Concrete is an essential building material, but it is also responsible for releasing a huge amount of carbon globally that contributes to climate change. Honda Smart Home US demonstrates some innovative techniques to build a home using less concrete. We already discussed the use of pozzolan to reduce the amount of cement needed. Another technique is an interesting technology called “concrete post tensioning.”
Post-tensioning uses steel cables to compress the concrete slab. The conventional steel bar reinforcement is replaced by a grid of cables that get stretched after the concrete starts to set, maintaining a continuous state of compression. This is important because compression is the state in which concrete is strongest. By making the concrete stronger, the Honda Smart Home only uses about 75% as much concrete as a typical design, while maintaining or exceeding strength requirements.
Using post-tensioning, we’ve saved over a ton of carbon dioxide emissions. It’s another example of the techniques available to reduce the environmental impact of the construction process.