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Environmentally Friendly Construction

Metro Skate Park

When building a skate park, concrete is by far the most common building material (the Metro Skate Park required approximately 530 cubic metres of concrete). Knowing full well the environmental impacts of concrete, the City of Burnaby was the first in Canada to use Eco-Smart Concrete in a skateboard park.

Eco-Smart Concrete is a locally available concrete mix that contains a high volume of fly ash as the binding agent. This reduces the need for Portland cement in concrete, thus offering three major environmental benefits. First, as cement cures, a large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. This is reduced when fly ash is used in concrete. Second, fly ash is a waste product from burning coal. By using a waste product, materials are diverted away from landfill sites. Third, making Portland cement is very energy intensive, therefore replacing cement with a suitable, readily available alternative saves a great deal of energy. As a result of the successful use of Eco-Smart Concrete, the Metro Skate Park was profiled as a Case Study on the Eco-Smart website (www.ecosmart.ca).

The use of fly ash concrete was a remarkable success. The workability, final strength and finished quality of the concrete are all directly linked to its fly ash content and hardener additive, as well as the exceptional craftsmanship of the contractor. The addition of Hard-Cem has contributed to a higher quality and more durable, harder concrete.