Paving the way for a new type of concrete in Greenville

Committed to both innovation and sustainability, Harper is proud to announce that we have partnered with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities on implementing a revolutionary form of concrete infused with wood nanoparticles. This new formula was used for the Endowment's new parking lot located in downtown Greenville.

The Endowment worked alongside Harper, SynTerra Corporation, and Thomas Concrete to construct the 100-by-40-foot parking lot on East North Street. It is one of three sites nationwide used to test and showcase the innovative sustainable solution to better concrete production.

The production of cement remains the leading cause of global warming, accounting for 5 to 10 percent of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions,  according to the International Energy Agency. 

The U.S Endowment for Forestry and Communities, “the nation’s largest public charity dedicated to keeping forests as forests,” joined with USDA Forest Service, Purdue University, and Oregon State University to test the performance of concrete with the addition of cellulosic nanomaterials produced from non-other than wood to combat any future damage cement might have on the environment.

US Endowment- Harper General Contractors
Harper US Endowment Concrete Project

“We are a company that values cutting-edge ideas along with creating a more sustainable future,” said Rick Richardson, Harper vice president. “This project allows us to do both while working in a city and community that has been our home for generations.”

According to United States Department of Agriculture scientist Dr. Alan Rudie believes that adding cellulosic nanomaterials to the mixture, concrete structures become more resistant to corrosion and can last longer. Cellulosic nanomaterials are produced by breaking down wood to its smallest and strongest components. These tiny structures have diameters 20,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, yet they are as strong as steel with only one-fifth the weight.

As stated in the press written from The Endowment release this could also make the production of concrete less energy intensive, create a market for low-value wood, and most importantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Harper is invested in building up the communities where we work, live, and play and this project is another testament to that commitment.