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SAEA members in the civil and structural engineering fields discuss the recent shift in the cement industry to lower its carbon footprint in alignment with climate-action goals. Cement supply from and into Syria is especially important as recovery, repair and rebuilding effort start after the recent devastating earthquake.

As quality of cement and concrete is under increasing scrutiny owing to many code violations and lack of quality assurance and enforcement evidenced in stricken buildings throughout Syrian and Turkish cities. There is a significant opportunity for climate protection through making these timely changes, as “concrete can represent 50% or more of the global warming potential (GWP) of a building. Additionally, it can be responsible for as much as 8% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions predominately due to making the main binder used in concrete—ordinary Portland cement (OPC),” according to the World Green Building Council.

Because of this, major US cement manufacturers have swiftly transitioned from Type i/ii OPC to Type IL cement, which is more environmentally friendly.

Members discussed the potential pros and cons of this shift, and discuss various ASTM standards along with ASTM C-150 in contrast with currently available cement inventories in northern Syria and Southeast Turkey. Expert advice was provided by SAEA in this regard and additional support is available by emailing PR@SAEA-US.org