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Vertua® - concrete with a mission

05 of October '22

Vertua® - modern low-carbon concrete.
Reducing the carbon footprint of construction


Sources of carbon emissions in today's world are primarily industry and construction. Construction alone accounts for approx. 40-50% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We can divide the carbon footprint generated in construction into two types: embedded and operational. The operational part comes from the operation of the building and is subject to measures to improve its efficiency and minimize its contribution as much as possible. Embedded carbon footprint is the materials and technologies used during the erection of buildings. In the traditional building technology used in Poland, concrete is responsible for more than 60% of the total embedded carbon footprint of a building.

Under the European Commission's proposal for changes to building regulations, it will be necessary for designers to perform carbon footprint calculations for the entire building, taking into account the full life cycle of the building. The new rules will cover buildings over 2,000 sq m from 2027, and all new buildings from 2030.

Considering how much influence building materials, and concrete in particular, have on the embedded carbon footprint, it is necessary to focus more attention on this material. With concrete values at our disposal, confirmed by the relevant documents, we can consciously design and implement building structures also in terms of carbon footprint levels.

How then to prepare for this process?

When embarking on the calculation of specific carbon footprint values, we must have reliable data on the emissions of the materials used. With the wide variety of construction materials, it is important to be able to accurately determine the carbon footprint level of a specific material used during construction. This is particularly important for concrete products, which, depending on their parameters and composition, show significant differences in the value of this indicator.

Vertua® products

Since last year, CEMEX has offered low-carbon concretes that support innovative, sustainable construction. Vertua® is a new group of building materials designed for wide use in construction projects. Vertua® concretes enable carbon dioxide emissions to be reduced by up to 50% compared to a reference concrete based on CEM I cement. For each product in the Vertua® group, furtherCO2 compensation is possible until carbon neutrality is achieved (zero-emission products). The carbon neutrality reduction is made possible by using optimized formulations based on low-carbon ingredients and local raw materials. Vertua® concretes meet technical parameters analogous to standard concretes, so they have a wide range of possibilities for use at every stage of the project. Low-emission solutions in no way limit building design possibilities and construction challenges. Our specialists design concrete perfectly tailored to the designer's expectations.

Type III Environmental Declarations

Type III Environmental Declarations or so-called EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) have been developed, verified and published for the entire line of Vertua® concrete products. EPDs are a very useful document based on a life cycle analysis of a product, describing its properties and environmental impact throughout its life cycle. The indicators contained in the EPD accurately report the full environmental impact of Vertua® classic and Vertua® plus concretes and confirm the reduction of the carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is defined in the EPD as a global warming potential and expressed in a unit of carbon dioxide equivalent, which allows us to clearly and unambiguously define theCO2 footprint of Vertua® concretes. With the EPD certificate at our disposal, we can compare two products against each other in terms of their environmental impact, and thus consciously decide to choose a product with more favorable parameters. EPD-certified concretes are an additional advantage in the processes of multi-criteria certification of BREEAM or LEED buildings, so you can receive additional points in selected categories of the certification process.

For CEMEX Poland, this is another step in achieving the goal of reducingCO2 emissions in the construction industry, in line with the company's climate strategy "Future in Action." As a responsible manufacturer of building materials, we are constantly adapting our products to new requirements and expectations of contractors, architects and the end user. We work with construction companies for whom, like CEMEX, the priority is to move toward a sustainable construction future, including reducing carbon emissions during construction. The benefits of using low-carbon concretes are not only a concern for the environment, but also a tool for implementing each company's sustainable development strategy.

Current projects using Vertua® concretes

We continue to look for ever-improving solutions to support the development of sustainable housing. In particular, this includes effective ways to lower the carbon footprint. In Warsaw, we are working with Yareal on the next stage of the "Positive Mokotow" residential development. We will use 750 m³ of low-carbon concrete to build stage III of the development. The complex, which features numerous modern pro-environmental solutions, will be equipped with, among other things, as many as 3 in-house solar power plants to illuminate common spaces including an internal green park axis stretching along the entire estate. The high proportion of environmentally friendly solutions has ensured the investment a certificate in the BREEAM green building system with a rating of Very Good.

Inwestycja „Pozytywny Mokotów”, Yareal

Investment "Positive Mokotow", Yareal

The first project for which we supplied Vertua® concrete is the P180 office building located in Warsaw by the Wilanowska metro station. After two years from the start of construction, Skanska has completed the P180 office building. The building has received an occupancy permit, which means that the Warsaw office market has expanded by 32,000 sq m of office space. Like all Skanska buildings currently under construction, P180 meets the standards of WELL, LEED and Barrier Free certification, confirming the building's superior quality and its positive impact on the health and comfort of employees. The WELL certification system measures the quality of office space, taking into account its impact on people's physical and mental health and well-being. It is a holistic view of the health and comfort of office building occupants and complements green building standards.

Biurowiec P180 (Skanska) w Warszawie - pierwsza inwestycja z wykorzystaniem betonu Vertua® CEMEX

Office building P180 (Skanska) in Warsaw - the first investment using Vertua® concrete by CEMEX

Poland's office building segment continues to be a leader in green building approaches. Another example of cooperation with the use of environmentally friendly solutions, including low-emission Vertua® concrete, is the construction of a new office in Komorniki near Poznań, carried out by DEPENBROCK POLSKA Sp. z o.o.. It is both the investor and the general contractor.

Inwestycja „Biurowiec firmy DEPENBROCK Polska”

Investment "Office building of the company DEPENBROCK Poland".

An interesting realization focused on sustainable construction solutions is a housing estate in Piekary Slaskie. The "Nova Dąbrówka" investment is an example of full commitment to ecological solutions, low-emission materials used in construction, as well as a number of utility solutions such as heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and rainwater recovery. The investor Honest Development Sp. z o.o. is creating a resident-friendly place, an environment full of greenery, peace and quiet.

Inwestycja „Osiedle Nova Dąbrówka”, Honest Development Sp. z o.o.

Investment "Osiedle Nova Dabrowka", Honest Development Sp. z o.o.

The construction industry is facing a great challenge, but also a great opportunity. Moving towards sustainable construction is the path to a sustainable future. Broad environmental solutions in the building materials industry should become a goal for all manufacturers. It is important that all actions are backed up by reliable information in particular regarding carbon footprint levels.

For more information, visit the company's CEMEX Polska Sp. z o.o. page on the PdA portal.

For information about Vertua® concrete, please contact us:
tel: +48 607 23 88 22
e-mail: piotr.cencek@cemex.com

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