The Portland Cement Association (PCA) launched ConcreteThinker.com, a Web site that enables architects interested in sustainable design to learn more about the environmental benefits of building with concrete.
“ConcreteThinker.com inspires architects to ‘Think Concrete’ by providing access to valuable tools, case studies, up-to-date information on sustainable development and concrete solutions for environmentally responsible design,” said David Shepherd, AIA, PCA director of sustainable development.
“The Web site includes real-world examples of how architects can make sustainable design a reality through the durability, versatility and energy efficiency of concrete.”
ConcreteThinker.com builds upon a recent campaign featuring architects recognized for incorporating innovative concrete solutions in their sustainable designs. The complete Concrete Thinker awareness program will include an upcoming architectural student competition commissioned by PCA, additional promotional initiatives with other architects who “Think Concrete,” and direct outreach to architecture firms nationwide.
The Web site will be updated with new information on these efforts and architect profiles. For example, the Web site provides a portal where architects can submit their own information about how they are using concrete to achieve their sustainable design objectives. Initially, the Web site profiles urban planner and AIA member Doug Farr of Farr and Associates in Chicago as the first “Concrete Thinker” highlighted in PCA’s campaign. A leader in sustainable design, Farr has a number of innovative buildings to his credit that incorporate concrete for optimal energy performance and durability. Three of his designs are featured as case studies on ConcreteThinker.com.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as Portland Cement Association’s first Concrete Thinker,” said Doug Farr. “There are countless applications for concrete in green building, and ConcreteThinker.com is a great educational tool for architects who want to build without depleting our future resources. The Concrete Thinker campaign provides the architectural community with concrete solutions to reach sustainable development goals.”
Among Doug Farr’s concrete case studies profiled on ConcreteThinker.com is the Bethel Commercial Center, a mixed-used transit center in a low-income neighborhood on Chicago’s west side. Farr incorporated an insulated concrete wall system in the building that minimizes energy use, reduces noise transmission, and creates a durable structure. Precast concrete planks serve as the finished ceiling, eliminating the need for a drop ceiling and the building’s concrete foundation includes recycled material.