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Building Green with Concrete

Craftsman Concrete

Today more than ever, home and business owners are looking for ways to utilize environmentally friendly, or “green”, building materials when planning a new construction or remodel. Many of our customers are surprised to learn that one does not need to sacrifice aesthetics or drop excessive amounts of cash to choose sustainable construction. In fact, choosing green building materials can save money in both up front and sustained maintenance costs.

Polished concrete floors are a prime example of a sustainable and beautiful flooring solution for a home or business. Even the highest quality carpet will show wear and eventually need to be replaced, resulting in unrecyclable waste material. Hardwood floors are manufactured through environmentally devastating practices and require frequent and costly long-term maintenance, often with harsh chemicals. Concrete floors, on the other hand, are naturally sleek and beautiful while also being extremely durable, low maintenance and environmentally responsible. By choosing a finished concrete floor for your project, you are contributing to the health of the planet by utilizing a sustainable material that contributes to increased energy efficiency and improved air quality within your home or business.

Concrete floors conserve resources by functioning as both a foundation and a decorative floor for your home or business. In most cases, the foundational concrete slabs hidden under old carpet or wood floors can be polished and stained to achieve whatever aesthetic is desired. This restoration process conserves materials while also offering significant cost savings over other flooring solutions.

The chemicals used to manufacture wood and carpet flooring are a cause of concern for environmentally-conscious projects. These materials off-gas volatile organic compounds, chemicals which have been linked to respiratory illness and allergies. Luckily, modern technology has produced a variety of no-odor, nontoxic products for earth-friendly concrete staining, polishing and sealing. Further, choosing an environmentally conscious builder like Craftsman Concrete Floors will ensure that all of the equipment and materials used in the finishing of your floor exceed environmental regulatory standards, eliminating dust and toxins from being released into the air during the concrete finishing process. If a new slab is needed, we can advise you so that your project has the lowest environmental impact possible. We source locally mixed concrete using recycled aggregates–supporting local business and minimizing the environmental impact of transporting concrete.

The economic impact of choosing a concrete floor can be significant. For a commercial or a large residential project, purchasing thousands of square feet of additional material to install on top of the concrete foundation is costly. In addition, one can be assured that the maintenance and eventual replacement costs of these covers over many years will be significant. By leaving the concrete floor exposed, these costs are negated. In a typical residential environment, periodic sweeping and mopping is all that’s required to keep a concrete floor looking it’s best.

While concrete floors are a sleek, modern, and one-of-a-kind addition to a residential or commercial property, there’s a common misconception that concrete floors reduce winter room temperatures relative to carpet or wood floors. This is incorrect. In fact, concrete floors have been used for thousands of years for their ability to absorb a substantial amount of heat from daytime sun exposure and release the stored heat at night into a room. This effect is so dramatic that in developing countries residents with concrete floors versus dirt floors are shown to be healthier, more productive and live longer. If a concrete floor is installed in an area that does not receive direct sunlight, radiant heating is an excellent option for warming the floor itself to deliver even heat throughout a building. Radiant heating is environmentally friendly and significantly more efficient than central heat. Conversely, in warmer climates, concrete floors hidden from the sun will stay cool and can help lower energy costs associated with air-conditioning.

Choosing quality builders and contractors for your concrete floor will ensure that it looks beautiful for as long as possible, while also minimizing hazardous construction waste. As a green contractor, we ensure that recycled and environmentally friendly materials are used at every stage of your project. Since concrete consists primarily of limestone, which is the most abundant mineral on earth, concrete floors are inherently more sustainable than floors made from wood, tile or carpet. If a homeowner decides to pour a new slab, we can help further decrease the carbon footprint by incorporating recycled construction byproducts like fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume into the mix. For a decorative touch, crushed glass, marble or granite chips, metal shavings, and even seashells can also be added to your concrete floor. What’s more – if a homeowner ever decides to replace their concrete floor, the concrete itself can even be recycled!

Mr. Jeremy Cox, owner of Craftsman Concrete Floors in Dallas, Texas, works with his clientele to choose a concrete design that suits the décor of their home. “When done properly, a polished concrete floor in a neutral tone creates a timeless look that can compliment a variety of interior designs. Coupled with the cost efficiency and durability of polished concrete, polished concrete is an excellent flooring choice for those looking to create beautiful spaces while also being conscious of the environment.

Whether you’re building a LEED certified new construction or working to minimize the environmental impact of a renovation, we can help. Give us a call to schedule a project evaluation.