MIT Pushes for Sustainability in Building Materials

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –The 2014 International Concrete Sustainability Conference,to be held in conjunction with the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) Showcase on May 12-15, will bring together researchers, developers, engineers and academics from MIT as well as from around the world to brainstorm ideas for civic advancements. The goal is to promote innovation in infrastructure in urban areas, starting with the world’s most popular building material: concrete.

Concrete is one of the most widely used construction resources in the world. However, when produced in mass quantities, it leads to a considerable impact on the environment. MIT plans to find innovative and viable solutions to this challenge. The MIT CSHub will provide learning and networking opportunities on the latest advances and tools for sustainable concrete manufacturing and construction, according to Communications Coordinator Lauren Clark.

The CSHub Showcase will highlight the first five years of findings from MIT research in concrete science, buildings and pavements. It will also present its goals for the next five years. The MIT CSHub has been making practical applications in concrete innovation in three specific areas: pavements, buildings and concrete science. It has developed lifecycle assessment tools for pavements that provide insights into the environmental and economic costs of pavements.

The CSHub is providing analyses for designers and developers of buildings to help them better evaluate the resilience and strength of a structure. A concrete building can have a serious environmental footprint when it is not managed appropriately. With regard to concrete science, MIT researchers have accurately mapped the first-ever molecular model of cement paste. It will help them better examine and test ways to make concrete more durable while possibly cutting down the amount of cement needed to make concrete binding.

Sustainable innovations in concrete can help make middle and low income housing more lucrative. The housing market can eventually benefit as much from these innovations as the environment.

Source: BostInno

Image Credit: Flickr via Concrete Forms

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