The calculator is used to quantify and interpret cradle to gate Life Cycle Assessment environmental impacts of ready-mixed concrete mixtures with and without slag cement, based on the industry-average Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for ready mixed concrete that incorporated industry-average EPDs for slag cement and for portland cement in the United States.
The tool also allows users to evaluate how different concrete mixtures affect whole building impacts based on a typical case study building.
“This is a great tool for the ready-mixed concrete industry because producers can immediately demonstrate to owners and developers how the use of slag cement can help positively impact the environmental footprint of a structure or building,” said Ed Griffith, president, Slag Cement Association.
“Additionally, industry professionals can use the LCA Calculator to help earn points through the LEED green building rating system.”
The easy-to-use calculator is separated into four sections. The first allows users to select from a list of preset concrete mixes and alter the percentage of slag cement in that mix.
The graphed results show the impacts for the baseline and slag cement-modified mixes in real time and allows users to apply region specific supply chain characteristics.
The calculator also permits users to enter up to ten custom mix designs and will calculate the environmental impact of each mix. This allows professionals to benchmark custom mixes as a percentage of region-specific industry averages.
The calculator can also be used to assemble a report on slag cement’s impact on a building as a whole, allowing users to enter amounts for each of the custom mixes used in a given project.
As the construction industry moves toward building with more sustainable and eco-friendly materials, the SCA is empowering professionals with the information they need to create strong, durable buildings in the most environmentally conscious way possible.