Concrete Products

JUL 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 5 of 103 Recent news cycles remind us of the ignorance surrounding concrete durability, life cycle performance, and perceived connection to global warming tied to carbon dioxide emis - sions in portland cement production. A May CNN Style post, "Can the building industry break its addiction to concrete?," credits concrete with defining construction in recent centuries, then sharply digresses: "But do we need to re-evaluate our concrete habit for our sakes and the planet's? Production of cement is disastrous for our biosphere, while the degradation of many concrete buildings has some experts predicting a colossal headache in the future." Author Thomas Page follows that aggressive take with minimal examination of concrete structures' role in quality of life basics—from water supply and wastewater conveyance and treatment, to transportation infrastruc- ture, to a built environment known for withstanding exposure to fire and nature's forces. Exploring load-worthy alternatives to concrete with materials and design experts, he points to a California building's 24-in. thick, rammed-earth walls. Journalist Vince Beiser raises global warming and resource depletion concerns in a June Los Angeles Times commentary, "Concrete is the stuff civilization is made of. But for all its blessings, there are huge environmental costs." Absent honest context of durability and life cycle matters related to exterior and interior concrete structures, he suggests, "We tend to assume concrete is as permanent as the stone it mimics. It isn't. Concrete fails and fractures in dozens of ways." As author of The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization (Penguin Books, August 2018), Beiser appreciates concrete build- ings' role in stepped up urbanization the world over. He cites a United Nations estimate of 65 million people locating to cities annually, but trivializes the near-permanent nature of a concrete slab or elevated slab structure bearing on properly engineered foundations. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association-backed Build With Strength coalition challenged the pursuit of alternatives to concrete, noting, "Amidst our ever-increasing population density, noncombustible construction keeps us safe in our homes, work-places, schools and places of worship … The assertion that a noncombustible construction material be replaced leaves us vulnerable to development with cheaper materials that put lives in danger." For a look at construction light on concrete, Beiser should check local media reports on a February 2018 fire at the three-story, wood-framed Corsica Apartment Homes near Los Angeles. It is among dozens of Build With Strength-spotlighted incidents involving existing or new wood construction. Without asking Beiser about the air pollution attending wood construction fires, not to mention their often heavy human costs, the coalition continues its "Concrete is the stuff" response by clarifying an environmental point: "The author links concrete to global carbon emissions, but only tells half the story by omitting that the sustainable and insulating nature of concrete contribute to the lower lifetime energy usage and costs to heat and cool these structures." Weeks after "Can the building industry break its addiction to concrete?," the Cable News Network balanced its coverage. A CNN Money segment focused on the carbon-sequestering properties of concrete structures cast from mixes using the CarbonCure Technologies process. It discovered how carbon dioxide imparts performance in fresh and finished slabs and structures in a visit with lead CarbonCure user, Atlanta-based Thomas Concrete. The segment, "This concrete traps CO 2 emissions forever," is a good reference to journalists seeking a pertinent angle on concrete. Thomas Concrete and Build With Strength coalition members are among many authoritative sources with insight on probing questions like: Is there a viable alternative to concrete on the horizon? Is the negligible CO 2 load associated with portland cement-based products a good trade off for the superior life cycle attributes certain in properly designed, placed and finished slabs, structures and enclosure elements? EDITORIAL BY DON MARSH 4 • July 2018 Media skips concrete details fit to print SEMCO PUBLISHING CORPORATE OFFICE 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B-1 Denver, Colorado 80231 U.S.A. P: +1.303.283.0640 F: +1.303.283.0641 PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Peter Johnson, EDITOR Don Marsh, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Josephine Patterson, PRODUCTION MANAGER Dan Fitts, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Florman, PROJECT MANAGER Tanna Holzer, CIRCULATION Juanita Walters, SALES U.S., CANADA SALES Bill Green, Tel +1 414 212 8266 GERMANY SALES Gerd Strasmann, Tel +49 2191 93 1497 SCANDINAVIA, UNITED KINGDOM AND WESTERN EUROPE SALES Jeff Draycott, Tel +44 (0) 786 6922148 Colm Barry, Tel +46 (0) 736 334670 JAPAN SALES Masao Ishiguro, Tel +81 (3) 3719 0775 AUSTRALIA/ASIA SALES Lanita Idrus, Tel +61 3 9006 1742 Concrete Products, Volume 71, Issue 7, (ISSN 0010-5368, USPS 128-180) is published monthly by Mining Media Inc., dba Semco Publishing, 10 Sedgwick Drive, Englewood, Colorado 80113. Periodicals postage paid at Englewood Colorado, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calander, are available online at SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year $72.00, 2 year $119.00, 3 year $161.00. For subscriber services or to order single copies, write to Concrete Products, 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B1, Denver, Colorado 80231 USA; call +1.303.283.0640 ext. 207 (USA) or visit ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and ProQuest. 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