Environmentally friendly concrete pours? Sudler proving it’s possible

Developer uses CarbonCure ready-mix concrete in S.C. warehouse — eager to bring it to N.J.

When Sudler Cos. completed the first warehouse in the Fox Hill Business Park, it wasn’t big news in New Jersey. The park, after all, is located in Fountain Inn, South Carolina.

But how Sudler completed the warehouse should be big news in New Jersey — and everywhere else people are wondering if developers can be environmentally friendly.

By using CarbonCure ready-mix concrete, the new 206,140-square-foot facility significantly reduced the amount of harmful greenhouse gas emissions normally produced during industrial construction, Sudler Principal Brian Sudler said.

CarbonCure CEO Rob Niven explained.

“CarbonCure takes carbon dioxide, which is normally considered a harmful greenhouse gas, and we create value from that by using it in the production of concrete,” he said. “The production of cement accounts for roughly 7% of CO2 emissions around the world; our technology repurposes the CO2 and permanently traps it inside the concrete.”

Sudler, Niven said, was able to avoid 59 tonnes (130,000 pounds) of CO2 emissions through the process.

“It’s an example of how mission alignment can allow all groups to have much more of an impact on a project this size,” Niven said.

Sudler said he is convinced.

“The largest companies in the world have been announcing their climate pledges — their environmental, social, governance commitments,” he said. “We are proud to be the first developer utilizing CarbonCure concrete in South Carolina. We’re not only dedicated to providing jobs and commercial growth to the state, but are also committed to doing it in an environmentally responsible way.”

Sudler said the company is dedicated to bringing CarbonCure to New Jersey, too.

“CarbonCure’s technology wasn’t available when we started our last projects in New Jersey,” Sudler said. “However, we will be looking to work with them on upcoming projects in the state.

“We are going full steam ahead on committing to environmental sustainability — especially in New Jersey. It’s our home base and we want to lead by example.”

CarbonCure, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been earning accolades from many.

Bill Gates talked it up during a recent story on “60 Minutes.” And, earlier this week, CarbonCure was announced as a winner of the 5-year global NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE challenge — an award that celebrates breakthrough technologies that convert CO2 emissions into usable products.

CarbonCure has made a pledge to reduce 500 megatonnes of CO2 emissions from the construction industry by 2030 — equivalent to taking 100 million cars off the road.

Sudler said his company is eager to help.

“We are always looking for ways to cut our carbon footprint — and we’ve already done that,” he said. “Sudler has been pursuing environmentally sound practices for years in New Jersey, including pioneering the tilt-up construction technique in many of our projects.”

Sudler said CarbonCure comes with an economic bonus many sustainability products don’t have — it is actually cheaper to use.

“We proved that it could be cost effective in our Fox Hill Development,” he said. “Not only that, but we came out with a superior product.

“In our future projects in New Jersey, there should not be any cost issues that would deter us from using CarbonCure’s product. As more companies like Sudler adopt these type of construction techniques, it will become the standard and not the exception.”

Sudler, a fourth-generation family-owned company, said environmental sustainability practices are coming to commercial real estate.

“Sustainable construction and maintenance practices will be differentiators for corporations going forward and, therefore, they should be driving decision in the industrial real estate space,” he said. “While we are among the first to focus on this; now is the time for us to put our foot forward when developing these projects, and that we do it in an environmentally conscious way.”