Sustainable concrete technology –Challenge and opportunity

Trends in the Asian concrete industry

Concrete is the most widely used construction material for infrastructure needs in the Asian region and in the world. Unfortunately, the concrete industry is one of the largest consumers of natural resources and energy, and is responsible for large emissions of carbon dioxide that is one of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. It is imperative that the concrete industry be play an active role in balancing the infrastructure needs and the protection of our environment. To help meeting the sustainable development challenges facing the concrete industry, this paper reviews some environmentally-friendly and sustainable concrete technology including the improved cement manufacturing technology, the use of supplementary cementing materials, recycling concrete and other materials, enhancement of service life of concrete structures. Emerging technologies that have the potential to significantly contribute to sustainable concrete industry are identified. Institutional barriers against the wide-spread used of environmentally-friendly concrete technology are discussed. The regulatory (codes and specifications) restrictions, technical concerns, and construction practices needed to overcome the barriers are identified. By sharing this information, it is hoped that the concrete industry would contribute to sustainable development by adopting the sustainable concrete technology to save natural resources, energy, and protect the environment.

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