2022 LEARNING CENTER ON-DEMAND
Concrete Innovations Learning Center On-demand provides recordings and downloads for previously aired Learning Sessions on the latest innovations for sustainable concrete design, construction and manufacturing. See below for recordings and downloads from 2022. Click here to view recordings and downloads from 2023. See Schedule for upcoming Leaning Sessions.
Each session of the Concrete Innovations Learning Center offers AIA Continuing Education and Professional Development Hours. Complete the form provided for each session to receive credits.
SESSION 1: APR 6, 2022
Top 10 Ways to Reduce Concrete's Carbon Footprint
Concrete is the building block of modern society and the most widely used building material. Nearly every structure built today, including buildings, bridges, homes, and infrastructure uses concrete in some way. It provides us with shelter along with places to work, learn and play. It connects us through roads and rapid transit and airports. Water is delivered and treated in concrete structures. Concrete is economical, available everywhere, durable, and versatile. As demand for building construction continues to increase, it is likely the demand for concrete will also increase. Like all building products, however, concrete has a carbon footprint. This presentation will analyze the top ten strategies to take advantage of concrete’s benefits while ensuring the lowest possible carbon footprint.
Lionel Lemay, PE, SE, LEED AP, Executive Vice President, Structures and Sustainability, NRMCA
Brandon Wray, Director, Building Innovation, NRMCA
An Owner’s Perspective: How to be Sustainable without Sacrificing Profit.
Product Spotlight presented by CarbonCure Technolgies.
Concrete producers and end-customers alike can reap business benefits from the industry’s move to add non-financial factors, such as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, to their decision-making process. Real estate developer and industry expert—Jeff Small Jr., Chairman & CEO of MDH Partners along with Jessica Wilson, Market Development Manager at CarbonCure Technologies — talk about an owner’s perspective on ESG and its positive return on investment. This presentation will cover how the landscape of leadership is evolving to think beyond the traditional concept of return on investment, why ESG initiatives are a key characteristic of exceptional companies, how producers can maximize ROI with CarbonCure and other green building technologies, how purpose-driven leadership can define a company’s brand and legacy.
Jessica Wilson, Market Development Manager, CarbonCure Technologies
Jeff Small Jr., Chairman and CEO, MDH Partners
NRMCA Industry Wide Environmental Product Declaration for Concrete
NRMCA sponsored a project to help NRMCA members producers meet the requirements of market drivers such as LEED v4 and Architecture 2030 by providing design/build community with an industry-wide EPD (IW-EPD) and Benchmark Report. The IW-EPD and Benchmark Report represent concrete typically used on a variety of projects including residential, commercial and public construction in different climate zones and in different markets. This presentation describes how the NRMCA IW-EPD and Benchmarks are used to design concrete projects with lower environmental footprint, including carbon footprint.
Katie Poss, Director, Sustainability Initiatives, NRMCA
Matthew Lemay, Manager, Codes and Sustainability Programs, NRMCA
SESSION 2: MAY 4, 2022
The Drive Towards Zero Carbon Concrete - Panel Discussion
This panel discussion will explore the key considerations and strategies in designing and constructing a building with net zero lifecycle carbon emissions and concrete's role in getting to net zero. It will begin by defining a zero carbon building and the terminology used. The session will then cover imperatives for designing net zero and in particular the impact of embodied carbon and materials selection. The session will present results from studies that highlight the role concrete plays in net zero carbon construction. Perspectives from a developer, architect and concrete producer will be presented.
Sara Neff, Head of Sustainability, Lendlease Americas
Chris Drew, PhD, Director of Sustainability, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and Ryan Cialdella, Vice President of Research and Development, Ozinga
Novel Superplasticizers for Reducing the Embodied Carbon of Concrete
Product Spotlight presented by GCP Applied Technologies
The construction industry contributes more than 10% to global anthropogenic CO2 emission. Yet, it is impossible to imagine a sustainable world without concrete structures. Immediate actions need to be taken to lower the embodied carbon of cement and concrete. Concrete producers are under considerable pressure to change the way they produce cement and develop new approaches that are more sustainable. GCP helps them get there with a complete portfolio of product solutions. This session will examine how the newest range of GCP’s superplasticizers, CONCERA®, enables concrete producers to increase productivity, reduce costs, enhance workability and help achieve sustainability goals.
