We just installed this table at a local dayspa. This piece was a great chance to work with a customer that was open to some creativity. The assignment was to make an oval table that is 14 ft. long. I needed to put a seam in the table and suggested a “yin & yang” style curve to it. So instead of hiding the seam we enhanced it. At the last minute during install we all decided to keep the two halves separated one inch… just because it looked great. The top is 1.5″ thick with recycled glass and mirror embedded. This was also a great opportunity for our shop to design an iron base for the top. Working together with both a draftsman and a local welder we put this together and our client was thrilled! Hope you like it as much as we do. Concrete has endless possibilities!!
This is an article from the New York Times written by Kate Murphy on July 24th about Granite countertops in the home;
SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.
TESTING Reports of granite emitting high levels of radon and radiation are increasing.
DETECTION Using devices like the Geiger counter and the radiation detection instrument Stanley Liebert measures the radiation and radon emanating from granite like that in Lynn Sugarman’s kitchen counters.
“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.
“My first thought was, my pregnant daughter was coming for the weekend,” Dr. Sugarman said. When the technician told her to keep her daughter several feet from the countertops just to be safe, she said, “I had them ripped out that very day,” and sent to the state Department of Health for analysis. The granite, it turned out, contained high levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays. “The health risk to me and my family was probably small,” Dr. Sugarman said, “but I felt it was an unnecessary risk.”
As the popularity of granite countertops has grown in the last decade — demand for them has increased tenfold, according to the Marble Institute of America, a trade group representing granite fabricators — so have the types of granite available. For example, one source, Graniteland (graniteland.com) offers more than 900 kinds of granite from 63 countries. And with increased sales volume and variety, there have been more reports of “hot” or potentially hazardous countertops, particularly among the more exotic and striated varieties from Brazil and Namibia.
“It’s not that all granite is dangerous,” said Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories in Clifton Park, N.Y., who took radiation measurements at Dr. Sugarman’s house. “But I’ve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.”
But with increasing regularity in recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving calls from radon inspectors as well as from concerned homeowners about granite countertops with radiation measurements several times above background levels. “We’ve been hearing from people all over the country concerned about high readings,” said Lou Witt, a program analyst with the agency’s Indoor Environments Division.
Last month, Suzanne Zick, who lives in Magnolia, Tex., a small town northwest of Houston, called the E.P.A. and her state’s health department to find out what she should do about the salmon-colored granite she had installed in her foyer a year and a half ago. A geology instructor at a community college, she realized belatedly that it could contain radioactive material and had it tested. The technician sent her a report indicating that the granite was emitting low to moderately high levels of both radon and radiation, depending on where along the stone the measurement was taken.
“I don’t really know what the numbers are telling me about my risk,” Ms. Zick said. “I don’t want to tear it out, but I don’t want cancer either.”
The E.P.A. recommends taking action if radon gas levels in the home exceeds 4 picocuries per liter of air (a measure of radioactive emission); about the same risk for cancer as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day. In Dr. Sugarman’s kitchen, the readings were 100 picocuries per liter. In her basement, where radon readings are expected to be higher because the gas usually seeps into homes from decaying uranium underground, the readings were 6 picocuries per liter.
Concrete Countertops Central to Eco-Kitchen Design
As Featured in the Wall St. Journal
The Wall St. Journal’s article, “The Eco-Kitchen Challenge,” featured concrete countertops as the green material of choice for kitchen counters. Written by WSJ journalist Gwendolyn Bounds, the article follows her journey of remodeling a kitchen with green materials, countertops, appliances, lights, cabinetry, and more.
The selection to use concrete for the kitchen countertops is a huge measure of approval for concrete in the home. The article mentions that concrete was chosen “because of its clean look, longevity and two of its main materials, sand and water, are in abundant supply.” Criteria for the counters also included that they be “stain- and scratch-resistant and otherwise durable.” No alternative material could fit the bill besides concrete.
According to Bounds, “Natural stone, such as granite, can satisfy those criteria, but it can consume a lot of energy in transportation. I pored over eco-alternatives: a translucent, recycled glass material seemed fun until I learned the sheets were shipped from Italy. Companies make beautiful, recycled paper-based countertops, but the colors are limited.” Concrete was the preferred choice because of its durable, eco-friendly qualities and its versatility in design.
This testament to concrete countertops provides another boost to an industry that continues to gain recognition. As more people become aware of concrete, its many attributes make it a material that must be considered for new home construction and economic, eco-friendly remodels.
Three main factors of a green building material are sustainability, durability, and recycling.
A wide variety of concrete methods and products give you the techniques to create both beauty and function in ways that improve the impact of building on the environment. Sustainable development is about balancing human needs with the earth’s capacity to meet them. Concrete offers a wide range of capabilities to help achieve this balance.
Durability is the ability to last a long time without significant deterioration. A durable material helps the environment by conserving resources and reducing wastes and the environmental impacts of repair and replacement. Construction and demolition waste contribute to solid waste going to landfills. The production of new building materials depletes natural resources and can produce air and water pollution. In addition to its long service life concrete offers a low-maintenance surface, another good reason to consider reuse.
The constituents of concrete can be recycled materials, and concrete itself can also be recycled; these materials are usually available locally. Most concrete in urban areas is recycled as fill or road base and not placed in landfills. Concrete pieces from demolished structures can also be reused to protect shorelines.
At Concrete Central we are always mindful of these qualities concerning our creations. It’s important to us as a small business to keep our production as clean and green as possible making sure to recycle as much of our waste product as possible. For example much of our mold making materials can be reused, and then finally sent off to a recycle center to be made into yet another product. We feel that any successful business needs make these considerations in order to compete in todays market, and more importantly to help our earth be a more healthy environment.
Just finished concrete fireplace surround with stained concrete for a house in huntington new york.