Concrete - An environmentally smart choice for the garden
Concrete is one of the world's most used building materials and is, despite what many claim, a durable material. We spoke with Johan Silfwerbrand, Head of Construction Science at KTH, who shed light on a matter with a lot of darkness.
In Sweden, there is a strong love for the forest and for using wood as a building material. Blinded by this romance, concrete has gained an undeserved reputation as a "dirty" alternative with poor future prospects. Fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions have become almost synonymous with industry. But how many are actually aware of concrete's real climate impact and also its environmentally friendly properties?
- In relation to many other building materials, concrete is a very advantageous alternative, says Johan. It is important to calculate the carbon dioxide emissions over the entire life cycle, which puts the concrete in a completely different light and gives a fairer picture.
In Sweden, we have also come a long way in streamlining production, which gives a marked difference in carbon dioxide emissions compared to many other countries. The Swedish company Cementa, for example, has been good at finding alternative fuels and uses, among other things, chicken feathers through a local collaboration with the Guldfågeln on Öland.
- An aspect that is easily forgotten is that the finished concrete product also begins to absorb carbon dioxide from the air through a chemical reaction called carbonation. During the entire lifetime of a concrete structure, up to 30% of the released carbon dioxide is absorbed again.
Johan also tells us that concrete has environmentally friendly properties. On sidewalks and driveways, the material can have unexpected benefits. Compared to asphalt, concrete is a lighter building material, which means that you don't need as much street lighting at night. In our dark country, it can actually reduce lighting energy consumption by 30%.
At Stenbolaget, we see many advantages in laying stone on the patio instead of, for example, wooden decking. The concrete lasts significantly longer, is free from toxins and is extremely easy to maintain. With us you will find Sweden's largest selection of stone with a large selection for home and garden. We manufacture all our own concrete products ourselves with a factory in Sweden, and with consideration for function, aesthetics and the environment.