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 for 2023 sessions. Click here for recording and downloads from 2022. 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 15:SEPTEMBER 13, 2023
Biosilica - A Sustainable Low Carbon Supplementary Cementitious Material For Concrete
Dr. Prasad Rangaraju, Professor of Civil Engineering, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University
Biosilica is a pozzolanic derivative obtained by pyrolytic processing of rice husk from the paddy crop, a universally produced and consumed source of food across the world. Although rice husk ash is not a new innovation, past work on this material had typically yielded a high-carbon (high LOI) and high alkali content material that had undesirable properties such as increasing water-demand, difficulty in entraining air in concrete, among others. Biosilica, however, is produced to not only have superior characteristics, such as amorphous silica with high surface area and low alkali content, but also with minimal amounts of residual carbon in the material, making it a highly effective SCM. This presentation will elaborate on the production and performance of Biosilica as a sustainable, low-carbon SCM and its role in reducing the carbon footprint of concrete.
Product Spotlight - Solidia
The Next Generation of Cement and Concrete
Pradeep Ghosh, Senior Director, Strategy & Business Development, Solidia Technologies
Solidia Technologies is a leading provider of decarbonization technologies and sustainable solutions to the construction and building materials industries. Solidia has developed and commercialized novel processes to produce low-carbon cementitious materials and high-performing concrete that can significantly decarbonize the cement industry through a combination of CO2 emissions reduction, utilization, and avoidance. The Solidia team has made tremendous strides optimizing its proprietary Solidia Cement and Solidia supplementary cementitious material (SCM) to achieve the desired attributes, consistent quality, and high performance required for ready-mix concrete applications. This presentation will describe how Solidia Cement and Solidia SCM can be utilized to reduce the embodied CO2 in concrete without compromising key performance attributes including strength, durability, and workability.
Product Spotlight - AICRETE
Revolutionizing the Concrete Industry: AICRETE'S Unique AI-Powered Operating System
Dr. Parham Aghdasi, Founder and CEO, AICRETE
AICRETE’s Unique AI-Powered Operating System enhances sustainability, profitability, and efficiency. By harnessing advanced machine learning algorithms and data-driven insights, we provide unparalleled optimization across the entire production chain. This Concrete Operating System not only reduces waste and environmental impact but significantly boosts profitability, allowing concrete producers to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.
On the Multifunctional Future of Concrete
Dr. Admir Masic, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT
Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world, and because of its carbon- and energy-intensive production methods, it is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions. For this reason, we need to entirely rethink concrete’s future and develop new methods to reduce its carbon footprint. In this talk, I will discuss recent innovations in the production of “multifunctional concrete,” ranging from new formulations that act as carbon sinks, to Roman-inspired self-healing concretes, and electrically-conductive cements. These science-enabled developments all aim to make this multifunctional material part of the solution for the sustainable development of our built environment in an ever-changing world.
SESSION 14: AUGUST 16, 2023
CONCRETE DURABILITY AND RESILIENCE
Selecting Exposure Classes for Durability and Requirements for Concrete
Karthik Obla, PhD, PE, Vice President, Technical Services, NRMCA
The ACI 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete defines exposure classes and applicable requirements for concrete mixtures used to construct buildings. ACI 301, Specification for Concrete Construction incorporates these requirements in the ACI reference specification. Assigning durability exposure classes is part of the design process and is the responsibility of the licensed design professional. NRMCA has developed some simple resources that will help designers select the appropriate durability exposure class and corresponding concrete requirements. This presentation will discuss the durability requirements of the Code and involves a demonstration of the NRMCA resources.
Performance Specifications: The Key to Low-Carbon Concrete
Patrick Kenny, Senior Associate, Thornton Tomasetti
Concrete is unique among building materials. Design professionals and contractors have a greater influence on concrete’s product formulation than they do with other building products. Concrete can be made stronger, lighter, more flowable, stiffer, less permeable depending on performance needs using performance specifications. And most importantly, performance specifications provide the flexibility for contractors and concrete producers to meet traditional performance criteria for concrete while achieving lower carbon footprint. This presentation will describe how Thornton-Tomasetti structural engineers uses performance specifications to achieve low-carbon concrete.
