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Government needs to back sustainable concrete: Academics


A leading American academic has highlighted the need for governments to update policy to embrace sustainable concrete and materials which come from quarries. 

Matthew P. Adams, an Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the Co-Director of the Materials and Structures Laboratory at New Jersey Institute of Technology, believes governments need to update their building codes and practices to fully embrace sustainable technology.

Adams, who outlined his thoughts on Nasdaq,  believes more education was need on sustainable concrete to helps its application. Specifically education on what is locally available, what materials can fit which building uses and building codes.

“Industry advancements have led to limited real-world adoption and use,” Adams wrote on Nasdaq.

“Building codes at the local, state, and national level are slow to permit the use of new technologies in building materials, despite extensive strength and durability testing. Local agencies also lack the resources to develop regulations to support the use of novel, sustainable products.

“Many public agencies and engineering companies are afraid to embrace new methods without strong proof of their long-term durability and performance in real-world applications.”

Due to the amount of money generated by state and local governments through infrastructure projects, governments shape as one of the big adopters of sustainable concrete as the industry moves to become a low-carbon industry with low-carbon supply chains.

Sustainable concrete is one of the big research areas in the industry and a future source of revenue.

Adams said this factor meant governments had to be driving the push towards sustainable concretes.

“We need to develop design tools that help engineers decide which sustainable materials are best suited to their construction projects,” Adams wrote.

“Easily accessible documents with ready to follow guidance – such as those available for structural calculations or durability guidance from the American Concrete Institute – need to be produced to support sustainable design practices.”

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