A new class of cement called Portland-limestone cement (PLC) will become mainstream in Ontario and Quebec.
The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently announced that PLC is referenced in the Ontario Building Code (OBC). In Quebec, the Régie du Bâtiment approved PLC as an 'alternative solution' to General Use (GU) cement. Holcim (Canada) Inc.'s cement plants in Mississauga, Ontario and Joliette, Quebec, manufacture PLC and have been supplying the materials for customer trials with ready-mix producers and concrete product manufacturers in both provinces.
PLC has strong environmental and sustainable construction benefits. Manufacturing PLC generates significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and up to 10 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions. These reductions are achieved as up to 15 percent of the clinker used to produce regular Portland cement is replaced by limestone. Additionally, PLC shows comparable strength performance and can carry similar amount of Supplementary Cementing Material (SCM) as GU.
The manufacture of PLC at Holcim Canada is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 130,000 tonnes, which is the equivalent to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road or planting 3,300,000 trees, as well as reducing the dependence on virgin materials.
"We are delighted that PLC is being referenced in the Ontario Building Code as this enables us to provide more sustainable construction solutions to our customer," said Paul Ostrander, President and Chief Executive Officer of Holcim Canada. "PLC produces a concrete as strong and durable as that made with regular General Use cement and manufacturing PLC generates significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and up to 10% fewer CO2 emissions." Mr. Ostrander further added that the building material industry is currently pursuing the recognition of PLC in the LEED® building rating system.
Last year, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario carried out two trials on existing Central Region contracts utilizing PLC. The first trial used PLC in a cast-in-place concrete barrier wall section, located on the westbound QEW between Brant St. and Burloak Drive in Burlington. Based on the favourable outcome, a second trial was performed in September 2010 using PLC in slipformed concrete pavement in Mississauga on an exit lane to Hurontario Street of Highway 401 eastbound. Both trials represented the first field applications of the new cement in structural and pavement applications by a public agency in Canada.
PLC is approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA A 3001 and A 23.1) and was referenced in the National Building Code of Canada on November 29, 2010. PLC was approved by Régie du Bâtiment du Québec on February 15, 2011, as an 'alternative solution' for GU cement, and on February 17, 2011, PLC was adopted into the Ontario Building Code.