California's ready mixed concrete producers are suppliers of an essential and remarkable building material-in fact, the most widely used man-made material in the world. Concrete is a remarkable material because it is at once plastic – can be molded into any shape – and becomes strong and durable when finished. These qualities explain why one material – concrete – can build skyscrapers, bridges, sidewalks, superhighways, houses and dams.
Concrete is made from rock, sand, water, and cement (or other cementitious materials, such as fly ash, slag, or natural pozzolans). The ingredients in ready mixed concrete are batched into a mixer truck at a central plant and then transported to a construction site. The concrete has to be poured within 90 minutes of being batched.
Concrete has become a key element in meeting California’s environmental goals, since concrete homes and buildings are energy efficient and can be produced from local materials and often with recyclable materials. Specific types of concrete and uses can also meet a variety of societal goals, such as concrete mixed with recylced aggregates, water, or supplementary cementitious materials (recycled fly ash, slag and other materials). And, pervious concrete pavements reduce water runoff, which helps society achieve water quality goals. It is not surprising then that concrete is increasingly requested to meet the building requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
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