January/February 2023 - 93

Today's civil and geotechnical engineers
play an important role in helping to
achieve sustainable infrastructure. To
address environmental sustainability
and climate change caused by greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions, all engineers
must adjust their traditional
approach to materials, design and
construction practices to include a
focus on minimizing carbon dioxide
emissions. The considerable influence
that geotechnical engineers have on
projects provides an important opportunity
to affect positive change. The
carbon footprint of the construction
methods and materials used for foundations
can be as much as 8-9% of a new
building's total carbon footprint, and
geotechnical engineers have an opportunity
to evaluate alternatives
based not only on cost, but also the
long-term environmental impacts.
Growing environmental considerations
and societal concerns are influencing
the selection of construction materials
and methods, including cement and
concrete's role and significance for
infrastructure applications today and in
the future.
Cement, Concrete and
Sustainability
Sustainability as discussed today is a
generic concept that seeks to balance
the three main pillars of environment,
economy and society (also referred to as
planet, profit and people).
Traditionally, the decisions that
civil and geotechnical engineers make
when considering the foundation
elements on projects have been decided
based on the economy of a system, such
as choosing the lowest cost foundation
that meets the project criteria. However,
evaluating foundation alternatives
considering all three pillars is the key to
choosing the most sustainable system.
Whi le the social sustainabi l i ty
component of foundations is small
relative to the other pillars, there is a
Working toward carbon neutrality in the cement industry
large focus today on environmental
sustainability. Specifically, the priority
is on reducing GHG emissions that
contribute to global warming. The vast
majority of these GHG emissions are
carbon dioxide (CO2).
CO2 accounts for more than 80% of
all GHG emitted in the U.S. CO2 is
emitted from a variety of sources
including combustion of fossil fuels,
deforestation and various industrial
processes. According to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, the
AUTHORS Greg Halsted, P.E., and Joshua Gilman, P.E., Portland Cement Association
DEEP FOUNDATIONS * JAN/FEB 2023 * 93
manufacture of portland cement
accounts for 1.25% of U.S. CO2
emissions. Approximately 40% of these
CO2 emissions come from the combustion
of traditional fossil fuels, like
coal and petcoke, to heat the rotary
kilns used to make clinker and the
energy needed to grind clinker into
cement. The other 60% of these CO2
emissions come from the inherent
chemical reaction that occurs when
limestone is converted through heating
into lime and CO2.
FEATURE ARTICLE
Sustainable
Cement for
Greener
Foundations

January/February 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January/February 2023

TOC
January/February 2023 - Intro
January/February 2023 - 1
January/February 2023 - 2
January/February 2023 - TOC
January/February 2023 - 4
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