Three Webinars Announced for Winter/Spring 2018

CSHub public webinar graphic, cshub logo displayed on a computer screen with a red background
January 9, 2018

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) public webinar series offers information of general interest to members of the building, paving, and construction communities, as well as to educators, students, journalists, and law and policy-makers interested in the environmental and economic impacts of decision-making concerning infrastructure. Videos of past webinars are archived to the CSHub YouTube Channel.

We've announced three sessions to kick off 2018. These webinars are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Presentations are geared toward a lay audience. Please follow the links below to register.

Inspired by Antiquity: The Future of Durable, Sustainable Infrastructure
Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

The Masic Lab at MIT is working to unlock the secrets of ancient materials including Roman concrete and pigments such as Mayan and Egyptian blues. In this webinar, Admir Masic, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), will discuss what engineers could learn from his lab’s “antiqua-inspired methodology”-- where ancient technologies, practices, and techniques guide the development of future materials -- about constructing longer-lasting modern infrastructure with lowered environmental impacts.

Concrete Sustainability Hub Webinar: Albedo, Climate, & Urban Heat Island
Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 11:00am

The United Nations predicts that nearly 70 percent of the global population will live in urban environments by the year 2050. This rapid urbanization is changing the surface of the planet, which has an impact on climate regionally and globally. CSHub researchers are studying the effects of albedo, which is the measure of the fraction of solar energy reflected by the Earth’s surface, on climate and the urban heat island effect (defined as a temperature difference between urban areas and their rural surroundings where the city temperature is higher). Lighter color surfaces have a high albedo and reflect light, while darker surfaces have low albedo and absorb light. CSHub researchers have developed an approach to quantify the impacts of changing pavement albedo on the climate and building energy demand and then translate both of those into global warming potential. This webinar will describe the approach and results from recent studies.

Streamlined Building Life Cycle Assessment
Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 11:00am

Life cycle assessment (LCA) seeks to quantify the environmental impacts of infrastructure over a life time by identifying and accounting for impacts resulting from each phase of the life cycle. LCA can be used to obtain credits in certification systems like LEED, but traditional LCA methods can be time, resource, and data intensive. For complex systems like residential buildings, these demands can lead to delayed assessments with evaluations carried out after important design decisions have already been made, reducing their effectiveness. CSHub researchers have developed a streamlined approach to LCA that requires significantly less time and data, which can reduce expense as well as uncertainty and allow assessments to be conducted earlier in the building design process when decisions can have the greatest impact. This webinar will present an overview of the CSHub’s streamlined tool, known as the Building Attribute to Impact Algorithm, and a discussion of recent work on the topic.