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When it comes to constructing a building, one of the most critical elements is the foundation. Among the various types of foundations, spread footings play a pivotal role in distributing the weight of the structure and ensuring its stability.

Spread footings, also known as isolated footings, are a type of foundation commonly used to support individual columns or isolated loads. They work by distributing the structural loads over a larger area of soil, reducing the pressure on the underlying ground and preventing settlement or tilting.



The primary purpose of spread footing is to transfer the load from the structure to the soil below. They achieve this by increasing the area over which the load is distributed, thereby decreasing the pressure exerted on the ground. Spread footings come in various shapes, depending on the configuration and load requirements of the structure. At Locke, our most common type of spread footer is square with square columns. However, round or rectangular spread footers can be provided by request.


The components that make up spread footings are the slab, the flat, horizontal piece that extends beyond the column’s base and serves as a load-distributing element, the pedestal, the vertical portion of the footing that extends upwards from the slab and provides additional support to the column, and the base, the lowest part of the footing that comes into contact with the soil and spreads the load over a larger area.



Other types of spread footings include:

  • Combined Footing: This is a type of foundation used to support two or more adjacent columns or loads that are so close together that individual footings would overlap or nearly touch. It provides a single, continuous base for these columns to distribute their loads effectively


Image sourced from


  • Raft Foundation: This is a large slab that supports several columns and walls under the entire structure. If several columns overlap each other, then a single footing for all columns is provided. These foundations are particularly suitable for buildings or structures with heavy loads and compact foundations.


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  • Strap Footing: This footing is used when the external and internal columns have significantly different loads. It is two slabs connected by a strap beam, distributing the load effectively.

Image sourced from



The dimensions of spread footings depend on factors such as the type of soil, the weight of the structure, and local building codes. The depth is determined by the depth of stable soil or bedrock, while the width is calculated based on the load-bearing capacity of the soil. Our standard spread footings typically measure 4’x4’x1’-6” up to 8’x8’x1’-6” thick with columns measuring 24”x24”x4’ up to 8’ tall.

The most common material for spread footings is concrete. Our precast mix provides the necessary strength and durability to support the weight of the structure, and rebar is used within the concrete to provide additional strength. This is particularly important in areas with high loads or where the soil conditions may not be stable.



Overall, spread footings are a crucial component of any structure’s foundation system. Their proper design and construction are essential for ensuring the stability, safety, and longevity of a structure. With the right engineering and expertise and careful consideration of soil conditions, spread footings pave the way for solid and secure structures that stand the test of time.


Note: Any cast-in-place structures shown can be converted into precast products. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team with any questions you may have.

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slug: evblocks

In recent years, Electric Vehicles (EVs) have taken the automotive industry by storm, promising a greener and more sustainable future for transportation. As the demand for EVs continues to rise, so does the need for an extensive and efficient charging infrastructure. One innovative solution that has gained traction is EV Blocks. Partnered with Locke, EV Blocks has created a simple and effective process for installing EV pedestals using the precast concrete base that Locke manufactures. In this post, we will discuss EV Blocks, their benefits, how they coincide with Locke, and their potential to revolutionize the way we power our electric vehicles.


What are EV charging blocks?

EV charging blocks, also known as charging hubs or charging stations, are designated areas equipped with multiple electric vehicle charging points. These blocks can be located in various public spaces such as parking lots, shopping centers, residential areas, and along highways, providing convenient access to charging for EV owners.


For installation, each block is first lowered into a prepared excavation point, the charger cables are installed, the EV charger pole is fixed into place, and finally, the charger is fitted to the device. All EV Blocks have a uniform structure and finish for consistent visual appeal. Because they are manufactured using Locke’s precast concrete, they are ready for installation from the moment they arrive, unlike traditional EV charging bases that must be custom cast on site and can take up to 4 days to cure.



