Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCM) Optimization System
There is an increasing awareness amongst building professionals and officials that the use of higher levels of supplementary cementing materials (SCMs) in concrete can bring substantial benefits in terms of performance, cost, and constructability in addition to dramatic improvements to sustainability and the greenhouse gas (GHG) signature of concrete construction. However, there is also concern about potential pitfalls, such as lower setting time, longer curing requirements, or the potential for SCMs to introduce harmful chemicals into the concrete.
To address concerns and possible confusion over using supplementary cementing materials (SCMs) in concrete, an EcoSmart-led partnership has developed a ‘SCM Optimization System’ (SOS). This web-based decision-making system allows developers, architects, engineers, contractors and material suppliers to optimize the use of SCMs in concrete by simulating the effects of varying the multitude of parameters that interplay on construction projects. SOS can be used at all stages of construction – through concept, structural design, materials selection and proportioning, to construction management and implementation. By determining optimal SCM levels and tradeoffs, the system enables users to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and construction costs, and lower the environmental footprint by directly reducing the amount of Portland cement required for construction projects.
The SOS partnership is composed of concrete experts, university professors, researchers, structural and material engineers, architects, developers, contractors, cement manufacturers, SCM producers, and concrete suppliers.
Members to date:
British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA)
EcoSmart Foundation Inc.
Metro Vancouver (formerly Greater Vancouver Regional District)
National Research Council (NRC)
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. (RJC)
SIMCO Technologies Inc.
Unibeton Ready-Mix (UAE)
Windmill Development Group
The use of fly ash in building materials diverts millions of tons of ash from the landfills each year, increases the constructability and durability of concrete and brick, partially replaces energy-intensive Portland cement, and is recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system as a post-industrial recycled material.
On the other hand, environmentalists question whether the industry has enough testing data to conclusively determine that this byproduct of power-producing coal combustion is environmentally safe….. Read more
from GreenBuilder Magazine.
In 2011, EcoSmart commissioned a study by the China Academy of Building Research in Beijing (CABR) on the applicability of High Volume Supplementary Cementing Material (HVSCM) to China. The report describes the current situation of concrete industry in China, analyzes the economic benefit and social benefit of SOS application in China, and then put forward the necessary adjustment and research for the SOS application in China, the key technologies that should be developed, the data that should be investigated, the research methods and execution plans that should be adopted, and the expected achievements and benefits.
The EcoSmart project in China is now completed. The project was part of the Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) and was aiming at introducing the SOS program to China by engaging key stakeholders of the local industry, including all the disciplines and sectors that are typically involved in concrete construction project such as cement producers, SCM suppliers, concrete manufacturers, engineers, contractors, academics, research institute and building codes officials.
Results and recommendations are included in the report prepared by the main chinese project partner in collaboration with EcoSmart.