Concrete is, at present, almost exclusively specified on the basis of its compressive strength measured after 28 days. The specification of concrete using strength as a sole criterion severely limits opportunities that could be exploited in terms of performance enhancements and sustainable development.
Given more applicable concrete performance measures (low shrinkage, sulphate resistance etc.), higher performance concretes that are more fit for purpose can be produced. By enhancing sustainable development with concrete requires an efficient design (incorporating state of the art concrete technology) in the first instance followed closely by efficient and cost effective construction.
At Holcim we recognise the value of sustainable development both ethically as well as fiscally. Outcomes from this would include reduced project costs, reduced life cycle costs and use of materials having lower embodied energy.
There is significant debate in our industry on how best to provide cost effective and environmentally solutions for the construction of projects. At Holcim, we aim to do what is right by the people and the environment. Rating systems such as Green Star™ are often used on construction projects. We have a range of products (including EcoMax™) and technical information that can be used to provide solutions to project design and construction.