Concrete in a Sustainable World

Entries from the United States and Canada took top honors at the Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable World competition.

The event challenges students to explore innovative applications of concrete and other portland cement-based materials to achieve sustainable design objectives. The field included more than 80 entries from the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Japan, and New Zealand.

Students from 23 universities participated in the competition, which was sponsored by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. “We applaud these students for coming up with such innovative submissions and pushing the boundaries of concrete in green building,” said David Shepherd, PCA's director of sustainable development.

Henry Louis Miller of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., won first place in the component category for his use of portland cement to neutralize the negative characteristics of other materials, such as post-consumer waste plastics that would otherwise go to landfills. By combining cement with contaminated soil to make bricks, he developed a practical and environmentally friendly way to conduct remediation and renewal.

Gisele Fraser, Daphnee Van Lierde, and Mikaelle Rolland-Lamothe of Universite Laval in Quebec won first place in the structure category with Riverbank Filter. Their design for the Science Center of Quebec at a former maritime construction site uses concrete walls inspired by the terrain to connect architecture and the environment.

For the complete list of winners, visit

New BASF Admixture Leader

Gabriel Cottrell is the new head of the Admixture Systems business of BASF Construction Chemicals, based in Cleveland. He replaces Mike Shydlowski, who retired.

Cottrell joined Master Builders in 1978 as a sales representative. Most recently, he was president of the business line in Latin America and a member of the Executive Committee of Degussa Construction Chemicals.

Shydlowski will continue to serve as an executive consultant, working on special projects. He also is vice chairman and a trustee of the National Steering Committee of the Concrete Industry Management program. For more, visit

Precast Trade Show

The National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) and American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA) are launching a new trade show devoted to the precast concrete industry. The Precast Show will debut Feb. 20–22, 2009, in Houston.