Our industry has embraced a culture of continuous innovation in the production and use of cement and concrete in order to make an even greater contribution to sustainable development.
Introduced in Canada in 2011 — and referenced in the National Building Code under the name of Portland-limestone cement — the new Contempra cement reduces CO2 emissions by 10%, while producing concrete with an equivalent level of strength and durability to concrete produced with regular Portland cement. This is done by intergrinding regular clinker (the main ingredient in cement) with up to 15% limestone, which is 10% more than in regular Portland cement. Reducing the clinker content of cement in this way reduces the amount of emissions associated with its manufacturing.
Ultra-high-performance concrete now permits the construction of exceptionally light, strong, and durable structures using less concrete.
Still in the experimental stages in North America, these new cements can reduce urban smog by containing materials that act as a catalyst to bind airborne nitrogen and sulphur oxides into insoluble salts. In Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is conducting a pilot project with a section of noise barrier on Highway 401, and will compare results against test benchmarks achieved in other countries.
Pervious concrete pavement and Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement reduce the impact of stormwater run-off in urban communities by allowing water to seep through the pavement to recharge natural groundwater levels, thereby eliminating the need for retention ponds.