Blair Block starts up CarbonBuilt-equipped CMU production line

Sources: CarbonBuilt, Los Angeles; CP staff

Childersburg, Ala.-based Blair Block is the first mover at commercial scale to adopt the carbon dioxide-capturing and -mineralizing technology of CarbonBuilt, enabling promotion of concrete masonry units whose embodied carbon characteristics are 70-100 percent lower than traditional blocks. The CarbonBuilt technology replaces most of the portland cement typically used in CMU mix designs with a proprietary alternative made from widely available, low carbon materials. They harden by chemically reacting with CO2, which is piped into the plant’s curing chamber to augment unit strength development and permanently store the CO2 in solid form. 

Blair Block will deliver initial CarbonBuilt CMUs to C&C Masonry for municipal projects across Alabama, led by a new West Montgomery firehouse.

“As a family-owned business, we’re incredibly proud to be the first plant in the world to produce ultra-low carbon concrete,” says Blair Block Vice President Matt Blair. “We’re able to offer a highly sustainable and sought-after building material while positioning our business for the future.”

“This is not only a milestone for Blair Block and our company, but also for the broader concrete and building materials industries,” adds CarbonBuilt CEO Rahul Shendure. “We’ve shown that it’s possible to reduce carbon emissions from concrete production without compromising on cost or performance. We look forward to replicating this success at concrete masonry plants around the country.”

Blair Block’s charter production line will avoid at least 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and consume 500-plus tonnes of atmospheric CO2 per year. Through process optimization and integration of additional lines, the producer and CarbonBuilt expect to increase the CO2 impact over time. A complete carbon accounting will be available in 2024 when the facility obtains an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), verification of which requires one full year of operational data.

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