Most of the achieved advances related to define standardized methodologies to quantify the contribution to “sustainabilize” the construction are linked to buildings rather than infrastructures, and much more in particular to housing. Global impact on housing is the widest and highest one, gathering the three sustainable axis: environmental (greenhouse gas emissions derived from heating or cooling to reach indoor comfort conditions), social (home is a basic need for families) and economic (it usually represents the main expense over the life of people). Meanwhile civil engineering work has not evolved as long on this topic. Although we generally refer to greater constructions, sustainable impacts are more diffused and don´t have such a direct repercussion into the citizens and daily life. For this reasons, there are not as many assessment methods for civil engineering works as there are for buildings, or even any literature regarding this field. Therefore it may implies a technical and promotional handicap to promote a higher use of precast concrete elements in a sort of constructions governed by engineers that usually appreciate better their performance advantages. This article pretends to describe the strengths that precast concrete construction will have into the upcoming standards for civil engineering works, in order to enhance their possibilities to reach a greater market share. Sustainable indicators on current draft standards will be assessed.
López-Vidal, A.; Yepes, V. (2015). Towards sustainable civil engineering works using precast concrete solutions. Concrete Plant International, 5: 18-24. (link)