Meet the Better Looking Block with the Smaller Carbon Footprint
Watershed Blocks have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to ordinary concrete block while providing captivating beauty and the same structural performance. How do we accomplish this?
- Watershed Block use up to half the cement of ordinary concrete block. Cement has a giant carbon footprint and is the most expensive component in today's concrete masonry.
- Watershed Block incorporate locally sourced, recycled aggregates in place of the dull grey, virgin mined aggregate that gives ordinary concrete block their dull grey color. Our recycled aggregates add to the sustainability profile and the great looks of Watershed Block.
According to “Life Cycle Inventory of Portland Cement Concrete,” a report published by the Portland Cement Association, “The cement content of concrete block accounts for 91% of the CO2 content embodied in the block.” Watershed Block reduces the amount of cement up to 50%, eliminating half the most energy intensive material in an ordinary concrete block.
Additional environmental advantages include reduced emissions to land and water and reduced risk to human health due to the following attributes:
- Aggregates are sourced from recycled and postindustrial quarry byproducts
- Reduced curing energy
- No surface finishes are required, eliminating concerns over volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful coatings
- No colorants or plasticizers
- Increased density provides effective thermal mass
Masonry is a time-tested method for building beautiful, enduring, and resilient buildings. Watershed Block combines these attributes with significant improvements in environmental performance.
Watershed Block™ LEED Credits
Watershed Block can qualify for LEED 2009 in the following categories:
- Energy and Atmosphere | EA 1 | Optimize Energy
- Materials and Resources | MR4 | Recycled Content
- Materials and Resources | MR5 | Local / Regional Material
- Materials and Resources | MR8 | Durable Building
Watershed Materials is commissioning a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study of Watershed Blocks. The LCA will offer a quantitative assessment of the environmental impacts of Watershed Block as compared to conventional concrete block products.
The LCA will be used to develop a Type III Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) according to the Product Category Rules (PCR) for unitized masonry, which are currently under development by the National Concrete Masonry Association with anticipated release in August, 2014. Watershed Materials is currently in the process of securing a Health Product Declaration (HPD) for its products.
These declarations will allow Watershed Block to continue to qualify for LEED points under the new LEED 4.0 revisions.
PDFs for Sustainability Professionals + Architects :
- White Paper : Reducing Cement Content in Masonry with Rice Husk Ash, a Promising Supplementary Cementitious Material
- White Paper : Learning from Ancient Roman Concrete to Improve Modern Masonry
- White Paper : Understanding Ancient Geopolymers Used in Egyptian Pyramids to Modernize Contemporary Concrete Masonry
- White Paper : Zero Cement Masonry Using Lime, Slag, and Natural Aluminosilicates