Specifying Sustainable Concrete (Print Course)

Concrete is used in nearly every structure we build today, including buildings, bridges, homes and infrastructure. With greater emphasis placed on sustainability, design professionals are faced with the challenge of meeting traditional design criteria with evolving criteria that support green building and efforts to reduce impact on climate change.

Performance-based specifications for concrete represent an important synergy with sustainability initiatives because they provide the opportunity to optimize mixtures for performance that can also reduce environmental impacts. Prescriptive specifications often adversely impact the environmental footprint of concrete structures. This article outlines how concrete performance can be improved while lowering environmental footprint by implementing performance-based specifications.

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Concrete Innovations (Print Course)

Concrete is the material of choice for the tallest buildings in the world and infrastructure designed to last centuries. To meet demands for these cutting-edge projects, concrete must be stronger, more durable and more workable than ever before. This article explores how new products, manufacturing methods and research are developing innovative concretes to meet these new challenges. Bendable concrete, smog eating concrete and carbon capture are just a few examples of new technologies enhancing a product that is nearly 5,000 years in development.

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Pathway to Resilience (Print Course)

Over the past several decades, there has been a continuous increase in human and economic loss from disaster events. The rise in disasters and their consequences is related to a rise in people’s vulnerability, induced by human development. However, examples of resiliency planning and more stringent building code requirements still lag. This article will offer a view on emerging risks and opportunities as human and economic losses from disasters increase, with the overarching goal of supporting and advancing resilience in future construction of buildings and critical infrastructure.

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The Environmental Impacts of Building Materials: Comparing Concrete, Steel and Wood (Print Course)

In addition to performance, budget and aesthetics, design professionals are now being asked to evaluate the environmental burdens of their design choices. Measuring the impacts of buildings, assemblies and products can be complex. Every design decision, from material and product selection to envelope design and construction can have an impact on the environment and the methods used to evaluate those decisions are still not widely understood. This article will address critical issues the design professional should consider as he/she evaluates the environmental impacts of building materials to maximize performance and deliver lasting value.

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The Balanced Design Approach to Fire Safety: How Concrete Building Systems Can Help Reduce Risk (Print Course)

Structure fires and wildfires result in significant loss of life and property in the U.S. each year. In addition to the direct losses of fighting fires, relocating residents and rebuilding, large fire events can cause substantial indirect losses to communities. There has been an increase in single-family and multifamily structure fire losses, partly due to increased use of combustible construction methods. This article investigates the causes of these fires and provide balanced design recommendations using both active and passive fire protection strategies. It will suggest several noncombustible concrete building systems to help reduce the risk of fire loss in buildings.

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Zero Energy Schools: How Innovative Concrete Systems are Making It Possible (Print Course)

Zero energy school construction is a growing trend across the country. A combination of advanced energy efficiency strategies, affordable solar power and an innovative concrete building system called Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) is making it possible. ICFs combine the strength and durability of reinforced concrete with the versatility and energy efficiency of rigid insulation.

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Strength Through Transparency: How Concrete EPDs are Driving Down Carbon Footprint (Print Course)

Concrete is the most commonly used man-made material and comes second only to water as the most widely used substance on earth. It can be found in nearly every building project, from structural components to sidewalks and parking lots. As populations continue to grow and the building sector continues to experience exponential growth, the concrete industry is taking the lead in driving initiatives toward a sustainable future through transparency and innovative concrete solutions.

By better understanding concepts and terminology relevant to a sustainable future; assessing LEED v4, ASHRAE 189.1, and the International Green Construction Code; learning how to specify concrete for LEEDv4; and discovering innovative concrete technologies and products, those in the AEC industry will be better positioned to achieve carbon emissions reduction goals and contribute to the creation of a more sustainable built environment.

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The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Concrete’s Carbon Footprint (Print Course)

Concrete is the building block of modern society and the most widely used building material. Nearly every structure built today, including buildings, bridges, homes, and infrastructure uses concrete in some way. It provides us with shelter along with places to work, learn and play. It connects us through roads and rapid transit and airports. Water is delivered and treated in concrete structures. Concrete is economical, available everywhere, durable, and versatile.

As demand for building construction continues to increase, it is likely the demand for concrete will also increase. Like all building products, however, concrete has a carbon footprint. This course will analyze the top ten strategies to take advantage of concrete’s benefits while ensuring the lowest possible carbon footprint.

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