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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.

CONTINUING EDUCATION

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 18: DECEMBER 13, 2023

 

PATHWAYS TO NET ZERO

 

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Concrete Innovations: Pathways to Reducing Carbon Footprint

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Donn C. Thompson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, Senior Director, Building Innovations and Frank Mruk, FAIA, CSI, LEED AP, Senior Director, Building Innovations, NRMCA

Cutting-edge building projects must use durable materials that also help reduce carbon footprint. Concrete is the material of choice for the tallest buildings in the world and infrastructure designed to last centuries. This session explores how new products using pozzolans, calcined clay, biochar, and other innovations enhance a product that is nearly 5,000 years in development and provides another pathway for meeting future challenges in the built environment. This presentation includes the histories, compositions, and environmental impacts of these technologies and offers case studies to show how innovation is being put into action.


Product Spotlight - Giatec Scientific

Transform Concrete Mix Management with AI Precision: Let's Talk SmartMix

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Sarah McGuire, AVP Business Development, Giatec Scientific

 

SmartMix™ automatically amalgamates data across thousands of tickets, providing instant reports to identify opportunities and cut waste, while maintaining performance. It calculates and gives insight into the greatest opportunities for optimization across high-production mixes, which allows experts to make decisions based on what’s most impactful to their business. SmartMix users are already reducing costs by up to 20% in a single mix! While cement reduction is a major component of concrete mix optimizations, it is by no means the sole defining factor. SmartMix excels at providing recommendations that are both optimal in cost and environmental impact, paving the way for CO2 reduction in the long run. 

Product Spotlight - American Society of Concrete Contractors

Celebrating Success - Highlights of the Concrete Innovations Award Program

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Lionel Lemay, PE, SE, LEED AP, Executive Vice President, Structures and Sustainability, NRMCA

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. This presentation will highlight the nominees and winners of the 2023 Concrete Innovations in the Innovative Project category and describe the criteria for the 2024 Concrete Innovations Awards.

SESSION 17: NOVEMBER 15, 2023

IMPLEMENTING LOW CARBON TECHNOLOGIES

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Product Spotlight - Holcim

Harnessing the Power of Buy Clean for Your Growth, Our Planet and the Sustainability of the Built Environment

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Michael LeMonds, Vice President, ESG and Chief Sustainability Officer, Holcim

Buy Clean ensures taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly, on materials that are manufactured in a cleaner, more efficient manner—reducing pollution and the negative health impacts that go along with it while supporting good American jobs. Learn about the basics of buy clean, the Federal Buy Clean Initiative, the Inflation Reduction Act and more in this 30 minute presentation.

Product Spotlight - Heidelberg Materials

The Path to Decarbonization Includes a Deep Dive Into Slag and Harvested Fly Ash

Larry Rowland, Sustainability Market Manager, Heidelberg Materials and Bill Fedorka, P.E., Vice President, CCP Services, The SEFA Group

Heidelberg Materials’ Roadmap to Net Zero Concrete is driving the transition to sustainable construction through innovation and the circular economy. Our SCM product portfolio includes slag and coal combustion ash. This program will provide a deep dive on innovative technologies we use to enhance these materials so you can deliver low carbon concrete right now and into the future.

Product Spotlight - CarbonCure

CO2 Mineralization in Concrete Production: Another Solution to Concrete Sustainability

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Igor de la Varga, Phd, Director of Applied Customer Solutions, CarbonCure Technologies

Given the strong need of decarbonizing the concrete industry, concrete producers seeking methodologies to reduce CO2 - thereby keeping it out of the atmosphere - are offered a variety of tools available that can contribute to the sustainability of concrete. An opportunity lies on carbon mineralization, which is the process by which carbon dioxide becomes a solid mineral, such as a calcium carbonate. Igor De la Varga, PhD, provides an overview of the chemistry of CO2's conversion to calcium carbonate during dosed concrete mixes as an additional tool to optimize sustainable mix design.

