A major development since the CSI’s Agenda for Action was launched is the way stakeholders look at the role concrete plays in construction and use, and the eventual recycling of buildings and infrastructure.
Concrete is the most used man-made material in the world. It has excellent structural, thermal and affordable properties, making it the ideal building material. Although sustainability with concrete was not part of the original Agenda for Action, the CSI has been addressing the issue for several years. In 2009, the CSI published an assessment of recycling practices and argued that the ultimate goal must be “zero landfilling” of concrete.
The CSI is committed to working with other construction industry participants to promote sustainable construction. It is important to develop a set of basic principles for the evaluation of sustainable buildings. The existing building rating tools have been instrumental for this, and they should be further developed to provide enhanced metrics for assessing sustainability over the life time of structures.
In the construction process, reliable and transparent information on the responsible sourcing of building materials is becoming more and more important. The CSI is addressing this through the development of guidance for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)and the development of criteria for a responsible sourcing scheme for concrete, which will contribute to the assessment of concrete’s sustainability. The scope of much of the future work on sustainability with concrete will require close collaboration between the CSI and other environmental and construction groups. This will be a good opportunity for the CSI to broaden its remit, influence and outreach.