Additional benefits of EV Blocks include:

  • Flexibility – EV Blocks have a universal adaptor plate that allows the below ground infrastructure to be installed before the EV charger has been selected, allowing for flexibility with timing.
    Sizing – The standard EV Block is 22” x 22” and 24” tall, making them ideal for nearly all Level 2 charger installations, as the majority of chargers installed are Level 2.
  • Optimized Land Use – EV Blocks utilize existing spaces effectively. They can be integrated into parking lots, garages, or other unused areas, minimizing the need for additional land allocation.
  • Increased Adoption of EVs – The anticipated widespread availability of EV charging blocks encourages more individuals to switch to electric vehicles, knowing that reliable charging infrastructure is readily accessible. This, in turn, accelerates the transition towards a more sustainable transportation system.



However, with any new technology, there are always challenges and considerations to keep in mind. Some of these may include:

  • Grid Capacity – Ensuring that the local electrical grid can support the increased need for electricity is a critical consideration when establishing EV Blocks, given that more than 1.5 million charging stations are estimated to be in demand by 2030.
  • Accessibility and Location – Strategic placement of EV Blocks is crucial to maximize their convenience and accessibility for EV owners. Additionally, consideration must be given to those who may not have easy access to private parking spaces.
  • Charging Time – At this point, car charging stations can take up to several hours to charge, which is significantly more than a gas-powered vehicle. This level of inconvenience is a potential barrier to those considering going electric.



EV Blocks represent a significant step forward in building a comprehensive and sustainable
charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Their scalability, cost-effectiveness, and user-
friendly features make them a promising solution for the growing EV market. As the automotive
industry continues its transition towards electrification, investing in and expanding the network
of EV Blocks will play a vital role in shaping the future of transportation. By addressing the
challenges and seizing the opportunities, together, EV Blocks and Locke can pave the way for a
more sustainable and eco-conscious world.

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slug: want-an-internship-with-one-of-the-top-precast-companies-in-texas-by-kaid-nygren

Locke Solutions is based out of Houston, Texas, and recently opened two other locations in Point Comfort and Alverado this year. In the past year, Locke has more than doubled in size and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. This growth within the company gives interns the opportunity to be apart of an experience they wouldn’t get at other precast plants. My name is Kaid Nygren, a 2023 Summer intern for Locke Solutions and I’m writing this because after my time at Locke Solutions, I can truly say that I was apart of something bigger than the average summer internship.

Locke HQ

About Me
My name is Kaid Nygren, and I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I am going into my
sophomore year at Texas State University, studying concrete industry management. Ever since starting this major, my passion for concrete and aspirations to excel in the concrete industry has grown every day. Before working at Locke Solutions, I had small knowledge of what precast concrete was, but was ready to learn.

What a Locke Internship Consists of
No Locke Solutions internship is the same. My internship at Locke was a 3-month long period, where I averaged around 35 hours of work a week. Locke gives interns the ability to do what they aspire to do by letting them decide where they want to work. My time at Locke was spent in 4 different departments that I got to choose. These departments I chose were sales, estimating, quality control and production. With these departments, I worked on multiple projects on top of completing day to day tasks. Having the capability of working in multiple departments in one summer gives interns the ability to learn what they like the most. This is an opportunity that not many companies have offer.

Locke’s Purpose & Core Values
Locke’s purpose is to make the customers life easier, and their employee’s lives better. This is done by embracing the 5 core values at Locke Solutions. These values include RESPONSIVENESS, TEAMWORK, SELF-MOTIVATION, GET IT DONE ATTITUDE, and PROBLEM SOLVING. These values are what makes Locke Solutions who they are and why they have been leading precast since 2013. If you feel that these values mirror who you are, you will find that Locke feels like home to you. Every employee at Locke strives to embrace these values every day, pushing you to become the best version of yourself.

The Team
The Locke team is like no other. Interns at Locke Solutions are surrounded by people
that are willing to help you grow. The second I stepped foot into the facility, it was
made known that I was a part of their team. At Locke I was surrounded by people who
worked hard and were always looking for ways to improve themselves, the company
and those around them.

