Going green is harder than recycling a few soda cans. Going green is a continuous process of self-reflection as a company and a consumer. The Refinery is continuously looking to lessen our impact on Mother Earth. We use fly ash and silica fume pozzolans in our mix to replace a portion of Portland cement. Fly ash is a by-product of the combustion of coal that strengthens concrete and reduces water demand. Silica fume is a byproduct of producing silicon metal or ferrosilicon alloys. One of the most beneficial uses for silica fume is in concrete. Because of its chemical and physical properties, it is a very reactive pozzolan. Concrete containing silica fume can have very high strength and can be very durable.
We use natural stains and an environmentally friendly sealers that contains zero VOCs. Sand and cement are purchased locally as are the majority of other products and materials used in creating your concrete surfaces.
The Refinery works out of a small, efficient shop that consumes minimal water. Having a small shop also reduces our energy costs. We recycle all household and office products and as much industrial waste as possible. Mold making materials and casting surfaces are used multiple times in the creation of new products.
Concrete vs. other solid surfaces
A majority of natural solid surfaces, such as granite, marble, and soapstone, originate from foreign countries where they are mined into blocks, trimmed and sliced into smaller slabs creating large amounts of waste in the process. The stone is then distributed around the globe by shipment on train, to truck, to boat, and across the ocean just to have the process repeated in the United States. During fabrication, a good amount of material ends up unusable and ends up as landfill waste, averaging 35% industry wide.
In contrast, the main ingredient of concrete is acquired from any of the 118 cement plants in 38 states. Other material, such as sand and gravel, are manufactured and purchased locally as well. Concrete has virtually no waste because ingredients are precisely calculated for each job by the volume needed. Finally, concrete is an inert material that can be recycled and used again in road bases or the creation of new concrete for generations to come.