This book provides the most recent information about concrete’s history in the green building movement, state-of-the-art methodologies, and best practices. It will appeal to several major audiences. It may be considered as a textbook for use in university courses and industry education, as a handbook for use by building owners wanting to use concrete to assist in obtaining green certification, as a reference for industry professionals seeking an overview of the subject of concrete and green buildings, and as a guide to professionals in the building materials/products industries. The concept of green buildings is in the process of emerging from a decade-long effort to define its exact meaning.
There have been research, white papers, articles, and seminars on the role of concrete in the green building effort. To date there has never been a book organized to provide an overview of all of the available information. The history of cement manufacturing and the use of concrete are discussed to provide a context for today’s current practices. Continuing pressures on the construction industry to reduce waste have resulted in an increase in the amount of concrete that is recycled or reused. Refurbishing or reusing structures is the least-waste option. This book outlines the variety of ways that concrete is easily and affordably reused. Work is under way within the precast industry with the aim of making it possible to lease concrete products so that they can be returned and/or reused. The newly emerging green building delivery system now differs sharply from conventional building delivery systems.
This book was originally written as a textbook for university classes and for the concrete industry continuing education courses taught by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) in the new course: Green Building with Concrete. This course will be available to concrete industry members all over the nation through the NRMCA’s extensive network of certified instructors. NRMCA also plans on partnering with state affiliates to deliver this course with member instructors who have gone through their extensive “train the trainer” program.
The result of this evolution has been new development and building delivery systems that emphasize a far wider collaboration among all parties to the construction process, including owners, developers, architects, engineers, constructors, facility managers, real estate professionals, and materials/product manufacturers. New quality-control systems with unique requirements are one of the outcomes of the green building process and this book will inform the reader about these requirements and the appropriate use of concrete products. For example, LEED* buildings must have a building commissioning component, a construction waste management system must be in place, erosion/sediment control plans must be provided and enforced, and stringent construction process requirements must be followed to ensure excellent indoor air quality for the completed building. Concrete plays a role in each of these important green building components.
The USGBC’s LEED green building assessment standard will be referenced often and covered in detail because it is the key to green building delivery in the United States and is also being adopted in many other countries. Environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) methods conducted in accordance with ISO 14040† are described regarding their role as important emerging green building tools. This book will highlight research on the economic analysis, in particular the application of life cycle costing, to provide a full picture of the economic benefits of concrete for a green building.
As one examines the changes and growth in infrastructure taking place around the globe, a book of this type should be based not only on the experiences in the United States and Canada, but also on experience gained in Japan, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world. With this thought, the editor looked beyond the original idea of a North American focus to find contributors from around the world. These contributions are valuable because they not only bring the international flavor, but also truly embrace the concept of global sustainability. It must be affirmed that the idea of sustainability has taken on much more meaning in Southeast Asia, where countries have seriously considered this concept for centuries, compared to the few decades it has been considered in the developed world.
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