High Concrete Group is starting an $8 million expansion of its Denver plant that could create 50 to 70 jobs, the company announced Wednesday.
High Concrete president John “J.” Seroky said the year-long project, which he described as a manufacturing “revitalization,” will help it meet growing demand for its architectural precast concrete.
Seroky said the expansion will boost High Concrete’s architectural-precast manufacturing capacity and efficiency, lower the site’s carbon footprint and improve working conditions.
Buildings fundamentally impact people’s lives and the health of the planet. In the U.S., buildings use one third of our total energy, two-thirds of our electricity, one-eighth of our water, and transform land that provides valuable ecological services. Atmospheric emissions from the use of energy lead to acid rain, ground-level ozone, smog, and global climate change.
The Problem: buildings and construction use very large amounts of energy and raw materials and can have negative impacts on health and the environment.
The Response: designing with green building materials is one way to address these issues and help achieve the goals of sustainability.
Green building products work to significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants in five broad areas: sustainable site planning; safeguarding water resources and efficiency in water use; energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources; conservation of materials and resources; and indoor environmental quality. They support the reduction of a building project’s carbon footprint, or the total set of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project.
A building has direct and indirect emissions. Direct emissions that result from activities the organization controls, such as on site combustion of fuels, emission of gases during operation, production and manufacture, running of a vehicle fleet, etc. Indirect emissions include electricity usage for lighting, heating, and powering of equipment, and products and services such as preparation and transportation of raw materials. Green building materials address indirect emissions in two ways:
Reducing operational energy – the energy building a consumes for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, equipment and appliances during its life is operational energy. Green building products that are thermally efficient reduce these emissions by controlling heat and moisture flows. Green building products include insulated precast panels, CarbonCast Insulated Wall Panels, and CarbonCast Insulated Cladding.
Reducing embodied energy – the non-renewable energy consumed in the acquisition of raw materials, their processing, manufacturing, transportation to site, and construction, and then over time to maintain, repair, restore, refurbish or replace materials, components or systems during the life of the building is embodied energy. Recycled content, efficient designs and manufacturing processes, and improved durability are key to reducing embodied energy. CarbonCast Architectural Panels are an example of a green building material that reduces embodied energy.
Operational energy is the majority of energy used in a building. However, embodied energy grows more important as buildings become more thermally efficient, and building life expectancies increase and decrease.