Document Type

Concrete and geopolymer materials paper

Publication details

South, W 2014, 'Resilience, resources and concrete', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. I, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 39-46. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



There is much evidence to support the contention that the earth’s climate is changing. In recent years sustainability – that is, efficient use of resources to ensure a positive legacy for future generations – has been a focus. However, resilience – the ability to withstand calamitous events and maintain utility – is emerging as a complimentary strategy.

Concrete, as the second most consumed material after water, is able to contribute to both the sustainability and resilience of the community. The concrete industry has responded to the mitigation requirements to ensure sustainability, while continuing to the durability and resilience of the built environment. Recent developments to reduce the embodied emissions of cement and other concrete binders are discussed. The cement and concrete industry, through the Cement Concretes and Aggregates Australia, is fully involved in communicating the life-cycle benefits of its products. It maintains and active research program (the CCAA Technology Plan) which evaluates improvements and updates metrics, as a means of demonstrating the environmental benefits of concrete.

Resilience has been elevated to a Commonwealth government priority. Through the review of building codes and Standards, the ability to provide sufficient resistance in structures by informed choice of building materials is examined. The whole supply chain is involved in this examination and recent developments in rating particular building materials and land use has served to underline the credentials of concrete as both a sustainable and resilient material.