COIN: Concrete Innovation Center by ProQuest


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									       COIN: Concrete
     Innovation Center
                    one of norway’s centers for research-based Innovation
                               focuses on the concrete industry

                                                   by Tor Arne HAmmer

T    he Concrete Innovation Center (COIN) is one of
     14 Centers for Research-Based Innovation (CRI)—an
initiative by the Research Council of Norway. The main
                                                                  quality, productivity, and working environments, there
                                                                  will inevitably be an increasing trend toward tailoring of
                                                                  properties, a higher degree of indoor prefabrication, and
objective of the CRIs is to enhance the innovation                increased emphasis on premixed products.
capability of the business sector by focusing on long-term           Sustainable development will still be emphasized by
research through close alliances between research-                politicians in the coming years. The sustainability of
intensive enterprises and prominent research groups.              buildings and structures is strongly influenced by the
    The vision of COIN is the creation of more attractive         choices made in design and construction, and it should
concrete buildings and structures—not only in terms of            be evaluated for the whole service life of the building.
aesthetics but also in terms of functionality, sustainability,    Recent studies reveal the possibility for significant
energy efficiency, indoor climate, industrialized construction,   reductions in energy consumption in buildings—up to
improved work environment, and cost efficiency over the           15% for heating and 50% for cooling—by taking advantage
entire service life. To fulfill this vision, COIN hopes to        of the high thermal mass of concrete.1 The concrete
develop a major leap forward in advanced materials,               industry also faces challenges related to environmental
efficient construction techniques, and new design                 impact, depletion of resources, and energy consumption.
concepts combined with more environmentally friendly              The use of concrete involves consumption of vast
material production.                                              amounts of raw materials. Thus, the industry is
                                                                  facing rapidly increasing challenges related to global
BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE                              environmental requirements and resource availability
    A major challenge facing the concrete industry is the         that force the concrete industry to look for alternative
paradox that concrete is an essential necessity but has a         solutions. By reducing emissions, energy consumption,
low public image. Hence, it’s important for the industry to       and the impact on natural resources, these solutions
create a more realistic and positive image of its products.       should improve sustainability while maintaining
It’s likewise important to make concrete buildings more           market share.
attractive to gain a stronger position among building                Aggregates that were once quarried from natural
owners, architects, contractors, and the public thereby           resources are now increasingly produced from crushed rock
increasing market share, especially in housing. To do             and secondary raw materials, such as demolition waste,
this, there is a need to improve the quality of concrete          because the natural resources are depleted or rejected for
products and make them even more cost efficient and               environmenta
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