Concrete, Part 4

I’ve said that different materials lend themselves to different forms, and that there is such a thing as a concrete-inflected structural type. That idea leads, unfortunately, to a discussion of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa last August. The bridge had a number fo different components (click on the picture above to expand it) …

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Concrete, Part 3

Concrete has become something of a scapegoat for carbon emissions in building, but it’s amazingly difficult to pin down how bad it is, as a material, compared with other options. The problem, simply, is that it is difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons of efficiency and carbon use across different structural systems. Let’s start with weight. …

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Concrete, Part 2

The first article I read in the Guardian’s Concrete Week series was last Monday’s piece “Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth.” It’s an odd piece in terms of its organization, jumping around a bit. Eventually I realized that the problem I was having is that the article is discussing several quite different topics, linked …

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Concrete, Part 1

I mentioned once that engineers tend to develop personal styles in their designs, which is something obvious to engineers but occasionally surprising to other people. Part of those styles is preference for some materials. For example, I prefer steel for building frames, although I’ve also worked with concrete. In any case, the Guardian’s “concrete week” …

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