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When Environmental Impact is Considered
Jim Olsen

Today's business and cultural climate, protecting our natural resources and the planet is not only necessary, but also good practice. The precast concrete industry is also responsible for protecting our children's future way of life. This industry ~ unique in that in many ways it has virtually no impact on the environment, while in other it can have a major impact.

No impact

Major concrete ingredients ‑ sand, stone and cement ‑are mined. No trees or plants are destroyed. Most precast forms are made from steel, not wood. And unlike other primary construction materials, precast concrete is produced with a minimum of chemicals.

Due to strict quality control, there is very little waste in precast concrete. In most plants, even the concrete mixer was water is recycled for use the following business day. Solid concrete from plant clean up is hauled to landfills or used as clean fill at the plant.

Big impact

Concrete products have a long service life, which eliminates the need for replacement. Precast concrete products require less construction time in the field, which means projects can be completed faster. Precast products allow for less disruption of the construction site, less waste and less erosion due to storm runoff.

Precast products include structures for storm water management ponds, box culverts, precast inlets, reinforced concrete pipe for storm water control manholes, pump stations aid utility vaults for sanitary sewers and force mains.

Most underground precast products assist in meeting EPA requirement for storm and sanitary sewer control. At the same time precast products have a positive impact on clean water.

Transportation products such as median barriers, bridges and highway drainage structures contribute to more efficient road and rail routes. These efficiencies cut travel time and therefore eliminate air pollution from combustion engines.

 The obvious choice

Given a variety of considerations, especially those related to environmental impact, it is clear that precast concrete products are the way to go. Precast concrete is a green product and contributes much to maintaining a clean environment for us, our children and future generations. In short, life without precast is less healthy, less prosperous, less enjoyable and certainly less green. Think "green," think precast concrete in the New Millennium.

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Precast Concrete Association of Virginia
1108 East Main Street, Suite 1200
Richmond, VA 23219-3545