The New Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion:
Innovative Concrete Solutions for Sustainability and Resilience
David Maynard, Consultant, Turner Construction Company
The new Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion (SAOP) will be home to approximately 3,500 tropical fish and invertebrates, including up to 30 species of coral and live mangroves. The central habitat structure in the Ocean Pavilion is a spectacular 360,000-gallon coral reef ecosystem featuring more than 120 species of fish, invertebrates, and elasmobranchs (sharks and rays). This presentation will describe how the design and build team met the rigorous durability and sustainability criteria with an innovative concrete design.
SESSION 13: JULY 12, 2023
MEASURING AND REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
NRMCA Sustainability Certifications
Matthew Lemay, Manager, Codes and Sustainability Programs, NRMCA
The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) is a leader in helping concrete producers measure, report and track their environmental impacts. From global warming potential and water use to social and health impacts, NRMCA has tools to help it’s members reduce environmental impacts of construction projects. This presentation will describe how to use Environmental Product Declarations and benchmarks, Health Product Declarations and Responsible Sourcing certification to meet sustainability standards.
Product Spotlight - Concrete Sustainability Council
Responsible Sourcing – CSC-Certification for Concrete and its Supply Chain
Christian Artelt, Heidelberg Materials and Michael Scharpf, Holcim
Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC) certification was developed by leading stakeholders from the concrete sector and beyond as a response to the perception of many stakeholders in society and the construction sector that concrete needed to improve its environmental impacts. The CSC Responsible Sourcing certification system was launched in 2018 with the support of NRMCA, the CSC’s Regional System Operator in the USA. This session will introduce the CSC and its certification system for responsibly sourced concrete, including the newly developed CO2-module for low carbon concrete and the R-module for recycled concrete. The session will provide insights into the added value that CSC certification can provide for certified concrete producers in the USA, in particular when delivering concrete into Green Building Projects undergoing LEED certification.
Product Spotlight - Climate Earth
Climate Earth: EPDs Made Easy
Chris Erickson, CEO, Climate Earth
Climate Earth is the first and only global provider of on-demand, digital EPDs and business intelligence tools for the concrete industry. This presentation will describe Climate Earth's EPD Essential tool, an extremely easy-to-use EPD generator designed for concrete producers who are seeing initial demand for EPDs. Essential enables Ready Mix producers to effectively and efficiently market to customers who make reduced embodied carbon and transparency high priority.
SESSION 12: JUNE 14, 2023
CONCRETE MIX OPTIMIZATION
Reducing Carbon Footprint of Concrete – The Low-Hanging Fruit
Karthik Obla, PhD, PE, Vice President, Technical Services, NRMCA
This presentation will look at achieving low-carbon concrete through proven approaches, and existing materials, without large capital expenditures. Ideas explored include performance-based specifications, improved testing, improve quality, mixture optimization, and more. The presentation will use technical data to address the question – Can we get to the 2030 industry average GWP goals using these approaches? The presentation will also cover how the different stakeholders - designers, producers, contractors, and test labs need to work together in this effort.
Product Spotlight - concrete.ai
How an AI-driven Software Can be Used to Improve Concrete Performance
Ryan Henkensiefken, Vice President of Business Development, concrete.ai
Mix optimization is key to any producer’s success. Whether it be to optimize for performance, cost, a reduced carbon footprint or a unique combination of these factors. But this process has become more difficult with the increasing complexity of supply chains, changes in material types and costs, along with the increasing requests for concrete with a lower carbon footprint, without compromising performance. Very simply, engineers and concrete producers are mired in data and it is often more difficult to quickly and accurately optimize mix designs. Concrete.ai was founded to process the myriad of data points in real-time with AI-driven software, delivering speed and ease for the user. At the same time, Concrete.ai knows that experience and human judgement is central to every project. As a result, users choose what to optimize - from performance, cost, and/or carbon reductions — and what constraints to apply based on their unique situation and business objectives. This results in a Mix Optimization tool that is simple, fast and offers flexible decision-making.
