Sustainability in Concrete

Contractors rarely get a clean slate.

It’s just a fact: if there’s a spot to build a factory or a shipping yard, chances are someone had that idea first and put something down. Now you’re staring down that old loading dock or shipping yard and thinking “it’s more gravel than concrete. That’s just not going to work for my business.”

Excavation and Demolition with Goodmanson Construction

Most concrete and asphalt projects begin with at least some demolition.

We said before that we don’t recommend pouring asphalt on top of concrete, or putting concrete on older concrete. The reason being? It doesn’t really help you, doesn’t really save you all that much money and someone is just going to now have to demolish both layers of concrete or the concrete and asphalt when the product inevitably fails.

If you’re one for kicking the can down the road a ways, we get it, but we’re not that kind of contractor.

Goodmanson Construction is the kind of contractor that likes to get things done the right way.

loader uploading waste and debris into dump truck at construction site.

And we do that because we know that’s what gets our customers the best results. It’s not just principle that’s guiding us here, it’s experience. It’s that time honored practical knowledge that builds up when you’ve worked a trade for 50 years plus.

Why is demolition so important to understand?

Because Demolition has the biggest impact on debris generation. And it’s not even close.

The 2018 EPA Fact Sheet shows:

Those are staggering numbers, but there’s one thing you need to keep in mind.

Destruction of old house by excavator. Bucket of excavator breaks concrete structure.

Concrete of both the Asphalt and Portland Cement variety are mostly recycled.

According to that same fact sheet:

That doesn’t total up to 100% of the debris, but it’s been gaining because of new technologies for creating Asphalt and Portland Cement concretes.

Mill and Overlay is one of the most popular ways to refresh a Parking Lot and it’s cost-effective as well. It is also a great way to practice sustainability in construction!

Mill and overlay is a cost-effective way to refresh an asphalt parking lot surface that has seen better days. If there are major structural problems, of course, then you might have to do a full replacement, but if you’ve got a strong base and a mind bent on saving money and sustainability–mill and overlay is a great way to go.

Milling the Asphalt turns it into reusable aggregate instantly.

While we aren’t quite at the stage where we can turn your old parking lot directly into your new parking lot, the milling process chunks up your asphalt and turns it into aggregate instantly. We then haul away the aggregate to processing plants who can turn the aggregate back into something useful. Maybe it becomes the base for a new project as Class 5 gravel. Or maybe it becomes the aggregate for a new asphalt or concrete mix. Either way, sustainability is the name of the game!

When you build surfaces meant to last, you save on your investment in the long term and reduce energy consumption.

Construction takes energy. Demolition takes energy. That energy comes in the form of big diesel machines using tons of fuel to get that work done. Now, we do our work as efficiently as we can, but until these machines can run on wind turbines, solar and granola, the nature of the beast is that construction is still going to be a heavy consumer of petroleum fuels.

But there’s a way you can help, and it actually benefits you too.

When you go with a contractor who puts down the better product, who cares about doing it the right way and gives you a guarantee with their work, you won’t have to redo your project again in 5 years. Sustainability? You betcha!

Every time you have to fix a job poorly done, you expend more energy.

That’s more trucks, more heavy equipment, more guys getting to and from the job site. Each project takes a massive amount of energy to do, and if you have to redo that project every 5 years as opposed to once every 15 or 20 years, you’ve saved a ton of energy and added sustainability to your projects.

Plus, if you think about it, if you get your project built the right way for the future, you’re giving technology a good decade or more to advance. Who knows where we will be in 20 years? What if in 20 years time we can get a whole project done without using a single drop of petroleum based fuel?

Now you get the picture: doing it right the first time not only benefits you but benefits your whole community and drives sustainability.

Next time you’ve got a set of bids in front of you, ask yourself:

It might not be the low bid you’re looking at, but if you think a little more about it: a longer lasting product is ultimately better for your business’ bottom line. And, guess what? It’s better for the environment too, and with sustainability in mind, that’s a nice plus!

If you want to see this kind of thinking in action on your next project, send out an estimate request and we’ll be happy to show you.

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