Hamlin Jennings will lead new Concrete Sustainability Hub at MIT
“The cement and concrete industries have long been committed to not only producing our products in sustainable ways, but to see those products used in the most sustainable manner. The research undertaken by CSH will position our industries as leaders in the sustainable development movement,” said Brian McCarthy, CEO and president of PCA.
Research projects in the Concrete Sustainability Hub will fall under three areas: concrete materials science, building technology, and the econometrics of sustainable development. Projects in two of those areas are already in progress.
Work on the materials science of concrete is being performed by a research team called the Liquid Stone Team, which includes researchers from the departments of civil and environmental engineering, materials science and engineering, and nuclear science and engineering. The Liquid Stone Team is studying the basic molecular structure of cement in order to manipulate that structure to produce a “greener” concrete, possibly by swapping one chemical element for another to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing or by designing a stronger concrete that would require less material for construction projects.
In the building technology area, researchers involved with a project called the Edge of Concrete are developing a rigorous basis for quantifying the ecological and economic performance of concrete over the lifetime of structures and pavements built with this material, so that methods for improving concrete’s performance can be identified. The team includes researchers from the departments of architecture, civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering.