A scant two years after its launch in Canada, a new cement type that results in 10 per cent lower CO2 emissions is rapidly becoming the standard for most new concrete construction projects in B.C.
The B.C. cement industry reports that Contempra now accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the domestic cement consumed in the province. This rate will accelerate as more developers and builders specify the carbon-reduced cement for their new projects.
The rate of conversion to Contempra-based concrete to date in B.C. means an estimated 23,000 tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will be taken out of the atmosphere annually. That is the equivalent to saving 9,760,000 litres of gasoline, or not burning 9,800 tonnes of coal.
“Contempra is a shining example of the cement industry’s continued commitment to innovation and to lowering our collective environmental footprint,” said Michael McSweeney, president of the Cement Association of Canada.
“We are delighted with the market’s enthusiastic response and with the tremendous strides both Lafarge and Lehigh Hanson have made in establishing this lower carbon cement as the cement of choice in British Columbia.”
Contempra further reduces the environmental footprint of concrete structures, which, according to life cycle assessment studies conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of B.C., is already lower than that of those constructed with other building materials, thanks to concrete’s durability and the energy efficiency benefits of its thermal mass.
“When you combine the use of Contempra with the innate thermal abilities of concrete, which save consumers money in heating and cooling, and with the durability and long life of concrete, it is easy to see that concrete is the building material of choice for those who are concerned with cleaner air, energy efficiency and of course safety,” added McSweeney.
Among the Contempra projects already completed, or underway, in B.C. are the Arthur Erickson Building, the Wall Centre False Creek Development and ONNI’s Evelyn master-planned community, all in Vancouver, as well as other condominium, commercial and institutional projects throughout the province.
The lower carbon cement is manufactured by Lafarge at its Richmond cement plant, and by Lehigh Hanson at its Delta plant.