MIT Releases Concrete Sustainability Report

Nancy Anderson
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This week, research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Concrete Sustainability Hub was released, and contributes significant findings to the understanding of the life cycle of concrete structures. The comprehensive study covers all aspects of concrete structures’ lives, and reports on the inherent economic and environmental benefits of concrete construction.

I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version: Concrete is better, and it doesn’t really matter what you’re building. Significant fuel savings can be had when vehicles are driven on concrete roads. Properly designed concrete buildings can take advantage of concrete’s increased thermal mass, saving energy and costs in heating and cooling. In fact, Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction methodology allows up to a 20% reduction in the operational costs versus wood-framed homes.

And I will say that concrete highways do seem to be some of the nicest I’ve ever driven. And with a 75-year expected lifespan for most modern concrete construction, the total cost of ownership does look quite appealing. The full details of the release can be read at the Concrete Sustainability Hub’s MIT website.

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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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