There is no doubt that the most skepticism and wariness about sustainable technologies will happen here, at the foundation. As with any change, the underlying assumption the “foundation” is the hardest to change. Yet this is the place that most needs changing.
Pre-cast concrete blocks (concrete masonry units or CMUs) Formed and cured off site, CMUs are delivered to a site and mortared together. CMUs feature hollow cores that can be filled with concrete to provide structural support.
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Pre-cast concrete panels Modular panels are custom formed and cured off site and installed by boom truck or crane.
Ecosystem impacts: Check regional practices for aggregate quarries, as impacts can vary widely. Consider the use of recycled aggregate or urbanite to mitigate impacts.
Embodied carbon: Cement production is a major contributor to climate change and concrete will contribute significantly to the carbon footprint of your building. Developments in low-carbon, carbon-sequestering, and microbial concrete may change this, but most of these products are currently prototypes and not widely available.
Energy efficiency: Insulation will need to be added to most concrete foundations, and the full criteria implications of the insulation strategy must be carefully considered.