With so much focus on a greener planet, companies in all genres and niches are looking for avenues to expand their sustainability efforts. Among the industries joining the green building movement is the polished concrete industry. Whether they are grinding and polishing concrete floors, or creating fully sustainable buildings from concrete supplies, the concrete industry proves to be bringing lasting environmental, social, and economic benefits to society as a whole.
For some, it is difficult to imagine concrete as an aesthetically pleasing construction medium. However, grinding and polishing concrete floors, or building solely from concrete, has both valuable and inherent properties that can significantly contribute to a greener planet, plus be pleasing to the eye at the same time.
As a certified green product concrete offers several advantages.
No need for harsh chemicals for maintenance
Besides some of its physical benefits, including being slip and mar resistant, polished concrete flooring does not require harsh or toxic chemicals used to re-treat its surfaces, and possess its own natural beauty so that when polished, concrete can shine like marble. Additionally, polished concrete flooring can not only help save the planet, but also leave some cash in your wallet.
Dave Short, owner of Concrete Reflections, a company specializing in the installation of polished concrete floors, is a firm believer in the sustainability of concrete as a building medium. “There is no other product more eco-friendly than polished concrete,” says Short. “The most prevalent product in the construction industry, concrete, eliminates the need for all other flooring options.”
Polished concrete earns LEED points
One important fact to note about polished concrete floors is that polished concrete can help businesses achieve LEED points in every category. A polished concrete floor is the only floor option that can be renewed on site. No more need for wood, tile, carpets or other flooring material that require expensive replacement and maintenance, plus occasional use of chemicals. The ease of use make grinding and polishing concrete floors a responsible solution to flooring issues for schools, restaurants, offices, retails locations and industry.
Another environmental impact point is that concrete is mostly made from natural materials, and can incorporate recycled materials such as glass or fly ash. Concrete itself can be recycled and then reused in other projects. Additionally, concrete is very durable, and does not cause permanent environmental hard as there is no toxic off gassing. Concrete also absorbs, stores and later releases significant amounts of heat better than many other flooring materials.
Polished concrete coming into its own
Jim Cuviello, director of the Concrete Processing and Polishing Technical Institute, notes that polished concrete flooring as a green industry is here to stay. “The process is proven and we are constantly seeing new and more eco-friendly solutions being delivered to the market. Clearly processing concrete to a polished finish as a final floor is the new wave in green and sustainable flooring.”