Product Spotlight - American Society of Concrete Contractors

Metropolitan Park 7/8 - A Low Carbon Case Study

Kate Williamson, PE, Associate, Thornton Tomasetti and Jim Martinoski, Vice President, Logistics, Miller & Long

Metropolitan Park 7/8, also known as Amazon HQ2, is a 1.7 million square foot office complex comprising 2,000-parking space, 900,000 square garage topped by two office towers rising 22 levels above grade. This LEED Platinum project, located in Arlington, VA will use 250,000 cubic yards of concrete. A member of the structural design team and construction team will discuss the opportunities and challenges they faced in designing this outstanding low-carbon concrete structure.

​​SESSION 16: OCTOBER 18, 2023

 

CARBON REDUCTION STRATEGIES

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Eco-Efficient and Carbon-Negative Supplementary Cementitious Materials Derived from Solid Wastes

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Dr. Hongyan Ma, Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Missouri S&T

Using large-volume supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) to substitute Portland cement is still the most effective way to decarbonize concrete. However, many states are facing shortages of on-specification SCMs (e.g., class F and class C fly ashes and GGBFS). Meanwhile, the US has large repositories of alkali aluminosilicate solid wastes such as historically ponded coal combustion products, steel slags, and municipal solid waste incineration ashes, which are potential sources of unconventional or off-specification SCMs. In this presentation, artificial intelligence-guided and carbon-negative processes that can screen and upcycle such solid wastes into high-quality SCMs will be introduced. The goal of the new technologies is to maximize cement substitution without compromising the performance of concrete.

 

Product Spotlight - Climate Earth​

Measurement, Control, and Improvement, The Emergence of EPD 3.0 for Managing Carbon Reduction

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Chris Erickson, CEO, Climate Earth

 

This presentation will discuss how digital EPDs are forming the basis for new applications and are applied to analytics and real time visual reporting in support of the increasing demand for transparency. The presentation will Include a brief primer on real time EPDs and the key building blocks for EPD digital integration and how digital EPDs can be used in ready mixed concrete applications.

Product Spotlight - Holcim

Reducing Carbon Through Innovative Technology

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Stephen Herald, Technical Services Manager and Kai Hilton, Quality Control Supervisor, Holcim

This presentation will discuss Tribology (pumping simulation), and Smartcast (leveraging sensors to accurately predict strength of reduced carbon mix designs). Several case studies on high-profile projects will be highlighted.

NRMCA Concrete Carbon Calculator 

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Brandon Wray, Director, Building Innovations, NRMCA

NRMCA's new web-based tool empowers design and build teams to specify low-carbon concrete. The easy-to-use software compares projects using benchmarks for a baseline project versus proposed low-carbon concrete. You can use NRMCA benchmarks, GSA benchmarks and various state and local benchmarks…or set your own voluntary benchmarks for low carbon concrete. You can enter carbon footprint from your own EPDs or calculate carbon footprint by entering low-carbon mix designs. This presentation will demonstrate how to use the tool to help write specifications that allow for the lowest possible carbon footprint reductions.

SESSION 15:SEPTEMBER 13, 2023

 

INNOVATIVE CEMENTS

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Biosilica - A Sustainable Low Carbon Supplementary Cementitious Material For Concrete

 

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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

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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

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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 

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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

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Selecting Exposure Classes for Durability and Requirements for Concrete

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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

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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

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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

 

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NRMCA Sustainability Certifications

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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

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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

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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

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CONTINUING EDUCATION FORM

Reducing Carbon Footprint of Concrete – The Low-Hanging Fruit

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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

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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

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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

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Innovations in Concrete Pavements

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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

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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

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Lori Tiefenthaler, Senior Director, Marketing, Heidelberg Materials

​SESSION 10: APRIL 17, 2023

 

LIMESTONE CALCINED CLAY CEMENT (LC3)

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CONTINUING EDUCATION FORM

LC3 / LC2 a Breakthrough Technology to Lower CO2​

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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

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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

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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. 

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