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Home > Publications > International Concrete Abstracts Portal
The International Concrete Abstracts Portal is an ACI led collaboration with leading technical organizations from within the international concrete industry and offers the most comprehensive collection of published concrete abstracts.
Showing 1-5 of 8 Abstracts search results
April 30, 2010
K. H. Obla
This article makes a strong case that prescriptive specifications are an impediment to sustainability. Some of the least sustainable prescriptive requirements are the use of minimum cementitious contents, restrictions on types and dosages of SCMs, and the overuse of maximum w/cm. It is not feasible to adopt an optimized prescriptive specification. On the other hand, performance-based specifications allow for mixture optimization, which requires producers and contractors to be more knowledgeable about their materials. Performance-based specifications reward attaining lower variability, which promotes investment in better quality and improved technology practices. Optimized mixtures with a lower variability will result in mixtures that are more cost-effective and sustainable. The article concludes by making a case that sustainability is more than CO2 emissions from cement and concrete production only.
March 31, 2010
Today, the demand for high-performance building materials continues to grow along with the demand for "green" product manufacturing and sustainable building practices. Supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) and blended cements offer sustainable and performance advantages for those who build and occupy structures of all kinds. The growing use of these environmentally friendly materials is due to several performance factors, including low permeability, resistance to chlorides and sulfates, mitigation of alkali silica reaction, greater strength, lower temperatures for mass concrete, and improved workability.
The use of cementitious blends not only results in stronger, more durable, high-performance concretes but also helps reduce global climate impact by lowering energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, each ton of portland cement that is replaced by SCMs reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 0.8 ton (0.7 metric ton). Using cementitious blends also reduces solid waste disposal because SCMs are by-products from other industries. These environmental benefits are increasingly important to project developers and owners.
The transportation industry is viewed by some as less sustainable due to its lack of a green rating system similar to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system. However, many long-standing design considerations of the transportation market segment have embraced sustainable design criteria. This paper relates current bridge design and construction terminology to sustainable design concepts and the sustainable benefits of precast concrete. A case study of the Otay River Bridge illustrates some of these concepts in practice. Sustainable concepts discussed in the case study include material choices, minimizing site disturbance, community involvement, and wildlife preservation.
March 1, 2010
C.-M. Aldea, B. Shenton, and B. Cornelius
In recent years, human sustainability has been increasingly associated with the integration of economic, social, and environmental spheres. The concrete industry is committed to minimizing any negative impact it may contribute to the natural environment. When performance-based specifications are used, performance requirements are stated in measurable terms. They promote a better use of materials, including supplementary cementitious
materials, provided that the finished product meets performance requirements. Slag is an industrial by-product, which when used in concrete has engineering, economical, and ecological benefits; therefore it makes concrete a more sustainable product. In this paper, performance-based specifications and sustainable development are defined in the context of the concrete industry, and examples of two projects, where performance-based specifications, sustainable development and high volumes of slag were successfully used: 50% slag replacement was used to mitigate the alkali-silica reaction of local fine aggregate for use in making concrete for the construction of DeBeers diamond mine facilities in Northern Ontario, Canada; 50% slag replacement was used to limit the heat-generation capacity of high-density concrete during the initial period of curing and subsequent cooling to avoid thermal cracking for high level used nuclear fuel waste storage containers.
Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. Fortunately, concrete, especially architectural and decorative concrete, is a very sustainable material. The constituent materials that make up concrete are readily available throughout most of the world and can be collected, processed, and manufactured in an environmentally sound manner.
Concrete has low embodied energy and great thermal mass that can enhance buildings’ energy efficiency. All human activities have some greenhouse gas associated with them. The electrical power generation and transportation sectors of our economy generate over 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with concrete and cement’s manufacture is only approximately 1% of the U.S. total.
Durability and superior life cycle are solid benefits commonly associated with decorative and architectural concrete. When using Life-Cycle Assessments conforming to international standards, concrete outperforms other building products because it conserves resources by preventing premature replacement and excessive maintenance while delivering superior service life and smaller environmental impacts than other commonly used building products.
Architectural concrete is sustainable because it combines form and function in a single material. Designers and industry professionals can improve the long-term viability of architectural finishes and decorative elements by anticipating maintenance needs and designing with the future in mind.
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