Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2014

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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The U.S. Patents Office recently issued two new patents to New Jersey's Rutgers University for concrete products that cure and harden by consuming carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) instead of water. The products were created by and are licensed to Solidia Technologies, a New Jersey-based startup developing sustainable building materials. Solidia's concrete is manufactured with the same mixing and forming processes that produce Portland cement, but is cured and hardened by a previously patented chemical reaction between Solidia Cement and gaseous CO 2 . The company claims that the production method can reduce the carbon footprint of concrete products up to 70 percent. "Solidia Concrete can be adapted easily by manufacturers of conventional concretes, fitting into the industry's existing infrastructure and raw materials supply chains anywhere in the world," said Solidia chief technology officer Nicholas DeCristofaro, Ph.D. The production allows for precise control of the curing process, permits the incorporation of a broad range of sands, aggregates, and reinforcements, reduces water consumption by as much as 80 percent, and enables manufacturers to operate at higher speeds while minimizing material waste. The concrete cures in less than 24 hours, as compared to the 28 days required for Portland cement-based concrete to harden fully. 18 Landscape Architect and Specifier News h a rd s c a p e s n e w s Clay and Limestone Cement Could Cut Carbon Emissions IBL Spa, an Italian building materials company established in 1964, has released a line of bricks and pavers with glow in the dark accents. Bricks in the Lux series contain photoluminescent geometric inserts, which capture and retain solar and artificial light and release it over several hours at night. The bricks are recommended for patios, fences and decorative outdoor environments. The natural glow provides a sustainable alternative for safety and accent lighting, as they require no electricity and minimal maintenance. More information is available at iblspa.it . Round and rectangular luminescent inserts in bricks made by Italian manufacturer IBL Spa absorb light during the day and glow in the dark for several hours at night. Researchers in Switzerland have developed cement made mostly from clay and limestone, replacing Portland cement with common materials that can be used in concrete mixtures without compromising the final product's performance. Karen Scrivener, head of the Construction Materials Laboratory at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and project leader, said the cement is a mixture of calcined clay and ground limestone. When the materials are combined, the aluminates from the calcined clay interact with the calcium carbonates from the limestone, producing a cement paste that is less porous and significantly stronger. Calcined clay and ground limestone have previously been used as adulterating materials for cement in fractional amounts; the researchers discovered, however, that the materials could comprise up half of the cement mixture without having an adverse impact on the final product's properties. Scrivener said that her team believes Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3) could become a benchmark for low-carbon concretes. Unlike the materials currently used to adulterate concrete, clay and limestone are abundant around the planet, making supply a non-issue. Should the material be adopted on a global scale, it could result in a significant reduction in CO 2 emissions. The material was integrated into pre- existing cement production lines during two industrial scale pilot projects, one in India and one in Cuba, which demonstrated the robustness of LC3. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is providing funding for further development and testing. Sustainable materials manufacturer Solidia Technologies and Rutgers University have obtained two new patents for concrete curing methods that use gaseous carbon dioxide instead of water, reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process and shortening curing times. Glowing Accents Illuminate Italian Bricks Rutgers Patents Sustainable Concrete Curing Process

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