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General Services News & Updates (internal)

Posted on: March 31, 2023

Low-Carbon Concrete - That's a Home Run!

It is estimated that concrete is responsible for 7-8% of worldwide carbon emissions. It's an industry that's proven difficult to decarbonize. To reduce our carbon footprint and work toward our ambitious climate goals, the City of Durham's General Services Department partnered with Thomas Concrete, CarbonCure, and Skanska to pilot an innovative carbon removal technology that will turn our concrete sidewalk project at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park into a climate solution.

The CarbonCure concrete used in the new Blackwell Street sidewalk is just as durable and strong as traditional concrete and was purchased at no additional cost to traditional concrete as part of this pilot project. But the CarbonCure concrete has a lower carbon footprint. Here's how it works: CarbonCure concrete captures carbon emissions (CO2) from industrial uses before they can be released into the atmosphere where they will contribute to climate change. This CO2 is mixed into concrete where it mineralizes, trapping it in the sidewalk forever.

Durham is leading the way as one of the first cities in North Carolina to use it in our sidewalks!

This is a small pilot project, but the approximately 100 cubic yards of concrete used in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park sidewalk project captures and permanently traps almost a ton of CO2 that otherwise would have contributed to climate change. That's the equivalent of carbon sequestered or absorbed by an acre of trees!

Our next steps are to test and trial the new CarbonCure sidewalk. If it performs as well as it has in other locations around the U.S., we'll work to utilize this innovative climate solution in more City of Durham construction projects.

Visit our Sustainability and Energy Management webpage to learn more about the many other ways that the City is using innovative climate solutions to meet our Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan goals.

Construction crews installing new CarbonCure concrete as part of sidewalk maintenance project

People walking on sidewalk that was recently improved as part of a maintenance project

Close up of shoes walking on sidewalk that was recently improved as part of a maintenance project

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