Data-Driven Decision-Making to Inform Sustainable Performance-Based Specifications
Renee T. Rios, Francesca Lolli, Katelynn Schoenrock, Kimberly E. Kurtis
Appears on pages(s):
Bootstrapping; CO2 emissions; Compressive strength; Confidence interval; Data analysis; Performancebased specifications; Statistics; Surface resistivity; Sustainability
Performance-based specifications (PBS) may increase concrete quality and sustainability by facilitating innovations in material selection and proportioning. This is particularly relevant now with increased interest in a broader set of minimally processed minerals for use as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) or fillers; these are often industrial and agricultural byproducts and with limited performance history in concrete. This study compares traditional largely prescriptive concrete design, following practices currently allowed by the Georgia Department of Transportation, with three new concrete designs which do not comply with current specifications but offer increased sustainability. Three metrics are assessed for each mixture: the associated cradle-to-gate CO2 emissions, a metric that incorporates the environmental burden of concrete, compressive strength at 28 days, and surface resistivity measurements taken weekly from 28 to 56 days. A framework is proposed to statistically analyze compressive strength data to pre-qualify mix designs, which can be broadly applied to reduce time-consuming iterative testing and to help meet sustainable development goals. The aim is to foster innovation in material use and mixture design towards an increased durability and performance, while reducing environmental impact and minimizing risk.