Riccardo Stoppa, Global Marketing Manager, CO2 Programs, SCC and Cement Additives, GCP Applied Technologies
David C. Darwin, PhD, LEED AP, Principal Scientist, GCP Applied Technologies
SESSION 3: JUN 8, 2022
Lowering the CO2 Footprint of Concrete with Portland-Limestone Cement (Type IL)
Product Spotlight presented by Titan America
This presentation will discuss recent trends that are driving interest for low carbon concrete and will describe the main levers for concrete producers to reduce CO2. It will then introduce Portland Limestone Cement (PLC), also known as Type IL, and explain how PLC can be used to reduce the CO2 of concrete by approximately 10% without affecting strength or durability. It will show data comparing PLC to conventional Type I and Type II cements and address how specifications and codes are including PLC.
Eric Koehler, PhD, Director of Quality, Titan America
Specifying Sustainable Concrete
Concrete is used in nearly every structure we build today, including buildings, bridges, homes and infrastructure. With greater emphasis placed on sustainability, design professionals are faced with the challenge of meeting traditional design criteria with evolving criteria that support green building and efforts to reduce impact on climate change. Performance-based specifications for concrete represent an important synergy with sustainability initiatives because they provide the opportunity to optimize mixtures for performance that can also reduce environmental impacts. Prescriptive specifications often adversely impact the environmental footprint of concrete structures. This presentation outlines how concrete performance can be improved while lowering environmental footprint by implementing performance-based specifications.
Colin Lobo, PhD, Executive VP, Engineering, NRMCA
Brandon Wray, Director, Building Innovations, NRMCA
Moisture Control in Concrete Batch Plants to Control Costs and
Reduce Embodied Carbon
Product Spotlight presented by Hydronix
By using moisture control effectively in the concrete batching plants, it is possible to reduce the variations in the final product (strength, color and slump). This can then be used to optimize the cement in the mix design, effectively reducing the cost of concrete and removing nearly 10% of embodied carbon.
Neal Cass, Sales Manager, Hydronix
SESSION 4: JUL 13, 2022
Master X-Seed Admixtures: The Solution for Carbon Reduction in Concrete
Product Spotlight presented by Master Builders Solutions
At Master Builders Solutions, we are hard at work every day helping the industry to ultimately achieve the goal of “Net Zero Carbon by 2050.” Standard admixture technologies are capable of reducing embodied carbon by 30 to 50 percent. Our patented Master X-Seed admixtures can increase carbon reduction an additional 5 to 20 percent, without sacrificing strength and durability requirements. We also lead the industry in quantifying and certifying lower carbon concrete building products.
Tyler Grissom, Product Manager – Admixture Systems North America, and Chris Eagon, National Accounts Manager, Master Builders Solutions
Responsible Sourcing and the Concrete Sustainability Council
The world will double its building stock by 2060 and responsible sourcing and a circular economy will be essential to fulfill societal needs. All material industries need to define leadership in ways that are meaningful and significant. The concrete industry is leading the way in material transparency and climate resiliency. Now, the most widely used material in the world has developed a dedicated rating system, the Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC) Responsible Sourcing Certification, that looks beyond re-use and decarbonization to consider social aspects of material sourcing and manufacturing. This session elaborates on the roles and responsibilities of the industry as it joins forces with its value chain towards a holistic, targeted vision that rewards responsible material sourcing, processing and use.
Katie Poss, Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Matthew Lemay, Manager of Sustainability and Codes Programs, NRMCA, Lori Tiefenthaler, Sr. Director of Marketing, Lehigh Hanson
Initiatives and Technologies to Expand the Supply of Fly Ash
There are concerns in the concrete industry about the long-term sustainability of fly ash for use in concrete. Coal fired power plant retirements and quality degradation resulting from air emission control are impacting the quantity and quality of fly ash. There are ample resources of legacy ash in landfills and impoundments. Reclaimed ash must be beneficiated for use in concrete. This presentation will cover initiatives being deployed by the industry to mitigate the impact of plant closures and address product quality with a focus on beneficiation technologies for current generation and reclamation of legacy ash deposits.