Locke is growing at an extremely fast rate and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
This is a great experience for interns because it allows them to assist in this growth with
their ideas and projects. During my internship I was able to complete 4 projects that all
have contributed to improving this expansion. Watching and being a part of this has
taught me lessons that I wouldn’t have learned at other places.

Join the Locke Solutions Team!
If you take advantage of this unique experience with Locke Solutions, you’ll learn useful
strategies to apply to your degree program and in future career opportunities. Be a part
of something bigger than just precast concrete and lay the foundation for your future!

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slug: product-spotlight-kenner-chain-wall-innovative-precast-concrete-flood-protection

Kenner Chain Wall offers versatile solutions, catering to a wide range of industries and applications. Whether your project demands an on-grade or elevated solution, or a seismic or non-seismic environment, Kenner Chain Wall is adaptable to meet your requirements. This innovation finds its utility across multiple industries, including energy, petrochemical, telecom, oil and natural gas, transportation, law enforcement, as well as mobile land radio and emergency services.

Flood Protection and Beyond

The applications for these structures are diverse. From robust support for equipment shelters, cabinets, generators, fuel tanks, and various other structures, making it a reliable solution for your foundation needs.

Image sourced from Kenner Chain Wall

Benefits of Kenner Chain Wall System

With multiple applications, these modular and adjustable precast structures offer a variety of benefits:

  • Modular & Reusable
  • Arrives Ready for Immediate Installation
  • Each Unit Installed in Minutes
  • No Field Concrete Pours or Curing Times for Many Installs
  • Lower Cost & Expedites Schedule
  • Foundation & Platform in One
  • On-Grade or Elevated 20+ Ft
  • Seismic Designs Available
  • Reduced Field Labor & Workman’s Comp Risk
  • One Crane Installs Both Chain Wall & Shelter
  • Ideal for Coastal Areas – Can be designed for Saltwater Environments/Corrosion Resistance
  • Manufactured in NPCA Certified Facilities for High Quality
  • North American Availability (Multiple Manuf. Facilities)
  • Environmentally Friendly – Green
  • Ideal for When it’s Too Cold to Pour Concrete


Image sourced from Kenner Chain Wall


Image sourced from Kenner Chain Wall

If you’re interested in learning more about if these structures are right for your project, contact our team or head to to learn more.

Stay tuned for our next article.

We hope this article was helpful. Please send in your questions to and we would be happy to help answer them.

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With our recent announcement of our expansion to Alvarado, Texas, we could not be more excited to continue our mission of making our customers’ lives easier and our employees’ lives better. This milestone not only signifies our team’s commitment and our loyal customers throughout the years, but it also showcases the dedication that our team has to innovation, growth, and each other. With this new location, we’re locking in (yes, pun intended) our position as the Leading Precast concrete provider in the great state of Texas, while creating numerous employment opportunities for the residents of Alvarado and its surrounding areas.



With this expansion to Alvarado, we plan to offer a substantial number of job opportunities for the local workforce. Including: engineers, technicians, production workers, and administrative staff. This influx of employment will not only stimulate the local economy but also improve the standard of living for residents in the area. Additionally, we will continue our efforts of providing a supportive work environment, fostering skill development, and offering competitive compensation packages for our team.



This marks a significant milestone for our team and we’re looking forward to seeing the positive impacts that this expansion with bring to the Dallas/Fort Worth region and beyond. With our technical expertise, our dedicated people, and our commitment to a high level of responsiveness to our customers, we’re ready to continue reshaping the precast manufacturing landscape.

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slug: precast-concrete-drainage-solutions

Being Houston residents, we are all highly aware of the importance of good drainage. Preventing water accumulation and minimizing the risk of flooding while also ensuring the long-term soundness of the build is a crucial part of any project. Precast drainage systems have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their effectiveness, ease of installation, and cost-effectiveness.

