Decorative Concrete in Green Buildings

November 26, 2010

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Decorative concrete has found major use in green construction projects, wherein energy efficiency is one of the major features. Eco-friendly builders and architects favor the use of decorative concrete in sustainable facilities because concrete has the ability to provide thermal mass in the building interiors, maintaining comfortable inner temperatures. When building interiors are just the right coolness during summer months and are not so cold during the winter season, the need to use HVAC systems is reduced.

Decorative concrete coatings also aid concrete in becoming light-reflective. The heat of the sun’s rays often produce severe “heat island” effects, particularly in urban and congested areas. With decorative concrete coatings used on concrete pavements, concrete’s solar-reflective properties ward off the sun’s rays to reduce high temperatures.

Compared to traditional wall and floor coverings, decorative concrete has lesser to almost zero VOC emissions. They are also a healthier alternative to carpeting that retains inhalable dust particles. Decorative concrete coatings make concrete finishes highly-resistant to waterproofing failures, denying the growth of toxic molds that are harmful to humans. Because of these characteristics, the indoor air quality is maintained.

Furthermore, concrete is a mixture of water, sand and cement, and can accept even recycled materials such as ash in its composition. Thus, concrete also promotes resource conservation through the use of recycled materials — one of the pillars of sustainability practices.

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