Improvements in competitiveness and sustainability of concrete construction have in the past been achieved through research and development undertaken in concrete technology, structural design, and the construction process. These areas of research have received sponsorship from private and public sectors with a general belief that the research in the individual fields could be initiated, planned and funded separately
and that progress can be achieved by simply combining the outputs sequentially. Such an
approach would appear to ignore the need for integration and collective consideration of research in these fields, which is arguably the most effective way to serve the concrete industry as a whole towards achieving the following basic expectations concerning its competitiveness and the principles of sustainable development:
(1) Concrete construction should be economical, efficient and high-tech.
(2) Present practices in concrete construction should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and, therefore, the concrete industry should seek to make optimum use of materials (cement and steel) and minerals (sand and gravel, and crushed rock) and take measures for management of waste, e.g. reducing waste, recycling concrete aggregate, and reusing other waste products.