Why DesignStone is the innovative sustainable answer to future building | Part 3.
In this 4-part blog we explore the 3-key pillars to successfully building sustainable communities through resilient design and by way of DesignStone`s resilient building technology.
This week we focus on environmental solutions and flow on effects…
DesignStone’s building technology is a proven combination of light-gauge steel framing with small form concrete cladding in an architecturally attractive finish which, withstands hurricanes, resists flooding and fire, while being affordable & fast to erect. DesignStone’s buildings are constructed in a manner similar to traditionally framed buildings (enabling quick adoption) yet have the same integrity as a full concrete system.
RESILIENT construction is the necessary and dynamic answer to protect our planet and its inhabitants for generations to follow.
First widely used by the Romans as early as 300 BC, concrete remains the most resilient, long-lasting product ever created in the building industry, given its unbeatable strength, high thermal and acoustic properties, and very low-maintenance needs. Concrete buildings resist fire and extreme weather in different climate conditions. From an architectural perspective, concrete can be shaped into almost any form, can be colored and/or textured, while maintaining the same performance as standard concrete.
Steel is very durable and also requires low maintenance. Buildings built with steel are lighter yet very strong. Steel has high resistance to fire, pests, and mold. Its architectural advantage, among others, is its ability to allow large spans, cantilevers and numerous windows compared to traditional wood frame construction.
Steel is 100% recyclable and is one of the few materials that doesn’t lose quality each time it is recycled. Steel is cut-to-size to be ready to assemble, creating almost zero waste.
The primary component of the cement that binds aggregate to form concrete is limestone, one of the most common and abundant minerals on earth. While cement’s production results in CO2 emission; DesignStone, for example uses a very small amount of cement in its construction and is working to replace cement going forward by replacing it with materials such as fly ash, silica fume, and granulated blast furnace slag, all repurposed materials. Cement’s CO2’s byproduct is less toxic than most other building materials’ byproducts. Concrete’s ability to withstand time and harsh conditions make it less harmful than the so-called “free carbon” materials used today in “engineered wood”. The argument that the pollution issue is countered by planting trees doesn’t address the harsh chemicals used to pretreat the engineered wood. Further, concrete can be made to an exact quantity avoiding waste, contrary to other materials bought in bulk, cut, and shaped on site creating tons of waste. Concrete is recyclable in many ways, including breaking it up into whole rocks, usable in road paving and prevention of shoreline erosion, to name a few re-purposes.
The main sustainable characteristic of concrete is its durability. While other construction techniques fail to stand against severe climate conditions, concrete stays intact. As time goes by, concrete buildings require only minimal maintenance while wood frame buildings for instance, require more frequent care, constant application of toxic chemicals to protect from pests, mold and mildew. Without timely care, traditional wood structures can quickly become uninhabitable. The constant need to rebuild, replace and maintain traditional wood structures produces immeasurable waste, not always directed to the right or safe destination required for this type of waste. CO2 is also produced during the manufacturing of elements needed to keep traditional wood structures viable. When a disaster occurs, the situation worsens because there is zero control of the damage caused by the waste produced and the negative impact on the water supply. After the disaster, much effort is extended to removing and disposing of the damaged structures before the rebuilding process can begin. The modular precast concrete and steel form structures survive disasters intact. They do not add to the waste caused by the disaster nor pollute the water supply. The community can quickly return to normal living because the clean up from the disaster will be faster and easier that the rebuild that is required with a wood structure.
Dani Capricho | DesignStone Architectural Operations