Why study concrete sustainability? Simple. More concrete is produced than any other material on Earth. In the foreseeable future, there is no other material that can replace concrete to meet our societies’ needs for housing, shelter, schools, and infrastructure. Concrete is produced from abundant raw materials locally available almost everywhere on earth. It is an inexpensive construction material with a relatively small environmental footprint, but its attractive properties have lead to massive use that contributes approximately 5% of global CO2 production.
Why Concrete Sustainability
Emerging breakthroughs in concrete science and engineering suggest that concrete can be part of the solution when it comes to planning for a sustainable development that encompasses economic growth and social progress while minimizing the ecological footprint.
This requires a holistic approach in which progress in concrete science translates into innovative structural concrete engineering applications, ranging from concrete pavement solutions to wall systems, whose impact on sustainable development are evaluated with advanced environmental-econometric impact studies.
Why MIT Cares
MIT is committed to innovation that improves the things that matter. Concrete is a fundamental part of the buildings where we live and work and the infrastructure that connects us. According to the United Nations, there will be over nine billion people on Earth, 70% of whom will live in urban areas. Massive urbanization calls for smart decision making in public transportation, housing, and other integral infrastructure project. Concrete will play a key role in meeting the needs of the growing population and thus its sustainability is of utmost importance.