Google, FHWA officials anchor Concrete Sustainability Conference program

Source: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.

NRMCA’s 8th annual International Concrete Sustainability Conference, May 6-8 in San Francisco, will feature presentations from 60-plus experts covering the latest developments in concrete design, specifying, manufacturing, testing, construction, and maintenance as they relate to sustainability. This year’s conference is being held in cooperation with the RMC Research & Education Foundation and Stanford University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering along with over 30 other co-sponsors.

Keynote speakers for the plenary sessions include: Dr. Michael Lepech, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, who will discuss how innovations in the area of Virtual Infrastructure Management are leveraging the benefits of concrete technologies to reduce the impact of building and infrastructure construction; Francesca Desmarais, director of the 2030 Challenge for Products, Architecture 2030, who will present an update on the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products;  Suneel Vanikar, team leader, pavement design and analysis team, Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, who will provide an overview of FHWA sustainability initiatives and programs; and, Caspar Wagner, Google Green Team Design and Construction Lead, Google, Inc., who will participate in a panel discussion titled Transparency and Material Ingredient Disclosure: What Google is Doing to Keep its Buildings Healthy.

Examples of topics and speakers presenting during technical sessions include:

Life Cycle Assessment: Dr. Arash Noshadravan, postdoctoral associate with the Material Systems Laboratory (MSL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Pavements Under Uncertainty and Variation; Frances Yang, structures and materials sustainability specialist, Arup, 10 Questions LCA Can Answer about Concrete Buildings; and, Dr. Jeremy Gregory, research scientist, MIT Materials Systems Laboratory, Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings: A Gap Analysis of Existing Literature and Trending Tools.

Low Impact Development: Dr. Jim Alleman, professor, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University, The Science and Engineering of Photocatalytic Pavements: Update on the 1st US ‘TX Active’ Highway Application; Dr. Liv Haselbach, associate professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, Removal of High Levels of Dissolved Zinc and Copper in Pervious Concrete; and, Dr. Dev Millstein, postdoctoral fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Cool Communities: The Benefit of Cool Pavements in CA Cities.

Green Concrete: Dr. Lisa Bradley, vice president and senior toxicologist/risk assessor, AECOM, Coal Ash Material Safety – A Health Risk-Based Evaluation of USGS Coal Ash Data from Five US Power Plants; Dr. Jason Ideker, assistant professor, Oregon State University, Perceptions and Usage of Recycled Concrete Aggregate Within Transportation Agencies in North America; and, Ahmad Ardani, manager, Concrete Laboratories, FHWA, Enhancing the Performance of High Volume Fly Ash Concretes Using Fine Limestone Powder.

New Concrete Technology: Dr. Fabrice Brunel, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne, France, Controlling the Cohesion of Calcium Silicate Nanohydrates by the use of Polyelectrolytes: Towards Sustainable Cementitious Materials; Dr. Irvin Chen, cement scientist, Calera Corporation, A Novel Cementitious Calcium Carbonate Containing CO2 from Industrial Flue Gas; and, Bijoy Halder, graduate research assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso, Use of Mutated Micro-Organism to Produce Sustainable Mortar.

Sustainability Initiatives: Chris Erickson, CEO, Climate Earth, EPDs: An Inside Look at the Keys to Successful Implementation; Tien Peng, senior director of sustainability, codes and standards, NRMCA, Responsible Sourcing through CSR Reporting; and, Ben Tymann, attorney, Greenberg Traurig, Navigating the Legal Obstacles on Your Road to Sustainability: Recent Developments in the Law.

Functional Resilience: Matthew Comber, design engineer, Degenkolb Engineers, Sustainable Concrete Structures Through Seismic Resilience: A Case Study; Jacob Sobstyl, researcher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, Energy Management: City Texture Matters; and, David Shook, associate structural engineer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Mapping a Structure’s Impact on the Environment: Case Studies.

A complete list of speakers and additional details about the conference are available online at