Research & Development
Currently, there is a critical need for advanced building materials for high-performance construction. These materials are required to be increasingly more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, sustainable, affordable, and resilient. They need to meet multi-hazard/-performance design criteria and be easily produced an incorporated into construction methods and practice.
Conventional concrete has widespread usage in construction although it is a commodity that does not necessarily perform well in the long-term or when subjected to man-made or natural hazards. Advanced mix design, show exceptional potential to improve infrastructure performance, and need to be transitioned from the research and development phase to common construction use. They must, at the same time, compete with already established conventional concrete.
Currently, there are no set procedures that can guarantee transition of an advanced material into widespread construction usage. Acceptance for use in construction is dependent on developing economic incentives to use the material; overcoming resistancesed initial cost; and required changed codes and standards, and current practices. There must be a market demand for the product to justify major facility conversions.
Specifications for materials and end-product properties and quality are also needed. Costs to implement changes would vary on the method of construction, precasting of advanced mix design can provide quality control quicker construction and possibly lower overall construction costs. Usage of Advanced mix design needs to be based on lifecycle versus first cost, and sustainability benefits.
It is necessary to have a full-range of dedicated equipment to obtain required tight quality control of the material; new testing methods to verify end product properties and quality are also need.
Codes, Guidelines and Standards
For conventional concrete, these documents exist, but requirements usually do not typically address critical criteria of sustainability, resiliency, and life-cycle design. The need for education and support for code development requiring government action. There needs to be a definition of mix, application, and specification of performance criteria. Legal liability issues are also a major concern when using a 'new' material in construction. some form of suspension of or limited liability would provide incentives for participants, there is a need to review existing practice and generate new methods and procedures. All modified and new procedures, methods, and technique should incorporate sustainability and resiliency requirements. There should be a mandate life cycle and resiliency/sustainability requirement in construction.
There is no single material solution to all our current and future problems, but advanced materials can help. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT THAT WE RESEARCH AND DEVELOP THESE MATERIALS. And effectively transition them into practice.
We must work together, share the risks, we have an opportunity to improve quality of life, the environment and future infrastructure for New Zealand citizens.