Precast drainage systems

Precast drainage systems are manufactured off-site and then delivered to the construction site, making the installation process much faster than traditional in-situ construction methods. This can save time, money, and reduce disruption to surrounding areas. These systems are made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand heavy loads, extreme weather conditions, and the corrosive effects of wastewater. This makes them more durable than traditional cast-in-place drainage systems and reduces the need for costly maintenance and repairs. Although precast may have a higher initial cost than traditional cast-in-place systems, it is often more cost-effective over the long term due to a controlled manufacturing environment ensuring consistent quality and performance, no weather delays, accurate scheduling, and reduced maintenance requirements.

Precast drainage systems

Precast drainage systems can also be designed to be more environmentally friendly than traditional cast-in-place systems. For example, Carbon Locked Concrete is a process that helps to reduce our carbon footprint of precast concrete. This process involves the use of recycled industrial by-products, such as fly ash and slag, in the production of concrete, as well as the use of Carbon Cure’s injection system, which injects carbon directly into the mix. Check out our blog on Carbon Locked Concrete to learn more about this process. With a large number of products, let’s explore the different types of precast drainage systems available and their benefits.

precast channel drains systems

Channel drains, also known as trench drains, are long and narrow drains that are designed to handle large volumes of water. They are usually installed in areas where there is a lot of surface water, such as driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. Trench drains are typically made of durable materials such as concrete, fiberglass, or polymer concrete, and they come in various sizes to accommodate different water flow rates.

Catch basins are installed underground to collect and control water runoff. They are typically made of concrete, and they are designed to capture water from a large area, such as a parking lot or a road. Catch basins come in varied sizes and designs, and they can be customized to meet the customer’s specific drainage needs.

grates cover drainage systems
Image sourced from NPCA

Grates are used to cover the openings of drainage systems, such as catch basins and trench drains. They are typically made of metal or plastic and are built to design specifications. Grates are essential in ensuring the proper functioning of drainage systems as they prevent debris and other materials from clogging the drainage system.

drainage and stormwater management
Image sourced from NPCA

We provide a wide range of products for drainage and stormwater management. These products include trench, catch basins, junction boxes, inlets, storm water detention systems and advanced stormwater treatment systems to name a few. Each product is designed to meet our customer’s specific drainage needs with custom designs to ensure proper water flow management.

We’ll go into detail on these products in our next blog. Stay tuned!

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slug: precast-coastal-protection

The push to find environmental solutions while still innovating technology has not stopped, and at Locke, we’re continuing efforts to innovate and take care of the environment.

Precast Coastal Protection Units are a unique and innovative solution to many of the challenges faced by coastal communities today. These concrete structures are designed to mimic the natural habitat of oysters, providing a substrate on which the bivalves can attach and grow. But why are these so important, and how do precast coastal protection units benefit our environment and economy?

First and foremost, these precast units play a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of coastal ecosystems. As filter feeders, they remove pollutants and excess nutrients from the water, improving water quality and clarity. In doing so, they also create an ideal environment for other species, including fish, crabs, and other shellfish, to thrive. This, in turn, supports local fisheries and helps maintain the delicate balance of coastal ecosystems.


However, oyster populations have declined significantly in recent decades, due to a combination of overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. This has had devastating consequences for both the environment and the economy. Precast structures offer a solution to this problem, by providing a substrate on which oysters can attach and grow, without the need for natural oyster beds. By creating artificial habitats, we can help restore oyster populations and the ecosystems they support.

Precast have several advantages over traditional approaches to oyster restoration. For one, they are highly durable and can withstand the harsh conditions of coastal environments. They are also relatively easy to deploy, requiring only a simple anchoring system to secure them in place. This makes them a cost-effective solution, especially when compared to more labor-intensive methods, such as building artificial reefs or transplanting oysters from elsewhere.

Another advantage of Precast structures is their flexibility. They can be designed to fit a variety of site-specific needs, depending on factors such as water depth, wave action, and sediment type. This allows them to be deployed in a wide range of coastal environments, from shallow bays to open ocean waters. Additionally, their modular design allows for easy scalability, meaning that they can be deployed in large numbers to achieve greater impact.

Precast structures offer an opportunity for innovation and collaboration. They are a relatively new technology, and there is still much to be learned about their effectiveness and potential applications. As such, they provide a platform for scientists, engineers, and stakeholders to come together and develop new ideas for coastal restoration and management.

