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Sustainability of Concrete in the Pacific Northwest

Sustainability of Concrete in the Pacific Northwest Student Researcher: Hilary Chaimov, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Erica Fischer Ms. Chaimov is the recipient of the 2020 Slag Cement Research Project of the Year award.

This research used continuously-approved concrete mix designs obtained from concrete suppliers in Seattle, and a lifecycle assessment (LCA) tool to explore the impact that supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) have on the global warming potential (GWP) of concrete in Seattle.

The results are consistent with existing research in demonstrating that the use of SCMs in concrete mixes reduces the GWP of concrete. A comparison of the GWP of the Seattle mix designs with the GWP of the NRMCA benchmark mixes demonstrated that 98% of continuously-approved concrete mixes in Seattle are meeting the NRMCA benchmarks for GWP.

This research provided a framework that could be used by other major cities to evaluate how sustainable their concrete is and highlight which SCMs are being utilized the most. In Seattle,79% of the mix designs utilized slag, and on average, these mixes had a GWP 30% lower than the NRMCA benchmark for the same compressive strength.

All continuously approved mix designs in Seattle that utilize slag are below the NRMCA benchmarks, so if an engineer specs a continuously approved concrete mix design in Seattle with slag, they meet one stipulation for a LEED credit for their building. Full Project Paper Slide Deck Project Webinar Recording


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