Rafic Minkara, Chairman of Technical Committee, American Coal Ash Association
SESSION 5: AUG 17, 2022
A General Contractor's Perspective on Getting to Zero
The contractor community has a critical role to play in the implementation of sustainability and low carbon strategies in the built environment. In this session, we will hear from the nation’s top general contractor Turner Construction on their sustainability initiatives including how they are approaching embodied carbon reduction of materials and the construction process itself. This session will start with an introduction by Chief Sustainability Officer Julia Gisewite to Turner’s Sustainability program and goals, followed by three case studies highlighting innovative carbon reduction technologies and processes.
Julia Gisewite, Chief Sustainability Officer, Turner Construction Company
Iris Loureiro, Assistant Engineer, Turner Construction Company
Rick Pesek, Engineer, Turner Construction Company
Dave Maynard, President, Gradex Construction Company
Smartrock Concrete Temperature and Strength Maturity Sensors
Product Spotlight presented by Giatec
SmartRock is the most widely used wireless concrete sensor, implemented in over 9,000 construction projects across 85 countries. SmartRock is the leading concrete maturity sensor for accurate monitoring of concrete curing and hardening. Unlike time-consuming and error-prone break tests, or cumbersome wired sensors, Giatec’s patented maturity sensor uses a highly accurate ASTM-approved testing method. Data obtained on the jobsite gives concrete producers visibility and valuable insight on their concrete mix performance, ensuring it's always specifically engineered to the contractor’s target specs. Together with the Giatec 360™ platform, and SmartHub™ remote monitoring system this has enabled faster, safer, and more economical concrete construction.
Sarah McGuire, Senior Director, Global Business Development, Giatec Scientific, Inc.
Concrete Construction Leadership in Carbon Management
Product Spotlight presented by American Society of Concrete Contractors
Concrete is the most widely used building material because of it's strength and durability. But the design-build community is asking for those benefits at lower embodied carbon footprint. Concrete contractors can have significant influence in how concrete is used and built to affect carbon footprint. This presentation will discuss how Baker Concrete Construction is working to change the way it builds to address these new challenges.
Bob Nussmeier, Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Baker Concrete Construction
SESSION 6: SEP 14, 2022
The Economic and Environmental Value of Stronger, More Resilient Construction
The past decade has made it clear that our built environment – buildings and infrastructure – is not prepared for 21st century natural hazards. Since 2012, the United States has averaged fifteen weather-related events – hurricanes, floods, wildfires – with damages in excess of $1 billion dollars. The MIT CSHub has been carrying out research to better estimate both the risks posed by natural hazards to the built environment and the economic and environmental value of mitigation solutions. This presentation will review work that has comprehensively analyzed hurricane risks to residential buildings throughout the US East and Gulf Coasts. Our work has shown that current models undervalue stronger construction in nearly all coastal communities. For some states, this undervaluation exceeds a billion dollars per year. Using these same models, we will also review the environmental impacts, especially the embodied materials impacts, of hazard-susceptible vs hazard-resistant construction.
Randy Kirchain, PhD, Director, MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub
Comparative Resilience Benefits of Concrete Construction
Modern building codes do a good job of ensuring that buildings will be safe following a major natural disaster, regardless of their construction material. But that doesn’t mean all materials perform equally. The US Resiliency Council, through a grant from the RMC Research & Education Foundation, studied the performance of a common, four-story apartment building under hypothetical earthquake scenarios in three US cities, when constructed of Insulated Concrete Forms, traditional wood stick framing, CLT, and hot rolled steel framing. The study indicated that the performance of stiffer materials such as concrete result in higher performance, both in terms of repair costs and recovery time, and yield a positive ROI when compared to the cost of construction.
