ATTEND THE EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS OF WORLD OF CONCRETE EUROPE
From 23 to 28 April 2018, a series of fifteen presentations and practical workshops on the subject of concrete were held as part of World of Concrete Europe, “Connecting the concrete sector”.
Well-known speakers and specialists addressed subjects relating to concrete.
Overall theme of the Forum
The overall theme of this Forum is “The contribution of concrete to new collective challenges”.
Our society today is undergoing profound change: with population shift, climate change and urban development, there are a great many complex challenges to be tackled simultaneously. Urban and regional development and the construction world lie at the heart of the responses to these new challenges which are key priorities for all industry professionals.
The concrete sector, a consistent supporter of development of our society since the advent of reinforced concrete, plays a major role in urban and regional development. Buildings, visible and invisible infrastructure, highways: concrete is a material that works in the public interest. Concrete solutions can be innovative, high performance and environmentally friendly, fitting in seamlessly with the scheme of the circular economy essential for relocating added value in regions, on the doorstep of resources, skills and requirements.
Multi-faceted, good looking and long lasting, concrete is a material that enhances living conditions offering new densities, combinations and uses.
Specific themes covered by the educational sessions
The subject areas studied were wide and varied, offering responses to the challenges in the sector today across six main themes*:
Concrete sector and contribution to the circular economy, the example of Grand Paris
As a champion of short distribution channels with nearly 4, 000 facilities located close to the needs of its clients, the concrete sector is a key stakeholder in its community, helping to sustain its economic vitality whilst offering much-reduced transport times and immediate availability of the material and its construction solutions. Formulated from locally-sourced constituents, or from secondary bio-based materials, and laid by local skilled labour, concrete is also fully recyclable, thus reducing the impact of its life cycle, from its production to its demolition. The example of Grand Paris and the active contribution of the concrete sector offer a perfect illustration of this virtuous circle.
Low carbon construction and dealing with climate hazards and change through concrete solution
Contrary to received wisdom which often confuses concrete with its constituent, cement, which makes up a mere 7 to 13% of the final product, concrete has a low carbon footprint and a number of contributing factors could help to reduce it further. Furthermore, from drainage solutions to floodwalls and stormwater basins, concrete provides a number of solutions to deal with the hazards arising from climate change such as flooding, coastal erosion and storms.
New uses and functions of concrete, for the benefit of society
Since the advent of reinforced concrete, the concrete sector has espoused the evolution of our society by adapting to its new needs and demands. From the manufacturing process to construction solutions and the material itself, innovation is omnipresent in order to offer greater performance and more functions. Concrete today is no longer "Just" to provide structure : it can be insulating, depolluting or self-cleaning. It contributes to the construction of new infrastructure for a range of new uses : from reflective road surfaces to green roofs. Concrete has also found new uses to promote the preservation of biodiversity : artificial reefs, fish passes, frog tunnels, etc.
Modularity and flexibility of concrete: an architectural choice for better living conditions
As a genie of the print, a true chameleon, concrete can take on every possible aspect, whether as formwork or a matrix, reproducing all shapes from the simplest to the wildest, born out of the imagination of the architect or designer. Concrete offers the advantage of combining with all other materials, thus providing prime contractors with a choice of aesthetic and effective solutions. Solutions also offer the possibility of anticipating changes in the purpose of buildings and infrastructure. This polymorphous and aesthetic propensity contributes to the comfort of the population, facilitating harmonious local in keeping with its living conditions and environment.
Built to last: specifying concrete for greater durability
Durability is an essential factor in local development and planning, as buildings, infrastructure and networks must offer the longest possible service life. Tailoring compositions to meet structures’ specificities will help to optimise their life span.
Concrete and the digital transition
Construction has in turn entered into a digital age, and the concrete sector has not in the slightest been left out. From incorporating BIM-relevant information during design and construction phases to the revolutionary technology of 3D printing, and the use of chips in the material itself, the concrete sector once again stands out in its vitality and capacity to understand and support the digital transition and the evolution of our society.
*The World of Concrete Europe Forum programme is currently being drawn up and will be published in due course.
MEMBERS OF THE COPIL
- Anouk THEBAULT, Director of Professional Relations, CERIB,
- Estelle REVEILLARD, Head of Communications and Public Relations, CIMBETON,
- Frédérick GLUZICKI, Editor-in-chief, Béton(S) le Magazine,
- Julien BEIDELER, Secretary General, UMGO,
- Vincent SIMON, Deputy Secretary General, UMGO,
- Christophe JEAUNEAU, General Manager, MAPEI,
- Pascal PETITJEAN, Secretary General, SEIMAT,
- Frédéric LJUNG, Decorative Concrete Market Director, CHRYSO FRANCE
- Catherine PIN ALCOCER, Consultant, CATICOM - Press Relations Agency,
- Patricia DESMERGER, Press Officer, CAMPAGNE - Press Relations agency and communication consultant.