Laying the foundation to sustainable living inside and out!

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Buildings and construction are major contributors to the growing carbon footprint in the world. However, since they are a necessity and aid development, it is absolutely crucial that we try and make a conscious effort to reduce our contribution.

That’s why, while designing Altezza, our premium apartments in Chennai, our intention was to give you beautiful homes enveloped by nature, yet don’t take away from it. 

‘Green’ cement

We’ve spent the last 60 years building forever homes in the real estate industry, and make it a point to keep ourselves up to date with the latest developments in sustainable construction to reduce our carbon footprint. We conducted an inspection of materials that are major carbon contributors and materials that are required most for construction, and one name topped both charts – cement! We resolved to tackle this first and come out the gates with a swing before we moved on to other sustainable practices.

Cement is an important ingredient in concrete, the lifeblood of any construction project. Producing it for concrete uses a great deal of energy, which is why we set out to find green alternatives to cement. For a truly sustainable lifestyle, at Altezza, we decided to bring down the use of cement by replacing regular red bricks with Aerocon blocks. Aerocon blocks are 8 times larger than bricks, need relatively less cement, and cause less material wastage, making them an Appaswamy favourite!

While this is one of the solutions we came up with to limit our carbon footprint, it doesn’t end here. There are several other eco-friendly materials that can substitute cement in concrete for a better and greener space. Here are some of them:

Silica Fume

Ever thought that a by-product of the very hazardous silicon metal could become a green substitute for cement? Silica fume is often added to the concrete as a partial replacement for cement. Because of its chemical and physical structure, it can improve the strength of concrete and reduce porosity, making it highly durable. Since it is a by-product, there is no additional production wastage or carbon emission, and its use in construction reduces the amount of silica fume being released into the atmosphere. A win-win indeed!

Metakaolin

Metakaolin is probably the most useful pozzolanic material used in concrete. This means it increases durability, reduces cost, and reduces pollution without significantly altering the final compressive strength or other performance characteristics of concrete. As a naturally produced material, metakaolin does not release pollutants, unlike traditional cement, making it one of the most sought-after materials by builders who aim at reducing carbon emissions. 

Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag

Another sought-after green substitute is GGBS – Ground-granulated blast-furnace slag. It is obtained from molten iron slag which is a by-product of iron and steel-making. The benefit of using GGBS over cement is that you can achieve optimum strength of concrete with only 30% of GGBS in terms of volume of cement required.  Apart from that, its eco-friendly properties like reduced energy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced use of raw materials make it highly favoured in sustainable construction. 

While these green alternatives to cement reduce the production of cement and can cut down carbon emissions quite a bit, it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Appaswamy keeps looking for innovative ways to contribute to the environment and to give you eco-friendly and sustainable properties in Chennai.

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