top of page
bws_footer_white.png

LEARNING CENTER
Bring practitioners, researchers and policy makers together to exchange the latest innovations for sustainable concrete design, construction and manufacturing. View schedule.

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Each session offers AIA Continuing Education and Professional Development Hours. Complete the form provided for each session to receive credits. 


AWARD PROGRAM
Recognizes outstanding achievements in concrete performance and sustainability. See award winners.

Schedule

SCHEDULE FOR UPCOMING SESSIONS
Tentative schedule. All time are shown in U.S. eastern time zone.

2024

CONCRETE INNOVATIONS AWARDS

 

The NRMCA Concrete Innovations Award Program recognizes outstanding achievement in concrete design and construction. Innovative projects that demonstrate outstanding achievements in performance while lowering environmental impacts including embodied and operational carbon footprint are awarded. Award winners were announced on March 12 and were presented at Concrete Innovations Session 19. Visit On-demand to view the award presentation. Winners will be presented with their awards at several NRMCA events throughout 2024.

JUN 19

11:00-13:00

SESSION 21- DECARBONIZATION STRATEGIES

CONTINUING EDUCATION FORM

 

Improving the Efficiency of Concrete Structural Design through Alternative Reinforcement: A Serviceability Based Design Approach

 

Dr. Barzin Mobasher, PhD. PE. FACI, FRILEM, Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering and Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

 

One of the most inefficient and unsustainable guidelines for structural design of concrete is to ignore the potential for tensile load-carrying capacity of concrete. When dealing with concrete brittleness, our traditional approach is to use more reinforcing steel to carry tensile loads leading to larger volumes of concrete and steel, resulting in reduced durability and increased carbon footprint. This presentation will focus on reducing the reliance on conventional reinforcing by introducing fiber reinforcing materials at the microscale, allowing the integration of tensile properties in structural design to improve durability and efficiency. New test methods will be presented to validate the potential benefits by identifying the controlling mechanisms of various fibers and textiles. Applications to address improved ductility-durability measures including correlation of ductility, crack width, stiffness degradation, and fatigue response with service loads will be presented. Several case studies will showcase the significant cost savings, and enhanced performance of these methods.

Product Spotlight - Chryso/GCP

Innovations in Low-carbon Cement Additives and Concrete Admixtures

Mike Stanzel, Technical Sales Representative, Cement Additives - North America, CHRYSO & GCP

Terry Harris, Senior Director Technical Services & Ductilcrete Slab Systems, CHRYSO & GCP

Portland limestone cement (PLC) and new blended cements using pozzolanic materials (fly ash, natural pozzolan and calcined clay (CC)), as well as ternary binders based on several supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), are promising alternatives to conventional Portland cement. These options hold great potential for reducing the carbon footprint of concrete. Chryso has developed a new generation of cement and concrete strength enhancers that improve the viability and performance of PLC and blended cements in North America. These additives help overcome some of the challenges associated with these alternative cements, such as increased water demand, reduced strengths, and pack set issues.

Biochar-Cement Concrete: The Path to Carbon Neutrality and Strength Parity

Lori Tunstall, Assistant Professor, Colorado School of Mines

In the last decade, biochar has emerged as a promising partial cement replacement to significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with concrete. This is because biochar is a carbon negative material, sequestering more than twice its weight in CO2. The more cement that can be replaced with biochar, the lower embodied carbon the concrete will have; however, most researchers have found that replacing the cement with more than 5 wt% of biochar results in decreased strength, which limits the environmental benefit. In contrast, through a study of 22 distinct biochars, we have found that up to 44 wt% of the cement can be replaced with biochar, resulting in comparable or improved mortar strength and the potential to completely offset the carbon footprint of the cement. Using advanced data processing techniques, we identify three key biochar characteristics that control strength development of biochar-cement mortars: available water sorption capacity, oxygen-to-carbon ratio, and soluble silicon.

JUL 17

11:00-13:00

SESSION 22 - MIX DESIGN OPTIMIZATION

Less Clinker in Cement, Less Cement in Concrete: A Two‐fold Strategy Towards Decarbonization

Franco Zunino, Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Concrete is by a substantial margin the most widely used construction material. Projections indicate that the demand for concrete it will continue to increase to sustain the development of emerging economies. This paper presents a new perspective of low‐carbon concrete by refocusing on the actual final product, highlighting the tremendous CO2 saving opportunities of reducing the total paste volume of concrete while simultaneously using high performance, low‐clinker cements in the so‐called two‐fold strategy (low clinker content, low paste volume concrete formulations). Different aspects of low paste volume concrete formulations are discussed based on a combination of published and new concrete performance data, showing the potential for CO2 savings of the strategy and the technical opportunities to retain the robustness and reliability that make concrete such a versatile and widely used material. Chemical admixtures play a crucial role in reaching those objectives, as they enable to reduce the cement content while retaining the needed workability (slump and slump retention) for each application. The key issues relating to using those admixtures in low carbon concrete are highlighted.