Evan Reis, Executive Director, US Resiliency Council
Working Towards Carbon Free Concrete with Carbon Capture
Product Spotlight presented by Lehigh Hanson
A low carbon future for cement will advance through carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS). Learn about the Cement and Concrete road map for carbon neutral concrete and more specifically the progress with the Lehigh Edmonton Cement plant to capture 90-95% of its CO2.
Ignacio Cariaga, Commercial Sustainability Director, Lehigh Hanson
Zero-carbon Concrete Beyond the use of SCMs: Innovative Ways to Reduce Embodied Carbon in Concrete
Product Spotlight presented by Holcim
The use of supplementary cementitious materials in concrete to lower its embodied carbon is already well known and adopted by the industry. However, this can only partially reduce the GHG emissions of the material. How do we deal with the rest of the CO2 emissions to gradually get to zero, looking at all the ingredients in concrete and all three scopes? Open innovation helps us find ways to better utilize our resources and allow ready-mix concrete producers to improve now. This presentation will discuss the latest low-carbon innovations from Holcim in the US and around the world, how they were implemented in operations, and what were the lessons learned.
Cecile Roman, Innovation and Sustainability Manager, Holcim
SESSION 7: OCT 12, 2022
Carbon Uptake in the Environmental Footprint of the US Concrete Industry
To achieve carbon neutrality, it is essential to offset a portion of the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the production of cement. In this sense, the natural carbon uptake due to the inherent properties of concrete products plays an important role in offsetting GHG emissions. In this presentation, the carbon uptake of US concrete production for different applications will be presented. The influential factors on the intensity of carbon uptake, including the mix design constituents, element geometry, and climate conditions will be explained to show the importance of context in the uptake calculation. The MIT Carbon Uptake tool will be demonstrated, and different examples of uptake calculation in concrete structures will be reviewed to show the value of uptake accounting in the environmental footprint of concrete products, structures, and the industry.
Hessam AzariJafari, Deputy Director, MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub
Digital and Chemical Solutions to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Concrete: In-Transit Concrete Management Systems
Product Spotlight presented by GCP
This presentation will discuss the CO2 issue in the construction industry an offer solutions to help reduce the carbon footprint of concrete. GCP offers many solutions for in-transit concrete managements systems including CO2ST® Reducers: solutions for the concrete life cycle and Verifi®: IOT solutions to improve the quality and reduce the operational costs and the CO2 emissions of concrete.
Nathan Tregger, Director for Data Analytics for GCP's VERIFI In-Transit Concrete Management Systems and Riccardo Stoppa, GCP Global Marketing Manager Cement Additives.
How Sustainability, EPDs, and Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment are Converging at a Concrete Plant Near You
Product Spotlight presented by CalPortland
This session provides an overview of scalable solutions to reduce concrete’s carbon footprint. With efforts to reduce embodied carbon emissions in buildings and infrastructure, the demand for low-embodied-carbon concrete is growing rapidly and is viewed as a vital part of slowing the effects of climate change.
Matt Hinck, Director of Environmental Affairs and Karin Perissinotto, Sustainability Manager for CalPortland
SESSION 8: NOV 9, 2022
Natural Pozzolan - What is Old is New Again
Natural pozzolans are a class of siliceous or siliceous and aluminous materials which, in themselves, possess little or no cementitious value but which will, in finely powdered form and in the presence of water, react chemically with calcium hydroxide at ordinary temperature to form compounds possessing cementitious properties that greatly improve concrete durability and performance. Natural pozzolans are sustainable and of magmatic origin. This presentation will cover a brief history of natural pozzolans, technical data, and current and future availability.
Joseph Thomas, Executive Director, Natural Pozzolan Association and David Figurski, Technical Services Engineer, Holcim
Holcim’s Latest Digital Solution: An Innovative Approach to Concrete Pumpability Prediction in Denver, CO
Product Spotlight presented by Holcim
Using a technology developed by the Holcim Innovation Center, a new approach to pumpability design and prediction was successfully implemented for the first time in the US on a 2022 Denver, CO project. The project team used a tribometer and simulation tool to ensure the feasibility of pumping concrete in various challenging situations. This innovative tool is one part of a broader intelligent concrete solution that leverages digital technologies to enable data driven decisions and help mitigate risk on site.