Another innovation in the precast industry are fish houses. Fish houses have become their own ecosystem, providing housing for fish communities in the sea. Precast fish houses are made by pouring concrete into a mold that is designed to create the desired shape and size for the box. Once the concrete has cured, the box can be removed from the mold and is ready to be used.

Precast fish houses offer several advantages over other types of fish boxes. One of the main advantages is durability. Concrete is a highly durable material that can withstand heavy use and harsh environments. This means that precast fish boxes can withstand rough handling during transport and will last for many years without needing to be replaced.

Another advantage of precast fish houses is their thermal properties. Concrete has excellent thermal mass, which means it can absorb and retain heat. This makes it an excellent material for storing fish because it can help maintain a consistent temperature inside the box. Additionally, concrete fish houses can be insulated to further improve their thermal performance.

By supporting oyster growth and new fish habitats, our team is able to help restore degraded marine ecosystems and promote biodiversity.




Stay tuned for our next article.

We hope this article was helpful. Please send in your questions to and we would be happy to help answer them.


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At Locke, we never shy away from new challenges and a little hard work, and our team continues to demonstrate just this! This past month, several of our team members were recognized by the National Precast Concrete Association for their time and dedication.

Our Plant Manager, Chris Coronado became a newly minted Master Precaster.

David Espino our Director of Operations is a new graduate of the Leadership NPCA program.

Locke also won a NPCA Best Practice Award (accepted by Manuel Paniagua- Plant Manager, Manuel Alvarenga-Operations Manager, and Chris Coronado- Plant Manager).

To top it all off, Jonathan Cruz our Structural Design Lead is starting his Leadership NPCA program. Manuel Alvarenga, Manny Paniagua, and Andres Herrera our Product Superintendent are all beginning their Master Precaster Journey.


Our team’s commitment to quality, innovation, our customers, and to each other is at the core of what we do and we’re grateful to have each these individuals as part of the team.




Stay tuned for our next article.

We hope this article was helpful. Please send in your questions to and we would be happy to help answer them.


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slug: how-do-i-become-a-precast-concrete-quality-control-technician

If you’re interested in a career as a precast concrete quality control technician, you’ll need a strong background in concrete and construction, as well as knowledge of quality control principles and procedures. Here are the steps you can take to get there. 


Becoming a Quality Control Technician

If you’re interested in becoming a precast concrete quality control technician, there are several steps you can take to get there. First, it’s important to gain an education in construction and concrete by either earning a degree in civil engineering or construction management or attending a trade school to gain hands-on experience. 

Secondly, you can gain experience in concrete construction by working entry-level positions such as a laborer, carpenter, or concrete finisher. These positions can provide valuable hands-on experience and help you learn the basics of concrete construction. 

Thirdly, it’s important to learn quality control principles and procedures. One way to achieve this is by looking for training programs or certifications in quality control, such as those offered by the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) or the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA). While not all these certifications are required, these programs can help you gain a solid understanding of quality control concepts and procedures, which is essential for a precast concrete quality control technician. These certifications can also provide significant advancements in your career as a quality control technician. Let’s elaborate on what we mean to give you a clearer picture. 

PCI Education and Certifications  

PCI (Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute) offers several levels of education and certification for individuals interested in becoming proficient in precast concrete technology. PCI provides a broad range of coursework that covers various topics, such as quality control, design, production, and installation of precast concrete products. The certification levels include: 


  1. PCI Level I: This certification covers basic knowledge and skills in precast concrete technology. Individuals with this certification can work as production personnel, quality control inspectors, and installers. 
  2. PCI Level II: This certification builds on the foundation laid in Level I and covers more advanced concepts and techniques in precast concrete technology. Individuals with this certification can work in roles such as production supervisors, quality control managers, and project managers. 
  3. PCI Level III: This certification is the highest level of certification offered by PCI and is designed for individuals who want to advance their careers in precast concrete technology. Individuals with this certification are recognized as industry experts and can work in roles such as plant managers, engineering managers, and consultants. 


