Concrete Building

San Francisco Federal Building
Photo © 2014 Morphosis Architects, Inc., All Rights Reserved

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Constructing Buildings with Concrete

Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world with more than 25 billion tons placed each year according to the World Building Council for Sustainable Development. Because concrete is a material that lasts a long time, buildings made of concrete continue to hold their value and protect people and contents through disasters (fires, harsh weather, pests) with less damage than other building materials. Concrete is durable, cost-effective, functional versatile and sustainable making it the preferred choice for building frames, foundations, floors and roofs for centuries.

Benefits of Using Concrete for Buildings

Durability and Long Life Concrete buildings last a long time without significant deterioration. Choosing concrete for your building projects will help conserve valuable resources, reduce waste, and minimize the environmental impacts of future repairs.
Energy Reduction Concrete buildings typically require less energy for heating and cooling when compared to similar buildings made of steel and timber.
Thermal Mass The greater thermal mass associated to concrete buildings makes the building more energy efficient.
Heat Island Concrete can be used in buildings to reduce the heat island effects in communities. The solar reflectance of concrete pavements and roofs can earn the building up to two LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points. Link to Source
Lighting Efficiency and Reflectivity Concrete’s light color makes it reflect incoming light whether from the sun or light fixtures. Its higher reflectivity allows owners to use fewer fixtures to provide the same amount of illumination  reducing energy consumption by nearly 25%. A brighter surface in parking lots and on streets at night makes for a safer environment, too.
Stormwater Management Using pervious concrete for parking lots, streets, and pathways can relieve overburdened storm sewers and filter out trash and pollutants. Recognized by the EPA as a BMP, pervious concrete allows water to be absorbed back into the underground aquifers and replicate the pre-development hydrology of nearly any site.

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