170118.44
 
A recording of the June 30th Decarbonizing Concrete webinar is now available HERE.
 
Additional initiatives underway in Hastings include:
  • Incorporation of low embodied carbon concrete requirements into an updated version of the Hastings-on-Hudson Green Building Code
  • Inclusion of low embodied carbon concrete by H2M Architects in the request for proposal (RFP) bid documents for the new addition to the Hillside Elementary School
 
For more resources on Low-Embodied Carbon Concrete see here: