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Title: It’s not Rocket Science – Multiple SCM Blends give High Durability AND Low Carbon

Author(s): Robert Lewis

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 362


Appears on pages(s): 97-107

Keywords: blastfurnace slag, carbon footprint, durability, fly ash, high performance, multiple blends, SCMs, silica fume, sustainability


Date: 6/5/2024

The current mantra for our industry is “low carbon concrete,” but the question is – what do you actually mean by that? What is the benchmark you are using to say what is ‘low’– and how does that actually compare with what is being produced today? We’ve been making low-carbon concretes for decades – what we haven’t been doing is counting that carbon. Looking back at some history and at some recent projects, we can see that Low Carbon Concrete is certainly not rocket science and does in fact give us the durability and performance that we need for sustainability. The other side of the coin that we must be very wary of, in light of failures from the past, is that we produce concrete that is fit for purpose – making something that is ultra-green in the lab, but ultimately unusable in the real world serves no purpose and may even endanger lives. This paper shows a very small snapshot of the millions of cubic meters of binary, ternary, and quaternary cementitious blend concretes that have been used over the last 50 years, concentrating on more current examples showing that low carbon concrete is nothing new – it is already in major use.