Product Spotlight - Chryso/GCP
Driving Carbon Reduction through Innovative Products, Tools and Data
Lisa Barnard, LEED AP, WELL AP, Sustainability & Customer Engagement Program Manager and Terry Harris, Director, Technical Service - Concrete, Chryso & GCP; Saint-Gobain Construction Chemicals
We are at a pivotal moment in the concrete industry. There are tremendous opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete throughout its lifecycle. However, essential factors such as strength, savings and other concrete challenges are often not paired with solutions to curb CO2. This presentation will address Chryso/GCP's “Curbing CO2 at the Source” approach which enables the achievement of technical, business and sustainable objectives through synergies across the cement and concrete lifecycle. The presentation will provide an overview of this approach showcasing the products, processes and tools that drive cement reduction and strength enhancement and will present case studies featuring a new strength enhancing admixture that delivers more strength with less cement, allowing customers to show CO2 reduction through quantification tools and leverage that data for better decision-making and successful projects.
SESSION 11: MAY 17, 2023
INNOVATIVE PAVEMENT SYSTEMS
Innovations in Concrete Pavements
Brian Killingsworth, Executive Vice President, NRMCA
Early forms of concrete were used by the ancient Egyptians and a few millennia later by the Romans. Modern concrete has been in existence since 1824 and the first concrete street in American was built in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 1891. While the basic components of concrete (rock, sand, water, and cement) have not changed, there have been many material, design, and construction innovations that allow us to optimize its use. This session will focus on concrete pavement innovations that positively impact the cost, environment, opening time, and ease of construction and also touch on the future of concrete paving.
The Role of US Pavement Life Cycle in Decarbonization
Hessam Azarijafari, Deputy Director, MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub
Low carbon emissions policies and solutions are centered around the industries' and buildings' life cycle emissions. Limited tools and assessment methods commonly prevent pavement solutions from being considered for decarbonizing the United States. In order to achieve net-zero emissions and a decarbonized economy, pavements have a critical role to play. In this presentation, we will discuss the life cycle of pavements, their GHG emissions, and the potential for reducing these emissions by involving multiple stakeholders in the design, materials, and asset management of pavements. Additionally, we will introduce the Streamlined MIT Pavement LCA Tool, which allows engineers and planners to quantify the GHG emissions of different pavement options and scenarios. Using the nationwide case study of pavement network decarbonization, we will demonstrate how the LCA can be used to analyze and reduce pavement life cycle emissions.
Product Spotlight - Heidelberg Materials:
Opportunities to Optimize the Carbon Footprint of Concrete Pavements
Lori Tiefenthaler, Senior Director, Marketing, Heidelberg Materials
SESSION 10: APRIL 17, 2023
LIMESTONE CALCINED CLAY CEMENT (LC3)
LC3 / LC2 a Breakthrough Technology to Lower CO2
Karen Scrivener, Professor, Construction Materials Laboratory, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
By far the most feasible option to reduce CO2 from cements is to partially replace the CO2 intensive clinker component with substitutes. The supply of traditional substitute materials – slag and fly ash is decreasing steadily. Calcined clay is an excellent alternative to slag an fly ash, and is abundant worldwide. It reacts much faster than either slag or fly ash and the synergy for a coupled substitution with limestone is of particular interest. This combination of limestone, calcined clay and cement is called LC3 and the combination of limestone and calcined clay for use as and SCM, LC2. In this presentation I will explain the technology, its advantages and disadvantages.
Opportunities to Demonstrate Low Carbon Concrete in Transportation Infrastructure
Tom Van Dam, Principal at NCE, Hancock, MI
This presentation will discuss how FHWA and state DOTs are researching LC3 for transportation projects.
Product Spotlight: CRH
Manufacturing Calcined Clay -- Opportunities and Challenges
Cheng Qi, Technical Center Director, Ash Grove Cement Company
This presentation will discuss the opportunities and challenges in manufacturing LC3 including technical, operational and economic issues.