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

Researchers investigate ancient Roman concrete to make durable, lower carbon mortar

Concrete

Researchers investigate ancient Roman concrete to make durable, lower carbon mortar

Hot mix provides self-healing properties, according to researchers with MIT. 


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 24, 2023
Researchers investigate ancient Roman concrete to make durable, lower carbon mortar
Photo: Djedj via Pixabay

Researchers have turned to an ancient Roman concrete recipe to develop more durable concrete that lasts for centuries and can potentially reduce the carbon impact of the built environment.

To construct architectural marvels that still stand today, ancient Romans combined lime, volcanic ash, and aggregates with water to create concrete. A key difference from how modern concrete is processed is temperature.

Today, we use cold mixing—a process conducted under ambient temperatures—but Romans used hot mixing, heating the mixture to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This resulted in a key change in the lime that provides concrete with the ability to self-heal.

“Due to hot mixing and creation of these tiny granules of lime due to hot mixing, eventually you create a mechanism that just naturally goes and fills the crack with the material and prevents water to flow and propagation of the crack,” an MIT professor told National Public Radio. If modern manufacturers can emulate the ancient method, the result would be longer lasting structures that in the long run will result in using less concrete which will correspond to less emissions.

Listen to the NPR Weekend Edition segment:

Related Stories

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. 

Concrete | Jul 19, 2023

Public policy hindering widespread adoption of sustainable concrete

Researchers are making significant strides in reducing embedded carbon in concrete, but public policies have been slow to adopt this more sustainable option.

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.

Concrete Technology | Apr 24, 2023

A housing complex outside Paris is touted as the world’s first fully recycled concrete building

Outside Paris, Holcim, a Swiss-based provider of innovative and sustainable building solutions, and Seqens, a social housing provider in France, are partnering to build Recygénie—a 220-unit housing complex, including 70 social housing units. Holcim is calling the project the world’s first fully recycled concrete building.

Design Innovation Report | Apr 19, 2023

Reinforced concrete walls and fins stiffen and shade the National Bank of Kuwait skyscraper

When the National Bank of Kuwait first conceived its new headquarters more than a decade ago, it wanted to make a statement about passive design with a soaring tower that could withstand the extreme heat of Kuwait City, the country’s desert capital. 

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.


Construction Costs

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

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. 


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