Green Foundations: Eco-Friendly Approaches to Fort Wayne Concrete Projects

Eco-Friendly Approaches to Fort Wayne Concrete Projects

Providing a strong foundation, sustainable concrete structures contribute to a greener tomorrow. They offer outstanding durability and disaster, rot, and moisture resistance.

Sustainable concrete structures also promote energy efficiency by reducing heating and cooling consumption. Additionally, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They can also be built with local materials to minimize environmental impacts caused by transportation.

1. Structural Insulation

Many homeowners gauge the effectiveness of insulation based on its R-value. Higher R-values indicate a higher ability for the material to resist the transfer of heat. Homeowners also look for insulation that provides a greener choice.

When it comes to a greener choice, foam insulation is ideal. It offers a high R-value and cuts long-term energy costs, while helping to reduce carbon emissions. It is available in a range of different forms, including spray and rigid board. Rigid board insulation includes extruded polystyrene (XPS), expanded polystyrene (EPS), and polyisocyanurate. These insulation products can eliminate thermal bridging and act as a vapor barrier.

The City of Fort Wayne works to improve the environment by partnering with local businesses. This collaboration has a direct impact on reducing water pollution, waste management, and environmental hazards. The City of Fort Wayne also promotes the use of recycled materials and greener building practices on its website. These initiatives benefit the entire community. For instance, the Downtown Improvement District focuses on eco-friendly projects, showcased on the city’s website. This includes the installation of new bike racks, planters, litter/recycling receptacles, and street trees.

2. Prefabricated Homes

Modern manufactured and modular homes are built indoors using cutting edge construction technology and automation. This allows the homebuilder to keep a high level of quality and efficiency while still offering the flexibility a homeowner may desire. They also eliminate many construction risks and problems found in traditional onsite construction.

Stasha Carrasquillo, the chief marketing officer at Turnstone Center, says that between 60-70 percent of their annual budget comes from local donors. However, even this support is often not enough to meet the needs of their clients.

COVID-19 has forced some local nonprofits to find new ways to collaborate and pool resources. This has helped them make a bigger impact. For example, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has created a fund that allows individuals to donate to specific park projects. The funds are intended to be flexible and allow the Foundation to respond to changing needs quickly. The fund will also help to diversify the pool of funding for these projects.

3. Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations

Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations, or FPSF, consist of a monolithic slab with vertical and horizontal wings of rigid foam insulation. They prevent frost heave by conserving geothermal heat in the soil around the foundation and keeping it warmer than the surrounding air. While International Residential Code requirements only require a shallow foundation to be insulated, builders of high-performance houses will usually specify much more subslab insulation than the minimum code requirements.

These green initiatives aren’t only environmentally responsible but also cost effective. By using a product like our Mono Slab EZ Form we can form, insulate and backfill all at the same time when building FPSF concrete foundations, saving several steps and costing less than traditional methods.

These eco-friendly methods also help to keep our city’s waterways clean. Every time it rains, dirt and grime washes off the streets, goes into the sewer system and ends up in our rivers and streams. To reduce the amount of pollutants that make it to our waterways, the Fort Wayne Public Works Department has been installing biosoils at the bottom of storm drains in the downtown area.

4. Recycled Materials

The use of recycled materials provides an eco-conscious approach to construction. This approach offers builders and homeowners numerous options for creating beautiful, custom concrete projects. For instance, concrete mixes can be colored with recycled pigments to create earthy and vibrant shades for unique projects.

This approach reduces the need to import new materials and allows the project to be completed more quickly and affordably. Colored concrete is also more visually appealing than traditional concrete and can add a splash of personality to a project.

Civil engineers at Purdue University have collaborated with Indiana Department of Transportation officials to research the possibility of using cement kiln dust as a substitute for some lime on pavement reconstruction projects. This material is a byproduct of cement production and is free from contaminants.

Cement kiln dust was used on part of the Pettit Rudisill Neighborhood Concrete Rehabilitation project this year and showed comparable engineering results to traditional lime-modified sections. This recycling effort dovetails with other Purdue and INDOT green projects involving civil engineers, including the use of steel slag on the State Route 109/State Route 24 bypass; recycling shredded tires to prevent landslides; and the use of coal ash from Indiana power plants to reinforce roads and fill highway embankments.

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