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By: Man-Shi Low
  • Title Book: Material Flow Analysis of Concrete in the United States
  • Author : Man-Shi Low
  • Publisher : Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture
  • Languages : en (Available in All Languages)
  • Pages : 189

Concrete is the second most consumed material in the world after water. Due to the sheer mass of concrete consumed annually and its associated resource and environmental impacts, improving the materials management of concrete consumption is a critical problem in the United States. It is increasingly evident that the society lacks knowledge of the collective material composition of the urban environment-of how we produce, consume and dispose of concrete. This thesis argues that the lack of informational linkages is driving the individual approaches of the construction industry, policy makers, environmental agencies and waste management industry, which results in the current segregated and government-subsidized material management. In order to identify opportunities for more effective materials management, this thesis performs the first comprehensive Material Flow Analysis for concrete in the United States for the year of 1996 to identify opportunities for more effective materials management. The dominant concrete products and the end-use categories in the United States are identified. The associated water, energy and fuel consumption and emissions produced are also incorporated. Five lifecycle stages are covered: (i) extraction of raw materials, (ii) cement manufacturing, (iii) production, (iv) use and (v) waste management of concrete. Two untapped material management opportunities are identified: minimizing water consumption during the extraction stage and the off-site production stage.

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