 

Product Spotlight - Heidelberg Materials

Slag Cement, Today’s Strongest Carbon Reduction Tool

Larry Rowland, Sustainability Market Manager, Heidelberg Materials

Heidelberg Materials has the industry’s most aggressive carbon reduction targets. To achieve our Sustainability Commitments 2030, we are improving manufacturing efficiencies, applying carbon capture utilization and storage technology, and expanding our product line offerings to become the largest slag cement supplier in North America. Slag cement is an efficient, proven, low carbon, supplementary cementitious material that improves concrete performance. This program will highlight some of the many benefits this material delivers and use EPD data and specific project case study information to demonstrate why slag cement is considered the strongest tool for decarbonizing concrete mixtures on a broad scale. 

Product Spotlight - Climate Earth

EPD Advantage Pro™ - The first EPD Information Management System

 

Chris Erickson, CEO and co-founder, Climate Earth

Carbon as a procurement metric is a game changer for how concrete is evaluated and purchased. As sustainability benchmarks tighten, producers grapple with balancing constructability and carbon requirements.  In this session you will learn how EPD Advantage Pro transforms EPD data into strategic intelligence. With company and plant-level analytics, it empowers producers to navigate their EPD portfolio, assess underperforming plants, and bid precisely ensuring every low carbon project gets the right mixes. 

AUG 21

11:00-13:00

SESSION 23 - MEASURING PERFORMANCE

 

SFO Harvey Milk Terminal 1 Boarding Area B

Frances Yang, Structures and Sustainability Specialist, Arup

Product Spotlight - Master Builders Solutions

Delivering Superior Concrete Handling: The Innovative Admixture Contractors Want

Serpil Boy Aral, Product Marketing Manager, Master Builders Solutions

From alternative concrete constituents to stricter specifications, rapid changes in the construction industry have caused fresh concrete handling to be increasingly challenging. Contractors desperately need a solution for their pumping, placing, consolidation, and finishing problems. Thanks to a novel, innovative admixture by Master Builders Solutions - MasterEase 5000 - a water-reducing, conditioning admixture, ready mix producers can now deliver concrete with superior handling characteristics.

 

Product Spotlight - Concrete Sustainability Council

Low-Carbon Construction with CSC Certified Concrete

Christian Artelt, Heidelberg Materials and Michael Scharpf, Holcim

Concrete carrying the Concrete Sustainability Council’s “CSC”-certification label provides assurance that its production meets stringent environmental, social, management and economic sustainability criteria. CSC-certified concrete supports responsible sourcing of materials, efficient use of resources, recognizes the use of recycled materials and supports the reduction of carbon emissions. Choosing CSC-certified concrete demonstrates a leading commitment to sustainable construction practices and contributes to the development of environmentally friendly buildings and infrastructure.

The Concrete Industry Progress Towards Carbon Neutrality

Lionel Lemay, Executive Vice President, Structures and Sustainability, NRMCA

In 2011, NRMCA set a goal for reducing concrete’s embodied carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to align with Architecture 2030 Challenge. NRMCA helped published the first PCR for Concrete and became an EPD Program Operator for concrete and constituent materials; helped develop and verify two on‐demand EPD tools for concrete; and published the first Industry‐Wide EPD (IW EPD) and Benchmarks at the national level and for eight multi‐state regions for nine classes of concrete. This presentation will provide an update to NRMCA's carbon reduction programs and the tools available for concrete producers and design professionals to measure carbon footprint of concrete and concrete products.

SEP 18

11:00-13:00

SESSION 24: LEVERAGING DATA

 

EPA's ENERGY STAR Energy Management Program Helps Manufacturers Reduce Their Carbon Footprint and Save Money

 

Betsy Dutrow, Manager of ENERGY STAR Industrial Partnerships, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ensuring plant operations consume just the right amount of energy to do the job is a primary way to reduce electricity and fuel use in concrete manufacturing. Learn about new benchmarking strategies, tools, energy management training and support for manufacturers seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations and impact the embodied carbon of their products through ENERGY STAR’s new Industrial Assistance Network.

 

Product Spotlight - CarbonCure Technologies

 

Product Spotlight - Giatec Scientific

Giatec Smartmix: Bringing Artifical Intelligence from Theory to Monetization

 

Product Spotlight - WAP Sustainability and GCCA

Leveraging LCA Data in an Organization

James Salazar, Director of Sustainability, WAP Sustainability

This session will delve into how organizations can harness Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data to boost operational efficiency and support sustainability efforts. It will explore the use of LCA as a research tool for product development, highlighting how one can use LCA to consider environmental variables across the supply chain. Additionally, the session will discuss creating Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) at scale, emphasizing the need for both product-specific and plant-specific EPDs to enhance procurement processes. The importance of digital EPD data flows from producers to purchasers and verifiers will also be addressed, underscoring the role of efficient data transfer in achieving sustainability goals. Participants will be introduced to software and services designed to streamline data flows and tackle bottlenecks. The session will offer practical tools for procurement and verification, helping to overcome internal and external challenges.

