The recently completed KONE Centre – featuring 125,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space – is a showcase for sustainability along the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill. The eight-story structure’s sustainable design includes 1,365 solar panels, light-harvesting technology, locally sourced recycled and renewable construction materials, and a host of energy-efficient building components. In addition, the shape of the building follows the solar axis and takes advantage of natural daylight.
A spectacular addition to the city’s riverfront when it officially opened in August, the multi-use facility was constructed with high-performance concrete containing Lafarge North America products: True Lite Lightweight Aggregate and a blended cement that included Class C fly ash and NewCem slag cement. These products, which are considered post-industrial recycled materials, made essential contributions to meeting the sustainable construction goals of the KONE Centre, which is expected to earn a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The use of supplementary cementitious materials, such as fly ash and slag cement, as a partial replacement for portland cement can help designers and builders recycle industrial by-products, achieve higher performance from concrete mixtures, and earn points toward LEED certification of their projects. These blended cements have many properties that contribute to sustainable design - they produce stronger, longer-lasting concrete, reduce the consumption of nonrenewable raw materials, consume less energy, and turn by-products from other industries into resources that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills. Fly ash is derived from burning coal in electric utility plants, and slag cement is produced from granulated blast furnace slag, a by-product of the iron-making process.
Lafarge True Lite Lightweight Aggregate is also a recycled by-product of the iron production process. About 35 percent lighter than most natural aggregates, this expanded slag product conforms to the U.S. and Canadian governments’ environmentally preferable purchasing programs and qualifies for points under many LEED credit categories. It offers excellent fire resistance, thermal insulating, and sound absorption capabilities and can help reduce heating and air-conditioning costs due to the capillary nature of the aggregate.