Concrete is everywhere in construction, so I like to note what’s happening to make concrete “greener.“ CarbonCure Technologies, Inc. licenses technology in North America to make, for example, carbon-absorbed concrete blocks and other precast products. Basically, CO2 is injected during curing — making limestone — with the end result being a stronger, greener masonry and other precast products.
I noticed in Dwell‘s Prefab edition that one prefab was partially built with an innovative concrete masonry unit (CMU) by Nevada-based Omni Block. Omni Block is a structural CMU filled with Expanded Polystyrene inserts. Walls with Omni Block can be finished or, in the case of the Simpatico project (see below), left exposed for a modern interior or exterior. The manufacturer says the material is fire resistant, durable, and thermally efficient, and the blocks come in colors or with special aggregates.