Holcim US brings low-carbon mixes to top architect’s drawing board

Sources: Holcim US, Chicago; CP staff

Architect and urban design specialist Studio Gang draws from Colorado’s native Aspen tree, Populus Tremuloides, for the exterior treatment. The hotel’s distinctive windows echo “Aspen eyes” and are configured for energy efficiency. Populus rendering: Studio Gang

Holcim US proves the potential of its ECOPact concrete to align with the low-carbon metrics project principals envision for the recently topped out Populus, a 13-story hotel that Chicago architect Studio Gang has tailored for a triangular Denver site. The producer teamed with the architect, Denver developer Urban Villages, and general contractor Beck Group on a superstructure concrete schedule anchored by about 5,100 yd. of the branded mixes. When measured against carbon metrics accompanying regional averages for ready mixed, the specification equates to a 24 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with an overall concrete schedule hovering 8,000 yd. In embodied carbon terms, the ECOPact mixes amount to a 764-ton CO2 emissions reduction versus conventional ready mixed concrete. 

“We’re transforming global sustainability standards for our industry. Projects like Populus, one of the first hotels of its kind in the United States, show how building materials are a vital part of the sustainability solution,” says Holcim Region Head, North America Toufic Tabbara. “We’re driven to find ways to decarbonize buildings across their entire lifecycles to mitigate the impact of today’s growing population and rising urbanization, and thrilled to partner with Urban Villages to help bring Populus to life.”

“Our metric for success is not just the projects we build; it’s measured by how well we’re stewarding the real estate industry towards a greener future,” adds Urban Villages Co-Founder and CEO Grant McCargo. “By showcasing how projects can use creative solutions like low-carbon concrete to reduce carbon emissions, we’re laying the groundwork for other developers to replicate and help leave our planet in a better place.”