OCT 16

11:00-13:00

SESSION 25

 

Action Steps Towards Low-Carbon Concrete

Logan Kelley, Senior Associate, Mithun

Concrete is both an invaluable tool for resilient and durable buildings, and the single greatest source embodied carbon in new construction.  To bring down the construction industry's global warming potential, designers, owners, and contractors must rethink the typical concrete specification process in order to achieve a balance of performance, cost, constructability, and embodied carbon. By championing collaboration and early goal setting, projects can achieve dramatic reductions in their global warming footprint utilizing appropriate specifications, new technologies, and local market realities. Join Logan Kelley from Mithun as he gives an overview of current strategies and case studies including the award winning 681 Florida Street affordable housing project in San Francisco.

Product Spotlight - American Society of Concrete Contractors

Product Spotlight - Climate Earth

NOV 20

11:00-13:00

SESSION 26

 

Technical Session TBD

Product Spotlight - Heidelberg Materials

Product Spotlight - CalPortland

Product Spotlight - WAP Sustainability and GCCA

James Salazar, Director of Sustainability, WAP Sustainability

Andrew Minson, Director of Concrete And Sustainable Construction, GCCA

This session will provide an in-depth look at the regulatory landscape and support mechanisms for low carbon procurement through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). It will discuss the importance of benchmarking and procurement baselines and provide updates on various green procurement schemes and their structures for North America and internationally. For North America, the session will cover federal initiatives such as those by the EPA, GSA, and FHWA. Participants will receive updates on funding mechanisms supporting manufacturers, including the Low Carbon Transportation Materials (LCTM) program and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) EPD assistance grants. It will also cover international initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions highlighting collaborative efforts of the GCCA and the United Nation's Industrial Deep Carbonisation Initiative (IDDI) in developing proposals for setting emission bands and defining low carbon concrete.

DEC 18

11:00-13:00

SESSION 27 - INNOVATIVE CEMENTITIOUS MATERIALS

 

Towards Innovative Cementitious Materials

Larry Sutter, Professor Emeritus and Research Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Michigan Tech

Several innovative cementitious materials are entering the market to support low carbon concrete initiatives. Users should be assured that these materials can produce the required concrete properties. This presentation will discuss some of the types of materials and efforts to develop standards to evaluate and permit their use. The talk will also cover ongoing research, demonstration projects, and federal funding for new cementitious materials.

Product Spotlight TBD

Product Spotlight TBD

Sponsors

2024 SPONSORS

PRINCIPAL SPONSORS

BWS Yellow.png
NRMCA Logo (acronym green)(transp bkrnd).png
PaveAhead-FinalLogo-ColorTest3_Page_01.jpg

PLATINUM SPONSORS

HeidelbergMaterials_Logo_Digital_RGB.jpg
summitmaterials.png
CRH-Logo-FullColour-RGB.png
CalPortland-01.png
CE-logotagline.png
Titan America logo.JPG
GothamReadyMix.png
Martin-Marietta.png
Master Builders.png

GOLD SPONSORS

CarbonCurelogo.png
AICRETE-Logo.png
Euclid.png
solidia-logo2019-1.png
GCCA.png
CHRYSO and GCP_H.png
CSC.jpg
-High Res01 ASCC 6 in CMYK.jpg
GiatecLogoTransparentBackground-03.png
wap_sustainability_logo.jpg

SILVER SPONSORS

Sika.png

2023 SPONSORS

PRINCIPAL SPONSORS

BWS Yellow.png
NRMCA Logo (acronym green)(transp bkrnd).png
PaveAhead-FinalLogo-ColorTest3_Page_01.jpg

PLATINUM SPONSORS

HeidelbergMaterials_Logo_Digital_RGB.jpg
-High Res01 ASCC 6 in CMYK.jpg
Holcim_Logo_2021_sRGB.jpg
Martin-Marietta.png
Titan America logo.JPG
Concrete-ai.png
CalPortland-01.png
CE-logotagline.png

GOLD SPONSORS

CarbonCurelogo.png
Master Builders.png
GiatecLogoTransparentBackground-03.png
solidia-logo2019-1.png
CHRYSO and GCP_H.png
CSC.jpg
Allied.png
AICRETE-Logo.png

SILVER SPONSORS

Sika.png
HollidayRockSimple.png
Euclid.png
summitmaterials.png
Subscribe

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page