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Greening the Concrete Jungle

Rob Niven, CEO and Founder of CarbonCure Technologies

If you’ve found a way to green the concrete jungle, your company’s going to make a lot of Top 10 lists. That’s what Nova Scotia’s CarbonCure Technologies is happily discovering.

CarbonCure’s innovative technology takes waste carbon dioxide and sequesters the greenhouse gases in concrete masonry products.

Just as living plants employ CO2 in the process of photosynthesis to produce food for themselves, CarbonCure’s technology injects CO2 into concrete, producing limestone, and resulting in stronger and greener building materials.

“The market demand for CO2-absorbed masonry from designers, large general contractors and structural engineers is massive,” says Rob Niven, Founder & CEO of CarbonCure.

Concrete products range from sustainable blocks to pavers and segmental retaining walls.

“Green concrete that doesn’t compromise quality or price is absolutely where the market is going right now,” Rob explains. “Eventually, we’re looking to diversify so that this technology can be used for ready mix concrete, which makes up 75% of the total market.”

The technology behind CarbonCure’s green concrete isn’t cumbersome, either. It’s actually small enough to fit into a suitcase.

“Our technology can be added to existing masonry plants, making it easy for concrete producers to implement,” he says. “The end result is a product that can be up to 20 per cent stronger than regular concrete products.”

For this reason, CarbonCure is attracting some attention. The company has distributors in Nova Scotia, Ontario, California, and Illinois spreading the word – and their green building materials – throughout North America. The company recently signed a licensing deal with a division of North America's biggest concrete masonry producer.

“Timing is everything, and I think our green concrete solution is an answer to the increasing demand for greener building products,” says Rob.

It’s working, too. The company has even been recognized as one of the top 10 green building products for 2013 by, hailed as “both cutting-edge and practical”. And they also recently issued an Environmental Product Declaration and Health Product Declaration – which are standardized tools of quantifying the environmental and health impacts of a building product, a first for their industry in North America.

Innovation does come at a price, and Rob is quick to mention ACOA’s role in the development of their eco-friendly technology.

“Nova Scotia has been a great place to grow our business, and we continue to appreciate all of ACOA's continued support,” says Rob. "ACOA's support has been instrumental in bringing CarbonCure's innovation to market".

A new technology for the Green economy that doesn’t compromise quality or price? Just goes to show how Atlantic Canada’s green innovators are building a strong foundation for the future.

Published October 25, 2013