Source: Cement Association of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

To remind building designers and contractors across Canada of the benefits of using concrete for building and infrastructure projects, CAC is hosting Rediscover Concrete seminars and meetings. "Our seminars will engage decision makers across the country and encourage discussions surrounding the sustainability of cement and concrete for building and infrastructure projects," stated Michael McSweeney, CAC president and CEO.

When compared with other building and paving materials, concrete provides greater energy and fuel savings, lasts decades longer, and requires less frequent maintenance and rehabilitation. Lifecycle assessment studies have shown that concrete structures and roadways are cost effective and have a lower environmental impact when compared to other building materials. It is estimated that the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has saved as much as $45 million by awarding its ten most recent alternative bid tenders to concrete when compared to the lowest asphalt bids. Innovative building projects like Manitoba Hydro Place have achieved energy savings of as much as 70 percent when compared to conventional buildings of a similar size.

Committed to sustainable development and minimizing its footprint, the cement and concrete industry has placed a focus on reducing CO2 emissions both from the manufacture of cement as well as from strategic use of concrete in sustainable design. A recent major initiative of the industry was the introduction last year of a new cement, Contempra, that reduces CO2 emissions by 10 percent while producing concrete as strong and durable as the concrete produced with regular cement. When Contempra is fully adopted for all suitable applications, it will reduce CO2 emissions as much as taking 172,000 cars off the road or planting 23 million trees.

"Concrete is the future of building smart, sustainable communities," added Mr. McSweeney. "Using concrete for building and infrastructure projects is ideal because of its cost-effectiveness, durability, energy-efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions."

The seminar will be conducted from early October to early December, from St. John, Newfoundland, to Vancouver, B.C., kicking off in Quebec. A complete list of venues and dates can be found at rediscoverconcrete.cement.ca.

Each Rediscover Concrete event will be broken into two sessions: Moving Towards More Energy-Efficient, Greener Buildings (morning seminar); and Moving Towards a More Sustainable Infrastructure (afternoon seminar). Registration is available at the CAC website.

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