Concrete Masonry's Contribution to Sustainable Structures - An Overview
Masonry products have always been sustainable. That was true at the very beginning of the industry over a century ago, when recycled cinders were used to make cinder blocks by hand, and it is even more so today. Modern Concrete Masonry Units can incorporate a variety of recycled materials, some of which are partial cement replacements, while others are substitutes for various aggregates. Masonry products are locally manufactured by NYS Concrete Masonry Association member producers located throughout the Empire State, thus insuring that a manufacturing facility is located near your next project.
Read on to learn more of Concrete Masonry’s inherently sustainable qualities:
Improving Indoor Air Quality – Masonry products do not promote mold growth, because they do not provide a food source on which mold can continuously feed. Should mold be found on masonry, simply remove the source of moisture, clean the area, dry it, test it, and put the wall back into service. Masonry walls do not have to be removed and replaced to remediate for mold.
Safety and Security – Masonry buildings are durable, making them highly resistant to impacts, either natural or man made. Masonry buildings are ideal as places of shelter during severe weather events.
Fire Safety – Concrete Masonry materials do not burn. Masonry is one of three components in Balanced Design:
Detection – Alarm systems to alert occupants to danger
Suppression – Sprinkler systems to keep smoke and fire under control while building occupants evacuate and first responders arrive, set up and fight the fire.
Compartmentation with NC3: Non-Combustible Concrete Construction – Help confine fires to the point of origin with non-combustible concrete masonry firewalls.
Low Maintenance and Low Life Cycle Cost – Masonry systems with integral color do not require periodic re-coating, thus contributing to low life cycle costs. Because of its durability, masonry also has a measurably longer life cycle than other lighter weight building envelope systems.
Superior Acoustics – There is a wide variety of masonry units available that can contribute to the optimization of occupant comfort and productivity in situations that require a variety of acoustical solutions within a uniform structural system. Acoustical concrete masonry units can be used where high Noise Reduction Coefficients are required, while heavier, more dense units with higher Sound Transmission Class ratings be can utilized to block airborne sound transmissions over a wide range of frequencies.
Efficiency – There is no better product than Concrete Masonry to combine structure and aesthetics in a single package.