Sustainability

Sustainability

Slag cement is a recovered material from the iron production process and because of this, reduces the environmental impact of concrete mixtures. Additionally, slag cement is very effective in reducing permeability and increasing durability in concrete. Click the links below to learn more on slag cement and how it creates a more sustainable concrete.

  • Reduces portland cement in concrete resulting in:
  • Reduces the urban heat island effect by increasing the reflectivity of concrete.
  • Increases structure life by improving the durability of concrete to various types of deradation such as corrosion of reinforcing steel, external and internal chemical attack and cracking due to thermal stress.
  • Recovers an industrial byproduct when incorporated into concrete or other construction applications.
  • Avoids Disposal of blast furnace slag, when beneficially utilized.

Click here to download an information sheet on Slag Cement and the Environment.

Slag Cement LCA Calculator »
Slag Cement and LEED Certification »
Slag Cement EPD »

  • Slag cement has been in worldwide use since the late 1800's, and was used in projects such as the Paris Underground, and the Empire State Building
  • During the last 10 years, there has been over 29 million metric tons of slag cement consumed in the U.S. saved the equivalent:
    • Carbon dioxide emissions of 4.1 million passenger cars;
    • Energy consumption of 596,000 homes;
    • Virgin materials to produce enough portland cement for 22,000 lane-miles of 8-inch thick concrete roads
  • Slag cement can replace up to 50% of portland cement in most common concrete mixtures, and up to 80% in massive concrete elements and other specialized structures.
  • Replacing portland cement with slag cement in concrete can save up to 59% of the embodied carbon dioxide emissions and 42% of the embodied energy required to manufacture concrete and its constituent materials.
  • The EPA recognizes the benefits of using slag cement, and requires (in EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines) that Federally-funded projects, in most cases, include slag cement in concrete specifications.
  • If all the blast furnace slag in the U.S. was converted into slag cement and used in concrete (and other applications), an additional 7.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 35 trillion BTUs of energy could be saved. This would increase the current level of savings by more than 200%!

Sustainability Resources

SCA provides several resources to designers, specifiers and contractors, to establish the sustainable benefits in a project, and to ensure that applications with slag cement are specified and constructed properly:
  • Lifecycle 365 Software v.2.2 : 
    • software designed to estimate the service life and life-cycle costs of alternative concrete mixture designs proportions and life-cycle costs of alternative concrete mixture designs proportions and corrosion protection systems.  It follows research-based methodology developed by the Life-365  Consortium I and II groups of companies, that gives estimates on the effects of design, chloride exposure, environmental temperature, high-performance concrete mixture proportions, surface barriers, and steel types on the service life and life-cycle cost of steel-reinforced concrete structures.
      This simple and transparent model provides a fundamental tool for design consultants to use for estimating the service life and life cycle costs of alternate protection systems in their design of steel-reinforced concrete structures that will be exposed to chlorides.
  • EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG), EPA website describing requirements for using recycled/recovered materials in Federally-funded projects

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