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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Transformation of Engineering Tools to Increase Material Efficiency of Concrete

  • Author(s): Ichimaru Watanabe, Sonoko;
  • Kamau-Devers, Kanotha;
  • Cunningham, Patrick R.;
  • Miller, Sabbie A.
  • et al.

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The data associated with this publication are available upon request.

This report demonstrates how considerations across concrete material design and infrastructure design can be used together to change environmental impacts and costs by targeting appropriate constituents, materials, and system longevity. In this early-stage exploration, methods to compare concrete mixtures proportioning as they relate to environmental impacts, comparison indices based on common performance characteristics were used. This work was then built out to explore the role of steel reinforcement on reinforced concrete member environmental impacts to elucidate mechanisms to drive emissions reduction for these multi-material members. Finally, work was extended to understand how the longevity of concrete systems could influence environmental impacts associated with concrete production. Each stage of design considered was shown to have substantial effects on mitigating environmental impacts. In all cases, the primary environmental impact addressed was greenhouse gas emissions; however, this work can be extended to address other environmental impacts in future work. These methods from this work are demonstrated in this report through evaluation of mixtures in literature as well as a case study on an existing pavement overlay and potential alternative designs.

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