flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Public policy hindering widespread adoption of sustainable concrete

Concrete

Public policy hindering widespread adoption of sustainable concrete

Industry advancements only resulting in limited real-world application and use


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | July 19, 2023
Pouring concrete
Photo courtesy Pexels

Researchers are making significant strides in reducing embedded carbon in concrete, but public policies have been slow to adopt this more sustainable option, according to Matthew P. Adams, an associate professor and co-director of the Materials and Structures Laboratory at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Knowledge and technical data about greener concrete must be more widely dispersed to government decision-makers and industry to foster increased adoption of sustainable concrete, Adams says. “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,” he says.

“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,” Adams says. But, making “accessible, easily digestible information” about the performance of greener concrete options, how best to specify these materials, and what materials are locally available to policymakers does have an impact, he notes.

For example, officials in the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., committed to promoting the use of low-carbon concrete materials in building and infrastructure projects. They backed up new policy with education and support to the construction industry about low-embodied carbon concrete. These efforts led to multiple local projects built with more environmentally friendly concrete including sidewalks and a new elementary school.

The town’s success led to other New York communities passing similar resolutions. The New York State Legislature subsequently passed the Low Embodied Carbon Concrete Leadership Act to advance the use of greener concrete statewide. Such public policy actions will be needed to take full advantage of the promise of more sustainable concrete materials devised in labs, Adams says.

Related Stories

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Jan 17, 2024

Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction

This continuing education course, by Walter P Moore's Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE, covers design considerations for below-grade waterproofing for new construction, the types of below-grade systems available, and specific concerns associated with waterproofing deep foundations.

Concrete | Jan 12, 2024

Sustainable concrete reduces carbon emissions by at least 30%

Designed by Holcim, a building materials supplier, ECOPact offers a sustainable concrete alternative that not only meets, but exceeds the properties of standard concrete.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 13, 2023

75 top building products for 2023

From a bladeless rooftop wind energy system, to a troffer light fixture with built-in continuous visible light disinfection, innovation is plentiful in Building Design+Construction's annual 75 Top Products report. 

Regulations | Oct 4, 2023

New York adopts emissions limits on concrete

New York State recently adopted emissions limits on concrete used for state-funded public building and transportation projects. It is the first state initiative in the U.S. to enact concrete emissions limits on projects undertaken by all agencies, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Construction Costs | Sep 28, 2023

U.S. construction market moves toward building material price stabilization

The newly released Quarterly Construction Cost Insights Report for Q3 2023 from Gordian reveals material costs remain high compared to prior years, but there is a move towards price stabilization for building and construction materials after years of significant fluctuations. In this report, top industry experts from Gordian, as well as from Gilbane, McCarthy Building Companies, and DPR Construction weigh in on the overall trends seen for construction material costs, and offer innovative solutions to navigate this terrain.

Engineers | Sep 15, 2023

NIST investigation of Champlain Towers South collapse indicates no sinkhole

Investigators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) say they have found no evidence of underground voids on the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse, according to a new NIST report. The team of investigators have studied the site’s subsurface conditions to determine if sinkholes or excessive settling of the pile foundations might have caused the collapse. 

75 Top Building Products | Aug 7, 2023

Enter today! BD+C's 75 Top Building Products for 2023

BD+C editors are now accepting submissions for the annual 75 Top Building Products awards. The winners will be featured in the November/December 2023 issue of Building Design+Construction. 

3D Printing | Jun 20, 2023

World's largest 3D-printed building completed in Florida

Printed Farms, known for completing Florida’s first permitted 3D-printed house in Tallahassee, announces the completion of the world’s largest 3D-printed building: a luxury horse barn.

Building Materials | Jun 14, 2023

Construction input prices fall 0.6% in May 2023

Construction input prices fell 0.6% in May compared to the previous month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices declined 0.5% for the month.

3D Printing | May 12, 2023

World’s first 3D-printed medical center completed

3D construction printing reached new heights this week as the world’s first 3D-printed medical center was completed in Thailand.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




Regulations

New York adopts emissions limits on concrete

New York State recently adopted emissions limits on concrete used for state-funded public building and transportation projects. It is the first state initiative in the U.S. to enact concrete emissions limits on projects undertaken by all agencies, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021