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Introduction

The International Conference on Advances in Construction Materials through Science and Engineering will be organized under the sponsorship of The International Union of Testing and Research Laboratories for Materials and Structures (RILEM), in conjunction with the 65th RILEM Week to be held in Hong Kong, China SAR. This conference can be considered as a sequel to two earlier conferences on Advances in Concrete through Science and Engineering, held in Evanston (2004) and Quebec City (2006) respectively, but with a broader scope to cover other construction materials besides concrete.

While construction activities improve the quality of our lives, they also have significant impact on our environment. The production of construction materials requires energy and generates greenhouse gases. The reduction of carbon footprint for construction materials can start at the production phase, where energy efficient processes can be developed and waste or recycled materials can be employed. However, it is just as important to increase the life of constructed facilities, so the frequency of construction activities can be reduced. Experience over the last few decades has shown that poor material durability is often the cause of pre-mature deterioration of structures, resulting in the need for large scale repair and even reconstruction. Better understanding of the loading and environmental effects on material deformation and failure is required for more durable materials to be designed. Sensing and non-destructive techniques are useful as they enable better quality control and early identification of damages. With the proper repair/strengthening materials and methods, structure life can then be extended with little cost and additional carbon emission. When structures are built to resist extreme loading (e.g., earthquake, hurricane), the innovative use of high performance materials can effectively control damage and prevent collapse. For buildings, carbon footprint will also be greatly reduced if indoor/outdoor heat exchange is decreased. Material with improved thermal insulation, which is an example of functional materials, can then be useful.

 

 

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