How we do itSustainability
Ernest Maier views it as critical to ensure that we build to last, but that we also build in a way that doesn’t burden future generations. Many initiatives are underway across our brands:
CarbonCure enables the production of the same reliable concrete, with a reduced carbon footprint using captured carbon dioxide (CO2). Every cubic yard of our concrete made with CarbonCure saves an average of 25 pounds of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.
Reducing CO2 Emissions
Ernest Maier proudly uses EcoCem PLC by Lehigh Hanson in all of our concrete blocks and products, reducing lifecycle CO2 emissions by 10% over ordinary portland cement, without compromising performance.
Portland limestone cement (PLC or IL Cement) is a slightly modified version of portland cement that improves both the environmental footprint and potentially the basic performance of concrete. It is now described in ASTM and AASHTO specifications and is used just like traditional portland cement in mix designs. PLC contains between 5% and 15% limestone, up from <5% limestone in ordinary portland cement.
By offsetting the amount of clinker—energy and CO2 intensive to manufacture— the final cement is better for the environment. PLC though does not compromise on performance, design, nor strength. In fact in many cases it can result in slightly higher strengths.
As we have built homes, offices and cities, we have altered the natural environment. Additionally, rain events have become more intense. Taken together this has led to large issues with run-off, flooding, and just generally managing stormwater.
To accompany its large drainage division, Ernest Maier has actively sought out solutions that better address these issues. The PaveDrain Permeable pavement system better handles stormwater without compromising on handling vehicles and heavy traffic. It’s also a system that has shown remarkable resilience, even when the recommended maintenance is not performed. It’s the kind of step change that represents a true advancement to making our built environment more sustainable.
It’s important to stay hydrated whether in the office or on the job site. In a conscious effort to reduce the amount of plastic we use, we switched from plastic jugs and bottles to an inline reverse osmosis system and reusable water bottles through Pure Water Maryland. We still get high-quality water, but without the added environmental impacts of the accompanying plastic containers. Little things show a big
Ernest Maier generates solar energy on roofs across our footprint. What isn’t able to be used on-site is fed back into the grid, further reducing the carbon footprint of our communities.
In 2020, we generated 83,000 kWh of power. Enough to power your refrigerator for 115 years. And in March 2021 we installed an additional 140 kW of solar panels.
Crushing Old Concrete
Construction debris is often an overlooked element of making the built environment more sustainable. Ernest Maier seeks out concrete construction debris to be crushed and used as aggregate in the production of concrete. It preserves the value of the original material, representing a significant step towards building more sustainably.
Ernest Maier deals largely in heavy, dense materials. Moving these materials to you the customer takes a lot of energy and represents a significant portion of our carbon footprint. The Ernest Maier family makes a concerted effort to buy sand, stone, and other aggregates from local facilities.
Always Doing Better
We are always looking to make construction more sustainable. Have an idea?