Sustainability ENews Vol12 #3 Resilience

Sustainability E-News
More Resilient Communities
February 15, 2020
Volume 12, Number 3
From The Editor
A recent decision by FEMA may do more to advance more-resilient structures than any other effort to date. The new policy requires FEMA to fund repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement in conformity with “the latest published editions of relevant consensus-based codes, specifications, and standards that incorporate the latest hazard-resistant design and establish minimum acceptable criteria for the design, construction, and maintenance of residential structures and facilities that may be eligible for assistance under this Act for the purposes of protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of a facility’s users against disasters.” In short, repairs and reconstruction have to follow current code requirements. An astonishing number of communities in the U.S. are using old codes, or none at all (see this link for just one example). This policy will help ensure that communities are reconstructed or repaired in a more resilient manner. Read more in the article linked below.
Christine "Tina" Subasic, PE, LEED AP        
NOTE: Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of the products and materials featured, nor have these products been evaluated by TMS or the editor. Furthermore, the views expressed in the articles featured are those of the article authors.
Rebuild stronger or risk losing disaster aid, FEMA orders
Communities that use federal disaster aid to rebuild public facilities now must follow new construction codes to make them more resilient to future calamity. The new policy, published January 16 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, represents a major shift in recovery funding. It forces states and municipalities that rebuild with FEMA money to take preventative steps such as locating rebuilt public facilities outside flood zones and a safe distance from wildfire-prone vegetation and using durable building materials. Read more.
Jacobs CEO: Urban sustainability requires paradigm shift
Cities around the world account for the majority of global carbon emissions, and the urban footprint is projected to double by 2070, according to research from 100 Resilient Cities. As climate change intensifies, urban leaders must rethink how cities are built and unite stakeholders to plan for climate resiliency and carbon neutrality, writes Steven Demetriou, chairman and CEO of Jacobs.
Local communities aren't waiting to take action on climate change as the article below demonstrates. ~Tina
Low-carbon concrete code in effect in Calif. County
Marin County, Calif., has adopted a low-carbon concrete building code to prevent the overuse of carbon-intensive cement in concrete. Consulting engineer Bruce King spearheaded the development of the code, which is said to be the first of its kind in the US. Read more.
The breadth of research into cements and concretes with a lower carbon footprint is encouraging. Read about some recent efforts below. ~Tina
UCLA team attempts to win $6.8 million prize with a 'trapped carbon' concrete block
Using recycled carbon was a no-brainer to Gaurav Sant, the civil engineer who leads the UCLA team in a contest where the winning squad nets a whopping $6.8 million. It's called the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize, and it's an international competition to see who can turn the most CO2 into valuable products. Sant and his team set to work on making a concrete block with a compound called portlandite, instead of traditional Portland cement. To read more, click here.
Companies to produce carbon-negative concrete blocks
Canada-based companies Carbicrete and Patio Drummond will conduct an industrial-scale pilot project to produce carbon-negative concrete blocks. Carbicrete's blocks use steel slag instead of portland cement as a binder. Read more.
Scientists create living concrete
For centuries, builders have been making concrete roughly the same way: by mixing hard materials like sand with various binders, and hoping it stays fixed and rigid for a long time to come. Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has created a rather different kind of concrete — one that is alive and can even reproduce. Read more.
Ky. researchers seek low-emission cement
Scientists at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research have received a two-year, $1.3 million grant to develop belite-based cement as an alternative to portland cement. According to this article, The "Belite Cement, and Concretes; Novel Low-Energy Approaches to Making Concrete Extremely Durable" project is funded by the Department of Energy to develop a low-energy, low-carbon dioxide emission cement.
Stepping stones for a greener business
A business that wants to become more environmentally conscious should start by focusing on a single cause, writes Emily Folk. Make progress by seeking accountability partners, having a sustainable leadership team in place and educating your employees on the new practices that will be coming to the workplace.
´╗┐Register Now for The Masonry Society Spring Meetings
Registration is now open for the TMS Spring Meetings to be held in Charlotte, NC April 30 - May 2, 2020. For more information on the upcoming meeting and TMS Committee activities visit the TMS website.
Webinar: What’s New in LEED v4.1
The latest version of LEED, LEED v4.1, was released in early 2019 proved a challenge to many designers and manufacturers. The Materials and Resources credits were particularly problematic. This new webinar explains how LEED v4.1 attempts to address these issues by adding incremental achievement levels and revising the thresholds and criteria in many of the credits. To register for this April 9, 2020 webinar, click here.
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