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Our Commitment to Sustainability

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Columbia Precast Products is committed to using environmentally responsible manufacturing practices while providing a safe workplace for our employees.  We plan to be in this community for a long time, and we will continue to be good neighbors by protecting precious natural resources.  We are also committed to helping our customers accomplish their sustainability-related goals by providing durable products made with responsibly sourced and recycled materials.  Columbia Precast Products will continue to measure our impacts, and focus on continuous improvement.

Areas of Focus

Our team utilizes several methods to make sure we make the environment better than when we found it:

  • EPD’s – Columbia Precast Products (CPP) participated in the NPCA EPD.
  • Employees – We are committed to being one of the safest and best places to work in this community.
  • Community – We encourage employees to serve their communities and contribute to the safety and well-being of their neighbors.
  • Environment – Our team is committed to improving the condition of the environment by minimizing our impacts where possible.
  • Customers – CPP is committed to offering products and services that meet or exceed our customers’ sustainability-related expectations.  This involves continuing to offer the highest-quality products and always seeking to improve our processes and practices.

What Makes Our Products Sustainable?

We carefully choose our products based on their sustainable, environmentally-friendly qualities:

Pipe

Concrete pipe is synonymous with durability, longevity, and resiliency.  The energy used, emissions released and traffic congestion created during construction to maintain and/or replace pipe is significant. Concrete pipe is a durable product with a proven 100-year service life.  In addition, it often does not require imported “select” backfill.  Utilizing native backfill reduces the energy and resources needed to produce and deliver imported “select” backfill to a project, thus reducing the carbon footprint.

Manholes

Precast concrete manholes are designed and built to withstand many extreme loads including traffic, soils, and water. Similar to pipe, precast manholes are durable, resilient, require less maintenance and lower the environmental impact of construction and traffic disruptions. Manholes are modular, manufactured to meet specific needs and install easier and faster. Less time installing decreases emissions from machinery. Precast concrete manholes have watertight joints and connections to keep harmful, untreated wastewater from getting out.

Wastewater Tanks

Decentralized wastewater treatment is increasing in North America. Centralized sewer systems are already beyond their limits, can’t support additional loading and require a lot of energy to run. For this reason, structures used in wastewater treatment must be reliable and effective, as well as sustainable. Diverting wastewater from sewers is already a sustainable milestone. Treating stormwater and wastewater on the site is becoming more important as the green building movement gains momentum. Precast tanks withstand significant loads due to traffic and soils and are designed and manufactured to provide a long service life. Tanks manufactured with alternative materials that face strength or buoyancy issues lead to more construction and pollution. Precast tanks can be customized to meet specific needs for advanced treatment or other site conditions, resulting once again in faster installation and less impact.

Non-Toxic Utility Structures

Precast concrete utility structures are ideal for communications, electrical, gas or steam systems since they protect vital connections and controls for utility distribution. Precast structures can be manufactured to fit any design situation, requiring less time on site performing modifications. Precast concrete utility structures are noncombustible, can withstand high temperatures. They are also non-toxic, environmentally-safe, and have a long life cycle. Precast structures are installed much quicker than cast-in-place alternatives, reducing site impacts and pollution.

Retaining Walls

Precast concrete retaining wall products can be manufactured to fit any design situation, requiring far less time than cast-in-place walls, and thus reducing on-site emissions and waste.  Precast retaining walls are manufactured in a quality-controlled environment to provide the most durable product with an exceptional life cycle.  They can contribute to a reduction of heat island effect due to the lower solar reflectance of the concrete.

The use of precast concrete retaining walls also can result in less land used during the project.   Many of the precast concrete wall systems are made with an architectural finish that replicates natural stone. In addition, precast concrete walls can be stained with a number of commercially-available stain products to further enhance and customize the look.

Wall Panels

“Ready to go when you are” precast concrete panels have a distinct advantage over other materials such as brick, concrete masonry, cast-in-place concrete, and EIFS. Because precast panels are manufactured well in advance of installation, they are ready for transportation to the job site at a moment’s notice. Most panels include embedded connection hardware so they can be erected onto a steel frame quickly with a limited installation crew.

Projects designed with precast concrete can save weeks or months over other materials. Precast concrete also saves considerable time over production of tilt-up panels and traditional cast-in-place floor slabs.  Precast concrete provides excellent protection against impacts from explosions, vehicles, and projectiles. Also, it has passed tornado/hurricane impact testing, giving owners an added level of safety assurance in areas prone to severe weather.   Precast concrete increases efficiency because the weather will not delay production. In addition, weather conditions at the job site do not significantly affect the installation of precast wall panels, allowing the project to progress on schedule.

Our manufacturing facility includes the following sustainable features:

Materials

  • Recycled Steel used for reinforcing our products.

  • Supplementary Cementitious Materials, Fly Ash.

  • Durability-enhancing admixtures

  • Use of low VOC materials.

Processes

  • Recycling process water

  • Energy efficient lighting use cuts back on excessive energy expenditure.

  • GPS tracking/mapping in delivery trucks reduces travel time and distance, resulting in lower fuel consumption which helps reduce our carbon footprint.

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