Concrete is used in nearly every structure we build today, including buildings, bridges, homes and infrastructure. With greater emphasis placed on sustainability, design professionals are faced with the challenge of meeting traditional design criteria with evolving criteria that support green building and efforts to reduce impact on climate change.

Performance-based specifications for concrete represent an important synergy with sustainability initiatives because they provide the opportunity to optimize mixtures for performance that can also reduce environmental impacts. Prescriptive specifications often adversely impact the environmental footprint of concrete structures. This article outlines how concrete performance can be improved while lowering environmental footprint by implementing performance-based specifications.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze the difference between performance-based specification and prescriptive specifications.
  • Evaluate how performance-based specifications can improve performance and lower environmental impact of concrete structures.
  • Learn how to implement performance-based specifications in projects.
  • Demonstrate the importance of balancing structural and architectural performance of concrete with green building strategies.

Pre-Requisite: Basic understanding of concrete as a building material.