Hardscaping & Landscaping Blog

Archive for February, 2015

Building Green with Concrete and Hardscapes

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

A topic at the forefront of most peoples’ minds these days is the environment,  and more specifically, how we all can live a more “green” lifestyle to prolong the natural resources of our planet. Considering that people have created the greatest impact on the environment, it naturally becomes our responsibility to find ways in which we can curtail any of the negative effects we may leave behind. Custom Construction Services takes this responsibility seriously and continually makes efforts to play its part in the fight against unnecessary waste and pollution. We achieve this through a combination of the materials we use and the building practices we have set in place. In doing so, Custom Construction Services is not merely a high-quality concrete and hardscapes builder, but also a company with a conscience.

When thinking about the myriad ways a company can go green one of the first things that comes to mind is what materials it is using in the first place. Certainly some materials are better for the environment than others. In this respect concrete often receives an unfairly bad reputation. It is true that the production of concrete is energy-intensive and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and it may seem like building with less concrete would be an obvious benefit for the environment. However, concrete is one of the most commonly used construction materials in the world for good reason. We rely on it for everything from the streets we drive on to the schools and shopping centers we bring our families to. Simply put, it is one of the most resilient and long-lasting products we can use.

To aide in the reduction of our carbon footprint, Custom Construction Services uses concrete that contains a material called fly ash. Fly ash is a by-product from the manufacturing of coal into electricity. While this fact may initially send up a few red flags, keep in mind that as such, fly ash is actually a waste product that is being recycled into a cementitious material used in the fabrication of concrete. In fact, the concrete block we purchase for our retaining walls contains up to 23% of materials made from fly ash, and 85% of the concrete we have poured contained fly ash as well. This means that not only are we re-using an otherwise wasteful material, we are additionally reducing the amount of energy used because we are making less compared to conventional concrete.

Custom Construction Services takes it a step further and makes use of recycled, crushed concrete and gravel as a base for both our concrete and hardscapes projects.  This base material is what allows water to drain away from your project and consequently helps prevent heaving and cracking . Rather than using regular aggregate, we use a recycled material that is DOT certified to compact in the same way. In doing so we are again repurposing a wasteful product  into something useful.

Custom Construction Service’s adherence to the use of greener materials does not end with concrete itself. Another of the products we commonly use is called rubber expansion, which we place in the joints of the concrete we pour to hinder the formation of cracks. Not only does this material preserve the aesthetics of your project, it is made completely from recycled car tires and reclaimed rubber granules. Similarly, much of the retaining wall block we build with contains recycled glass. We also offer permeable paver options, which are designed to let water filter where it falls, reducing the effects of pollution and erosion by way of runoff.

Together with our use of more environmentally friendly products, Custom Construction Services strives to go above and beyond when it comes to efficiency. For each project we put on our schedule we take the time to coordinate  it with other jobs nearby. This way we are able to combine our resources, meaning that our employees can ride together,  and our materials can be moved with any trucking or dumping coordinated between job sites. Furthermore, many of the materials we use are sourced from local suppliers within a five hundred mile radius. Having such a system in place allows us to seriously cut back on the driving related to our projects. This reduction in emissions is just one more crucial way Custom Construction Services is able to help minimize our impact on the environment.

Even with respect to our office Custom Construction Services takes the time to think green. Our building itself is made from concrete, as are the floors throughout the shop and offices. Having a concrete structure means that we are taking advantage of concrete’s natural ability to help regulate temperatures and cut down on energy usage. We take the time to do simple things such as keeping lights off in areas that are not in use and turning down the heat or air conditioning overnight. We even go so far as reusing wood and scaffolding to build our shelving structures for shop materials. These are simple, conscious efforts that when added together make a real difference.

Taking care of the Earth is a responsibility we all must share and there is no reason why doing so needs to feel like a burden. As a firm believer in everybody playing their part, Custom Construction Services takes a multi-faceted approach to doing what it can to help preserve our environment. We believe in high-quality, dependable products, and we find ways to reuse and recycle materials while remaining true to the high standards of our customers. Thus, we help to preserve our environment from the detrimental effects of continual rebuilding. Additionally, we plan ahead in order to coordinate any trucking and drive time so that we can reduce fuel emissions. It is this alliance between better materials and better building practices enables us to make a true difference in the preservation of our environment. You can be sure that when you think Custom Construction Services, you’re thinking green.