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by Eric Pascal Bescher, PhD, and Nick de Ocampo, LEED AP
All photos courtesy CTS Cement Manufacturing Corp.
ALTHOUGH ‘SUSTAINABILITY’ IS A
POPULAR TERM, IT REMAINS AN
ILL-DEFINED AND NEBULOUS CONCEPT
IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY.
THIS IS ESPECIALLY THE CASE WITH
CONCRETE, WHERE IT CAN BE DIFFICULT
TO UNDERSTAND THE VARIOUS COST AND
There is no straightforward, simple deﬁnition of what
sustainability means to the construction industry.
Further, there are few tools or even metrics available
to help decision-makers specify one construction
material over another in relation to sustainability.
The sustainability of concrete, the most widely used
material in the world, is still a difﬁcult concept to
quantify. However, the recently developed Product
Category Rules (PCRs) for concrete are a step in the
This article focuses on the sustainability of materials
used in civil infrastructure such as highways and
bridges, but the concepts explored are also frequently
applicable to materials used for building repair.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), sustainability is based on the simple
principle that everything needed for survival and
92 the construction speciﬁer | september 2013
8/14/13 9:01:14 AM