How can concrete be elegant?

Is concrete a sustainable material? Those arguing “no” would point to the fact that its production accounts for about 5% of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. The other side would argue that concrete’s durability and thermal properties (concrete insulates and can moderate temperature swings) outweigh the negative impacts of its production. They could also point to advances in concrete technology that reduce the emissions impact.

See how nice stained concrete can look
See how nice finished concrete can look

There can be no argument, however, that already-in-place concrete is an elegant flooring solution, eliminating the need for additional floor covering. In many buildings, concrete floors perform a structural function. Finishing the structural concrete eliminates the need for any additional floor covering, which would have some impact, no matter how “green” it is. Finished concrete drastically reduces the impact and cost of flooring materials. Of course, this also reduces profit for those selling the other flooring types.


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