Dictated by a consumer market that has become aware of the harmful effects of construction materials and practices to the environment, the construction industry has began using only the greenest materials to address the demand for green buildings. With the building industry turning green, each project is now peppered with ecological considerations ranging from energy efficiency to sustainability – environmental buzzwords that are important to the consumers-turned-environmentalists who want to conduct their lives with as little harm to the environment as possible.
When it comes to green materials and methodologes, concrete finishes go to the head of the class, so to speak. Concrete finishes are, after all, made from the ubiquitous concrete. This dull slab of gray material is made of cement, which is nothing more than crushed limestone.
A little bit of geology lesson is all it takes to know that limestone is one material abundant everywhere in the planet. Limestone quarrying is low-maintenance because of this abundance. Limestone requires no harmful materials or processes to be used, for it to be extracted or harvested from the earth’s bowels. And because limestone can be sourced locally, even its transportation requirements require less harmful expenditures to the environment.
Another thing that makes concrete finishes eco-friendly is that in the process of converting limestone into cement, by-products from other activities can be added to produce the finished cement product. Cement therefore often carries ashes or slags in its composition. These materials are already useless and considered waste, but when mixed to form cement, will still be recyclable, particularly in concrete finishes and applications.