Federal agency officials blanket Carbon Neutral Concrete Summit

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Sources: NEU: An ACI Center of Excellence for Carbon Neutral Concrete, Farmington Hills, Mich.; CMCM staff

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Federal Highway Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology representatives offered and compiled takeaways as participants in the first Summit on Accelerating Carbon Neutral Concrete Materials and Technologies. NEU: An American Concrete Institute Center of Excellence for Carbon Neutral Concrete hosted the late-September event to engage public and private construction stakeholders in discussion of initiatives surrounding the pursuit of cement-concrete value chain carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Federal agency representatives and allied interests join NEU staff and sponsors in Columbia, Md. for the inaugural summit.

Participants pegged knowledge of carbon dioxide emissions as a leading concern, prompting the formation of a committee to work with NEU on determining the best paths to provide education to many different constituencies—from college students and academia to architects, contractors and project owners. One proposal calls for a college curriculum geared to help those entering the industry understand CO2 emissions management. 

“We realize that education and training is essential on many levels, from the concrete finisher up on to the owner, as we are dealing with many new materials and technologies,” says NEU Executive Director Dean Frank, P.E. “There’s a confusing array of products on the market now and NEU has a responsibility to provide an educated background on the options.” On the heels of a successful stakeholder gathering, he adds, NEU is geared to work with members, allied organizations and federal agency representatives to help the industry understand and reach emissions reduction goals. 

Along with education and outreach priorities, summit participants learned about prospective agency support through Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act low carbon program funding or grants. With the opportunity to speak to federal agency representatives one-on-one, NEU members were able to understand what federal agencies are doing now and how their initiatives can help.

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