After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet (The Guardian, 2019). If it were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter with 2.8 billion Ton per year, surpassed only by China and the US. The problem of the production and use of concrete is even more severe than plastic, although less visible. Most of the constructions that we have today and the infrastructure that is being prepared for the future is based on this material and its avoidance is almost impossible: It is a cheap product, has a good weight and density, is durable and can be combined with other materials. Yet, the material presents different issues for sustainability for decades to come:
Eliminate natural infrastructure that is resilient and harbours biodiversity.
It is responsible for 4-8% of global carbon dioxide emissions thanks to its production
Its production requires large amounts of fresh water, of which it consumes 10%
The production process requires energy intensive processes.
Obviously, looking for alternatives for concrete production can have a very positive effect on our societies. Biomimicry has already begun to suggest some sustainable steps for this industry. Ideas like Natural Process Design Inc and companies like TecEco Pty in Australia, for example, mimic the process by which corals absorb dissolved CO2 in seawater and incorporate it to form calcium carbonate structures, such as their skeleton. What other suggestions can we offer from a social, economic and environmental point of view?We invite you to know the process and its critical points on which we shall generate transformations.