What Did YOU Do on My Summer Break? - This blog is going on a mini summer vacation for a couple weeks, so I'm highlighting a handful of architectural events taking place in New York City in tha...
Friday, October 26, 2007
Cement: Big source of global warming
Did anyone else know about the connection between cement and carbon dioxide emissions before reading this morning's New York Times? In a front page article in the Business section, reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal writes that 5 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions occur during the production of cement, a key ingredient in concrete. "Cement poses a basic problem: the chemical reaction that creates it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide. Sixty percent of emissions caused by making cement are from this chemical process alone," writes Rosenthal.
She also asserts that making cement plants "greener" only increases the amount of cement production at those plants and doesn't decrease pollution. (The European Union provides economic incentives for companies in EU member nations to buy outdated cement plants in Eastern Europe and upgrade them.)
The article raises many questions in my mind. Does the U.S. Green Building Council take into account the pollution spewed into the atmosphere by concrete plants when determining which projects deserve LEED certification? Is it possible to build green with concrete? What do you think?