Integrated Life-Cycle design and assessment of concrete structures – contribution to sustainability and resiliency in a changing world
Professor, Czech Technical University in Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
World is changing. We are faced to increasing frequency of natural disasters due to continuously increasing global environmental changes. Earthquakes, floods, storms, hurricanes, tornados, fires, tsunami, volcanic events, extreme dry weather etc. are more and more frequent. We are faced to increasing economical and social problems resulting in migration and terrorism. The structures for sustainable future should be better prepared for a new situation and conditions. The structures should be more resilient. Concrete is due to specific material properties after water the most used material in the World. Thus the use of advanced concrete structures represents important potential in the way towards sustainable and resilient built environment.
There is no general methodology for design and assessment of concrete structures covering all important sustainability aspects and all life cycle phases from acquisition of materials, through production of concrete and concrete components, construction, operation of structure, up to demolition and recycling. New conceptual approach is an integrated life-cycle assessment, representing multi-parametric assessment of the structure within the whole life cycle. This approach integrates material, component, and structure design and considers selected relevant criterions from a wide range of criterions sorted in three basic groups of sustainability: environmental, economical and social.
A conceptual approach for integrated life-cycle optimization and assessment of concrete structures based on general methods and tools for life-cycle assessment of structures covering essential aspects of sustainability considering changing conditions in the World will be presented. Advantages of optimised concrete structures from the viewpoint of sustainability and resiliency will be presented as well. These advantages could be significant when used in new types of high performance concretes in optimized more effective structural forms and technologies. Already implemented realizations give clear signal that in the forthcoming era there will be necessary to take into account new requirements and criteria for design and construction of concrete structures following from global aspects on sustainable development and considering needs for more resilient structures better prepared for changing situation in the world.