Concrete Sustainability Forum: New Orleans event leads to creation of new values in the concrete sector by ProQuest


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     Sustainability Forum
      New Orleans event leads to creation of new values in the concrete sector

                              BY KOJI SaKaI, JULIE K. BUFFENBarGEr, aND rIcharD D. STEhLY

I  n recent years, green design and construction have
   received much-deserved attention. Through its strategic
plan, ACI has committed itself to sustainability by striving to:
                                                                   sustainability technologies, and ISO standardization of
                                                                   sustainability for the concrete industry. A third forum is
                                                                   planned in conjunction with the ACI Fall 2010 Convention
     1. Expand understanding of sustainability issues              in Pittsburgh, PA. The Fall 2010 Convention theme,
           among its membership;                                   “Green Concrete in the Steel City,” promises another
     2. Expand resources to support sustainability issues;         fruitful forum.
     3. Provide sustainability content in ACI documents               Information presented at the 2009 Concrete Sustainability
           and products;                                           Forum included:
     4. Improve the perception of concrete relative to
           sustainability;                                         Collaboration within the U.S.
     5. Coordinate an industry consensus and response              ConCrete indUStry
           on sustainability; and                                     The Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative (JSI) was
     6. Explore methods to quantify, rate, and certify             founded in 2009 and currently has 26 members, including
           sustainability of concrete structures.                  nearly all the major U.S. concrete industry associations.
    In 2008, ISO/TC 71, for which ACI is the secretariat,          The purpose of the Initiative is to align all partners under
created SC 8, a new subcommittee on environmental                  nine declarations with the overarching goal of providing
management for concrete and concrete structures                    unified and integrated advocacy, technology, and educational
(EMCC). ACI members are playing a very active and                  resources to convey the social value of concrete. In doing
important role in the development of sustainability                such, the Concrete JSI seeks to increase cooperation in
documents by TC 71/SC 8.                                           areas of technical committees, educational seminars,
    As part of those efforts, ACI hosted a special event           publications, certification, marketing, and other related
titled, “Sustainable Development Workshop on Concrete,             activities pertaining to sustainable development; align
Green Building, and ISO Standards,” immediately before             and expedite programs and projects; drive continuous
the ACI Fall 2008 Convention in St. Louis, MO.1 Topics             improvement at component and integrated levels; and
discussed at the workshop included current and developing          actively engage and communicate to stakeholders, all the
standards and rating systems that impact the concrete              while coordinating efforts to minimize duplication of
industry. The event was well-attended and representatives          efforts and effectively use industry resources.
of the concrete-related organizations agreed that additional          To create a common industry identity and vision
workshops should be held.                                          regarding sustainability, members of the Concrete JSI
    In light of this, the Concrete Sustainability Forum was        have adopted an integrated-systems view of “concrete
held in New Orleans, LA, prior to the ACI Fall 2009                structures,” rather than focusing on individual components.
Convention. Topics included new initiatives within the             They have also identified eight specific social values that
U.S. concrete sector, sustainability activities in concrete-       concrete structures provide, including resource efficiency,
related organizations throughout the world, advanced               safety/protection, financial responsibility, operational

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