Call for adoption of sustainable concrete

High-performance concrete promotes sustainability in construction.

The seminar was organised by the UAE Society of Engineers and Fars Al Mazrooei Contracting.
The seminar was organised by the UAE Society of Engineers and Fars Al Mazrooei Contracting.

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It is critical that high-performance concrete (HPC) become the norm rather than the exception if the UAE’s construction industry is to avoid “a crisis of maintenance and repair”.

The comments were made by Dr Adil Al Tamimi, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Institute of Materials Systems at the American University of Sharjah, at the recent Complete Concrete Flooring Solutions Seminar organised in partnership between the UAE Society of Engineers and Fars Al Mazrooei Contracting.

While the construction industry is justly proud of its achievements to date, including such world-firsts as the Burj Khalifa, the advances in materials and technology promoted by these iconic structures need to be disseminated to the industry as a whole to ensure its sustainability and longevity.

“Cost is a priority for all of us. HPC is expensive at the outset, but delivers a better result in the long term. Over the next few years we are likely to see HPC capture the entire concrete market due to its durability benefits, combined with its sustainability in that it requires less cement, water and supplementary materials,” said Dr Al Tamimi.

He also called for increased co-operation between the private sector and academic institutions like the American University of Sharjah. “It is essential to encourage such collaboration for the benefit of the entire industry,” said Dr Al Tamimi.

The seminar was attended by 170 delegates from various government institutions, including the Ministry of Public Works, RTA, DEWA and the Dubai Airport Free Zone. In addition, representatives from leading local and international consulting engineering companies, main regional contractors and major ready-mix concrete suppliers were also in attendance.

The main theme of the seminar was on how the sustainability of concrete flooring systems is vital to reduce waste and costs.

The latest technology discussed included the Somero SXP-D laser screed machine and Dramix steel fibre reinforcement, which allows casting of large areas up to several thousand square metres in a continuous operation, while reducing the joints at the concrete floor. Having fewer joints means lower maintenance costs, higher output and better health and safety.

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