Vermont Economic Development Group Learns Innovative Side of Concrete
The Sustainable Energy Outreach Network (SEON), an economic development group in Southeastern Vermont with the goal of becoming one of the foremost centers of sustainable energy and resiliency in rural America, recently sat in on a webinar given by NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Doug O’Neill on the advances in concrete technologies that have created innovative concretes designed to meet our current sustainability, resilience and economic demands. Jon Kuell, executive director with the Northern New England Concrete Association, had originally scheduled this event as an in-person seminar, but given the recent Covid-19 situation, the team of O’Neill and Kuell decided to move forward using an online interactive session.
One of the examples highlighted in the presentation was the recently-completed I-91 Brattleboro bridge project. This is Vermont’s first cast-in-place segmental concrete bridge, a 1,000-foot plus span that carries Interstate 91 over Vermont Route 30 and the West River. As the largest bridge in Vermont’s history, it is made of over 18,000 yards of concrete, utilizing ternary concrete mixtures containing slag cement, portland cement and micro-silica to increase strength and durability along with providing a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional mixes. This project was honored by the New England Chapter of ACI, the Northern New England Concrete Association, the Slag Cement Assoc and won first place in the infrastructure category at the 2019 ACI Excellence in Construction Awards, a national honor.
The team of Kuell and O’Neill were joined by NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Donn Thompson, who acted as moderator during the session. “We had some great interaction after Doug’s talk and the group agreed that we opened their eyes on how RMC contributes to a more sustainable, resilient built environment,” Kuell said. According to one attendee, the timing was perfect, as he's working on a largescale project that could use some assistance in helping to transform the current concrete mixes into more sustainable, lower carbon footprint mixes.