Georgetown University’s 55 H Street is a new 12-story residential building currently under construction in downtown Washington, D.C. Approximately 7,000 cubic yards of ECOPact low-carbon concrete will be used for the project’s post-tensioned concrete slabs and other components. ECOPact will greatly reduce embodied carbon of the concrete when compared to concrete containing ordinary Portland cement (OPC).
Georgetown University’s 55 H Street project will house 476 students and includes 4,200 sq. ft. of university space, 1,980 sq. ft. of retail space, and large landscaped courtyards. Designed to exceed LEED Platinum status, the structure includes an energy-use monitoring system, extensive solar panels, exterior sun shading, rainwater collection, and many other environmentally conscious features. Maryland-based Belfast Valley Contractors is serving as the concrete contractor and John Moriarty & Associates is the general contractor on the project.
Aggregate Industries, LafargeHolcim
ECOPact uses a slag replacement instead of OPC. The website, MaterialsThatPerform reports that the product has the capability to:
- reduce the carbon footprint of concrete up to 100%,
- contribute to a circular economy by closing material cycles, and
- enhance resource conservation.
As quoted in the construction video, Kevin Riley, of Belfast Valley Contractors says, "If this was any regular job and you didn't tell me it was ECOPact, if there's anything different, I don't think we'd know the difference by the finish and how it acts in the field."
Construction of the Georgetown Univerity 55 H Street dormitory is expected to be complete in 2022.
ECOPact is from Aggregate Industries, a member of LafargeHolcim in the U.S. The low-carbon concrete mix will reduce the embodied carbon of concrete by 40% and contribute to its goal of exceeding LEED V4 Platinum status.
According to USGBC.org, more than 1,000 projects are currently utilizing LEED V4 "to achieve their sustainability and performance goals." Examples of other projects meeting the V4 certification include:
- Boston Public Market, certified in Sept. 2017
- The Minneapolis Convention Center, certified in June 2017
- and the Fernandez Molia - Apoloio Morales 29 building, in Madrid, Spain, certified in January 2021
“We’re thrilled that we could bring this innovative solution to the Washington, D.C. market,” says Chris Clow, General Manager of Ready-Mix for LafargeHolcim’s US Mid-Atlantic Region. “The CO2 savings with ECOPact are significant, and the 55 H Street project is demonstrating sustainability and performance in action. As the building industry looks for ways to tackle embodied carbon in the built environment, we’re committed to offering our customers new products and solutions that build a better future,” he says.
According to Clow, LafargeHolcim plans to expand the availability of ECOPact beyond Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Boston later this year. “We’re seeing increased interest in specifying low-carbon products, and states as well as municipalities are introducing legislation around green procurement. The momentum is encouraging,” he adds.