FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (Nov. 3, 2008) - In continued efforts to be a resource to concrete design and construction professionals, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) announces several goals, programs, and initiatives to provide knowledge on the sustainable properties of concrete to its members and the concrete industry as a whole.
ACI aligns itself with a common definition (Brundtland Commission, 1987) of sustainable development: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In regards to the concrete industry, sustainable practices can include the reuse and recycling of concrete, the long-term durability of concrete structures, the use of pervious concrete to manage storm water runoff, the reflectivity of concrete to reduce both the heat island effect and demand for additional lighting, the use of supplementary cementitious materials such as slag, fly ash, and silica fume to reduce cement content, and the use of insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and concrete's intrinsic thermal mass to reduce heating and cooling costs of concrete structures.
Together with ACI's Technical Activities Committee, Education Activities Committee, and Certification Programs Committee, ACI's Board Advisory Committee on Sustainable Development (BAC-SD), organized in 2000, is taking the lead to ensure the fulfillment of sustainability goals stated in ACI's Strategic Plan. These goals include the expansion of the understanding of sustainability issues among ACI's membership and the increase of sustainability-related content in ACI's documents and products.
During the ACI Spring 2008 Convention in Los Angeles, Calif., the BAC-SD, led by ACI vice president and committee chair Richard Stehly, recommended the creation of a new technical committee, ACI 130, Sustainability of Concrete. The group, comprised of 31 concrete professionals and also led by Stehly, will hold its inaugural meeting during the ACI Fall 2008 Convention in St. Louis, Mo., on Nov. 3. Its mission is to provide technical knowledge on the sustainable properties of concrete and concrete applications, and its goals include quickly developing a report/guide that will contain current information regarding concrete's environmental footprint, data to input into evaluation models or calculators, and strategies or methods to reduce the environmental footprint.
In addition to the formation of the new technical committee on the sustainability of concrete, leaders from the BAC-SD will meet with ACI technical committee chairs to discuss and encourage the increased content of sustainability issues in their technical documents and products to be released by ACI.
"The sustainability issue is not a new one to the American Concrete Institute," said Richard Stehly, Chair of both ACI BAC-SD and Committee 130, Sustainability of Concrete. "But with the ever-increasing demand for the concrete industry to address its environmental footprint, ACI is ramping up its efforts to provide its members and the entire industry with the most up-to-date and innovative information on how to use concrete in an environmentally-responsible manner to create durable, innovative, and functional concrete structures that will benefit generations to come."
Recently, ACI launched a new Web page, www.green.concrete.org, to highlight the publications, opportunities for involvement, and case studies the Institute offers its members and customers. Some of the sustainability-related documents from ACI available for purchase at this time include:
Additionally, ACI also offers its members multiple opportunities for involvement through membership on technical committees that deal with such issues. Current technical committees that frequently address sustainable development issues include:
A full list of sustainability-related products and opportunities from ACI can be found by visiting www.green.concrete.org.