Stephen Herald, Technical Services Manager -West Central Region, Holcim
Net Zero Energy Buildings using Insulating Concrete Forms
Product Spotlight presented by Chaney Enterprises
Globally, operational carbon, which occurs from lighting, heating, and cooling buildings and homes, is responsible for 28% of annual CO2 emissions. Because buildings play a large role in carbon emissions, architects, engineers, designers, and other building professionals are in a unique position to aid in reducing those emissions. This presentation will explore how an innovative concrete building system, insulating concrete forms (ICFs), are helping building owners reduce energy consumption to the point of net zero energy and how a progressive concrete producer, Chaney Enterprises, is making it happen.
Erica Magdelinskas, Chaney Enterprises and Frank Gordon, Senior Director, Building Innovations, NRMCA
SESSION 9: NOV 30, 2022
Use of Ground-Glass as Supplementary Cementitious Material in Portland Cement Concrete
The concrete construction sector is continually seeking new sources of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) to augment the Portland cement, fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume used in modern concrete mixtures, to not only improve the mechanical and durability performance of concrete, but also to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete construction. As traditional SCMs are becoming increasingly difficult to come by extensive research and testing has shown that several types of ground glass will perform well as alternate pozzolans in concrete. Supported by the results from past research studies and field experience, ASTM Subcommittee C09.24, on Supplementary Cementitious Materials, has authored ASTM C1866/C1866M-20, “Standard Specification for GroundGlass Pozzolan for Use in Concrete.” This presentation will provide the background information on glass-based pozzolans in terms of their role in the performance on fresh and hardened properties of concrete and the future of ground-glass pozzolans as viable SCMs in the concrete industry.
Dr. Prasad Rangaraju, Professor of Civil Engineering, Clemson University
The Carbon Reduction Potential of Concrete
Product Spotlight presented by Lehigh Hanson
Whole building lifecycle assessments and embodied carbon procurement policies are placing an increasing emphasis on construction material choices, and as the most widely used construction material in the world, concrete has revealed itself as not only a significant contributor to a project’s total carbon footprint, but also a means to achieve significant carbon reductions. This session will outline how concrete is currently produced and the embodied carbon implications across its lifecycle. Attendees will gain an understanding of the industry’s actions in decarbonizing the built environment and learn how to specify low carbon concrete to reach their project’s carbon reduction goals, both today and into the future.
Shane Mulligan, PE, LEED GA, Sustainability and Technical Manager, Lehigh Hanson
Fly Ash Reclamation and Beneficiation Using Triboelectrostatic Separation
Product Spotlight presented by Titan America
Triboelectrostatic Separation for beneficiation of fresh/produced ash has been employed commercially for over 25 years. The technology has also been proven effective at a commercial scale utilizing reclaimed pond ash. No discernable differences were observed in the effectiveness of carbon removal or in the performance of the produced ash.
Steve Sullivan, VP, Business Development, Separation Technology a subsidiary of Titan America
Biochar Concrete: Carbon Reduction, Mechanical Enhancement and Commercial Viability
In the past 10 years, development in the field of biochar concrete has seen several important milestones through the efforts of an international community of researchers and practitioners. Significant progress has been made on the understanding of the mechanisms by which biochar enhances various mechanical properties of concrete. The capability of biochar concrete under extreme operational conditions was also experimental demonstrated; for example, biochar concrete was shown to be able to resist ingress of chloride and sulfate ions better than normal concrete, thus paving the way for utilizing it for marine applications or in seawalls to protect coasts from sea-level rises in the future. After a summary of these progresses, this talk will reflect on the commercial viability of biochar concrete, from a life cycle systemic perspective. This perspective will also make a case for the need to develop a holistic industrial symbiosis network and circular economy consisting of waste recycling, biochar production and multi-pronged cascading applications of biochar.
Dr. Harn Wei Kua, Associate Professor, Department of the Built Environment, National University of Singapore