Polished concrete Is the only renewable flooring option that can be recycled/renewed at the job site. This saves resources in many ways. There is no need to transport additional materials to the job site cutting down on CO2 and traffic congestion. There is no creation of a new product which saves raw materials and the energy used onsite is very low. And if you are pouring a new foundation, concrete uses largely limestone, one of the most abundant materials on the planet.
Polished concrete eliminated the use of harmful VOC’s from other floor covering installations and maintenance chemicals. VOCs or volatile organic compounds include both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Some VOCs are dangerous to humans or cause harm to the environment and can result in compounding, long-term health effects.
Building designers and architects are using the thermal mass of polished concrete slabs to reduce heating and cooling cost from the ability to retain heat (ideal for passive solar designs) and offer cooling as well. Polished concrete increases ambient lighting by 30% due to a highly refined and reflected surface which allows for less energy use.
As was mentioned above, unlike most flooring products, there is almost no consumption of raw materials in the concrete polishing process. Unless the existing floor is deemed unacceptable for polishing and requires a topping system to be installed, the only product consumed is the water-based hardening and stain resistant treatments (products that are also environmentally friendly). The system does not introduce any products that need to be separated from the base concrete slab when the end of its life cycle has been reached making recycling of the structure more feasible.
Resource Conservation & Durability
A properly installed polished concrete floor will last the lifetime of the building with little maintenance (assuming it was properly hardened and sealed). There are not many flooring materials than can make that claim.
With polished concrete’s tremendous durability and extremely low impact on the environmental impact, it’s no wonder it is becoming the preferred flooring choice for the sustainable work place of the future. Add to that the low cost compared to most other flooring options (especially looking at lifetime cost factors). See our free flooring report for more comparisons.
At PolishedCrete, we have seen a tremendous uptake in retail, industrial, commercial and public spaces starting to use polished concrete flooring because you get environmental benefits with endless design options and low cost. That’s eco-friendly and owner-friendly.