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Title: Global Concrete Industry Sustainability

Author(s): P. Kumar Mehta

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Appears on pages(s): 45-48

Keywords: blended cement; cement content; mixture proportioning; sustainability


Date: 2/1/2009

For several decades, there has been high growth in the demand for cement and concrete. If the current rate of cement and concrete consumption is not reduced in the near future, the industry will continue to be part of the global warming problem. Achieving major cuts in cement consumption and, at the same time, meeting the future concrete requirements of the world, however, is indeed a formidable task that cannot be accomplished by the cement industry alone. Three methods to reduce portland cement consumption are proposed in this article. The first is to minimize concrete consumption through innovative architecture and structural design. The second is to specify 56- or 90-day compressive strengths whenever possible to minimize the amount of cementitious material required in a mixture. The third is to use a smart concrete mixture proportioning approach that includes the use of blended cements containing a high proportion of cementitious materials other than portland cement. The diligent use of these methods could cut the concrete industry’s carbon footprint in half over the next 20 to 30 years.