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Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

I am working with a granite company to start selling their granite as a direct competitor to precast concrete products. Since it is a natural product and the only carbon emissions are the crane to extract and the truck to transport it, it has a significantly lower carbon footprint than concrete.
I am wondering if there are any tax or grant incentives at the federal or state (east of the Mississippi) level for this? Either for using natural materials or for significantly reducing carbon compared to typical practices?
I know there were things in the new infrastructure bill related to reducing carbon, but I have not seen the actual legislation to see how to take advantage of it.

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

Quality granite is a superior construction material, but is a lot more expensive than precast concrete. There is more than craneage and haulage involved. Cutting, polishing, etc. I doubt you can show that the overall "carbon footprint" is lower, but good luck.

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative


So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates


RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

hokie66, they would market it as a premium aesthetic product, but at the same time the granite they would be using is the unusable pieces from the monument industry, so basically repurposing waste product.
For this application, there would be no polishing and 4 sides of a rectangular piece would be split with a guillotine splitter (significantly less energy than cutting) to give a more rugged look. They are exploring clean energy for the cutting process.

dik, I know a lot has been done to use waste materials for cement, but at this point it still has to be heated to high temps which as I understand is the bigger carbon producer. From what I mentioned above, the granite product should produce the same or less carbon then just the aggregate production of concrete.

For the sake of this conversation, let's say it is easy to prove this granite product produces less carbon than concrete, what incentives are there for using materials with less carbon?

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

Rule of thumb: if it isn't already a lower cost option, then it likely is not "green". Rationale: energy input at every level from mining to delivery, installation, maintenance, and end of life disposal gets tallied and summed into the cost of every item. The option that wins out on the simple acquisition cost is likely going to be the "green" option. Don't forget, labor is the ultimate cost of every item and act, and it is made possible by energy (human manual power output is practically zero compared to resource-derived energy output).

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative


So if it is not cut or polished, what applications are envisioned for the granite pieces?

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

A neat idea. You're going to have a limited set of applications you can be a competitor in, though. Reinforced precast concrete is going to have way higher bending and tensile strengths than the granite will. Compression only stuff, sure. That's pretty limited applications though.

AZPete, I don't think that's really true. There are lots of costs in the extraction industry that are fully externalized and not included in the cost of the final product.

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative


Can you describe some examples and how the selection of the item escapes those costs?

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

Hokie, I'd imagine there are lots of non-structural applications for site work and the like.

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

TLHS/hokie66, it will be used in a compression only application. Without giving away the exact application, it will be used for retaining/foundations.

AZPete, as I mentioned, it's a waste product from this quarry. It has a very low labor requirement as all the splitting/cutting is automated. Just no one has had the motivation before to explore alternatives for the waste.

So back to my original question, can anyone point me to resources for tax credits or incentives for alternative materials on infrastructure or building projects? Or is there a better place to ask this question?

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

I'm not sure many of us would know much about tax credits or incentives, this sounds like something you would want to run through an accounting company for more information. A contractor or architect may also be another source for such incentives, but honestly doubtful. Maybe look into LEED or the green building initiative as a resource for such information. Local colleges may also know of such programs, but expect they will most likely want something in return. I grew up in the granite area of Georgia and agree I didn't see much use structurally for the granite (other than the granite bowl and guidestones) so this is an interesting concept to me. You mention this is a waste product, is it not used as crushed stone like aggregate base?

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative


I'm not sure many of us would know much about tax credits or incentives

Many engineers stateside are consultants to accounting firms for technical issues within the internal revenue code. Tiny CPA firms generally dont get into smaller tax niches so I would recommend the OP contact mid-large accounting firms or local engineering consultants who might do the consulting. Be wary of accounting firms with little experience in engineering/technical issues.

RE: Green/carbon credits/incentives for concrete alternative

I apologize for the delayed response.
Aesur - yes, you could make crushed stone, but that would be like using $100 bills for fire starter. The effort to make crushed stone versus the return is low.
I stumbled upon what I was kinda looking for with the mention of LEED/green building. The "Natural Stone Sustainability Standard" is recognized by the US Green Building Council with LEED v4 through the Sourcing of Raw Materials credit. It's also recognized by The Living Building Challenge.

I started down the wrong rabbit hole of looking for "tax credits". The LEED credits is more what we are looking for. We'll have to measure water quality, carbon output, etc. to get the credits, but it should be well worth it in the long run.

Thank everyone!

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