ACI Training and Certifications 

Similarly, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) provides training and certification programs that cover a wide range of concrete-related topics. ACI certification programs are widely recognized in the industry and are often required for employment in certain roles. Some of the most popular certification programs offered by ACI include: 

  1. ACI Concrete Field-Testing Technician – Grade I: This certification covers the fundamentals of concrete technology, including concrete sampling, slump testing, and compressive strength testing.
  2. ACI Concrete Strength Testing Technician: This certification is designed for individuals who want to specialize in concrete strength testing, including preparing and testing concrete cylinders. 
  3. ACI Concrete Construction Special Inspector: This certification covers the inspection and testing of concrete construction activities, including reinforced concrete, precast concrete, and post-tensioned concrete. 

NPCA Certifications 

The National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) offers certification programs that cover various aspects of precast concrete production, quality control, and installation. NPCA certification programs are designed to help individuals improve their knowledge and skills in precast concrete technology and to help employers ensure that their employees have the necessary skills to perform their jobs safely and effectively. Some of the NPCA certification programs include: 

  1. NPCA Quality Control Technician: This certification covers the principles and practices of quality control in precast concrete production. 
  2. NPCA Master Precaster: This certification is the highest level of certification offered by NPCA and is designed for individuals who have extensive experience in precast concrete production and installation. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, becoming a precast concrete quality control technician requires a combination of education, work experience, certification, and ongoing professional development. By following these steps, you can develop the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to be a quality control technician, while being confident in your ability to ensure the quality and consistency of precast concrete products.  

For more information about quality control procedures and obtaining certifications, visit,, or 


Stay tuned for our next article.

We hope this article was helpful. Please send in your questions to and we would be happy to help answer them.


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slug: carbon-locked-by-locke

The concrete industry has been facing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint due to concerns about sustainability and the environment. In fact, the Portland Cement Association estimates that the manufacture of a cubic yard of concrete, which weighs about 3900 lbs, is responsible for emitting about 400 lbs of CO2. This is because cement, a key ingredient in concrete, is responsible for about 0.9 pounds of CO2 emissions per pound of cement produced.

One potential solution to this problem is the use of Carbon Locked Concrete, a process that reduces the carbon footprint of precast concrete. This process involves the use of recycled industrial by-products, such as fly ash and slag, in the production of concrete, as well as the use of Carbon Cure’s injection system, which injects carbon directly into the mix. Carbon cure is a process that is used to accelerate the curing of precast concrete and improve its properties. The process involves the injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the concrete mix, which reacts with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to form a stronger calcium carbonate compound. This reaction helps to cure the concrete more quickly and effectively, resulting in stronger and more durable concrete. [• Carbon Cure Technologies. (n.d.). How Carbon Cure Works. Retrieved from]   This process results in Mix #24, which has several benefits in terms of sustainability.

First and foremost, the use of recycled materials in the production of concrete reduces the demand for virgin materials, such as cement and aggregate, which are resource-intensive to produce. This can help to reduce the environmental impact of concrete production. In addition, the use of recycled materials in concrete reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, as these materials would otherwise be discarded.

Another benefit of Carbon Locked Concrete is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The production of cement is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and by using recycled materials in the production of concrete, the carbon cure process reduces the amount of cement needed and therefore also reduces the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The use of Mix #24 in the production of precast concrete also has other environmental benefits. For example, it can improve the durability and longevity of the finished product, as the use of recycled materials can increase the strength and resistance to cracking and other types of damage. This can reduce the need for repair and maintenance over the lifespan of the concrete, further reducing the environmental impact.

In summary, Carbon Locked Concrete is a sustainable alternative to traditional concrete production methods. It reduces the demand for virgin materials, reduces waste generation, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, while also improving the durability and longevity of the finished product. These benefits make it an attractive option for those looking to reduce their environmental impact in the construction industry.



Stay tuned for our next article.

We hope this article was helpful. Please send in your questions to and we would be happy to help answer them.