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British Columbia cement industry reaching milestone

Tuesday, September 17th 2013 12:28:22pm

Concrete’s environmental footprint further reduced as CO2-reducing ContempraTM nears 50% of made-in-BC cement consumption

Ottawa (ON), September 17, 2013 - A scant two years after its launch in Canada, a new cement type that results in 10% lower CO2 emissions is rapidly becoming the preferred standard for the majority of new concrete construction projects in British Columbia and already contributing to a better quality air shed in the lower mainland.

The BC cement industry reports that Contempra now accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the domestic cement consumed in the province. This rate will accelerate as more and more developers and builders specify the carbon-reduced cement for their new projects.

The rapid rate of conversion to Contempra-based concrete achieved to date in BC means that some 23,000 tonnes of GHGs per year have been taken out of the atmosphere, which is the equivalent to saving 9,760,000 litres of gasoline or not burning 9,800 tonnes of coal.

“Contempra is a shining example of the cement industry’s continued commitment to innovation and to lowering our collective environmental footprint,” said Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada. “We are delighted with the market’s enthusiastic response and with the tremendous strides both Lafarge and Lehigh Hanson have made in establishing this lower carbon cement as the cement of choice in British Columbia.”

Contempra further reduces the environmental footprint of concrete structures, which, according to life cycle assessment studies conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of British Columbia, is already lower than that of those constructed with other building materials, thanks to concrete’s durability and the energy efficiency benefits of its thermal mass.

“When you combine the use of Contempra with the innate thermal abilities of concrete, which save consumers money in heating and cooling, and with the durability and long life of concrete, it is easy to see that concrete is the building material of choice for those who are concerned with cleaner air, energy efficiency and of course safety,” added Mr. McSweeney.

Among the many Contempra projects already completed or underway in BC are the Arthur Erickson Building, the Wall Center False Creek Development and ONNI’s Evelyn master-planned community, all in Vancouver, as well as a multitude of condominium, commercial and institutional projects throughout the province.

The lower carbon cement is manufactured by Lafarge in its Richmond cement plant and by Lehigh Hanson in its Delta cement plant.

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For more information please contact:  

Lyse Teasdale
Director, Communications
Cement Association of Canada
T: 613-236-9471; ext 211

About Contempra
Contempra is manufactured by intergrinding regular clinker (a molten product that is the main ingredient in cement) with up to 15% limestone, rather than with up to 5% as is the case for regular Portland cement. By reducing the amount of clinker used in manufacturing cement, this process naturally reduces the amount of energy and greenhouse gas emissions required to manufacture it. Despite the reduced clinker content, the new cement produces concrete with the same level of strength and durability as concrete produced with regular Portland cement.

About the Cement Association of Canada
The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is the voice of Canada's cement manufacturers which, in British Columbia, consist of Lafarge Canada and Lehigh Hanson Canada. The industry provides a reliable, domestic supply of cement required to build Canada's communities and critical infrastructure and, together with its concrete partners, is committed to the environmentally responsible manufacturing of cement and concrete products. The cement and concrete industry generates more than $8 billion in annual sales, contributes $2.9 billion to the Canadian GDP and employs over 27,000 Canadians in the production and distribution of cement, concrete and concrete construction materials.