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NRMCA Discusses Sustainability Issues at Civil Engineers Conference

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Lionel Lemay of NRMCA presented twice last week at the American Society of Civil Engineers Structures Congress in Pittsburgh. The first presentation was part of a preconference seminar titled New Essentials for your Sustainability Tool Kit sponsored by the Structural Engineering Institute's Sustainability Committee titled Disaster Resilience - How to Avoid Unsustainable Rebuilding, Before and After Failures Due to Natural Disasters. Lemay, presenting along with fellow committee member Matthew Comber of Degenkolb Engineers, outlined current efforts to advance structural engineering toward a more evolved state which includes critical disaster mitigation considerations. Voluntary community-based enhancement strategies, government incentives, mandatory building code requirements and design tools were presented with the objective of reducing losses from natural and man-made hazards.

Lemay’s second presentation, titled Sustainable Concrete: The Role of Performance-based Specifications, outlined how concrete performance can be improved while lowering the environmental footprint by implementing performance-based specifications. With greater emphasis placed on sustainability in recent years, structural engineers are faced with the challenge of meeting traditional design criteria in addition to evolving criteria that support sustainable construction. Performance-based specifications for concrete can substantially help meet this new challenge. Prescriptive requirements such as minimum cement content or maximum water to cement ratio are among many common specification requirements that can increase the environmental footprint of concrete. A paper with the same title, authored by NRMCA’s Lionel Lemay, Colin Lobo and Karthik Obla, will be published in the conference proceedings.

For more information, contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101.

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