2008-09 Concrete

The Associate of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ASCA) is pleased to announce the fourth annual CONCRETE THINKING FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD, International Student Design Competition. Administered by ACSA and sponsored by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) 

& the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the program is intended to challenge students, working 

individually or in teams, to investigate an innovative application of portland cement-based materials to achieve 

sustainable design objectives.

This fourth annual Concrete Thinking For A Sustainable World competition offers two separate entry categories, each without site restrictions, for maximum flexibility.

Category I Transit Hub Design an environmentally responsible Public Transportation Center focusing on architectural innovations to preserve tomorrow’s resources.

Category II Building Element Design a single element of a building that provides a sustainable solution to real-world environmental challenges.

In its simplest form, concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates. The paste, composed of portland cement and water, coats the surface of the fine and coarse aggregates. Through a chemical reaction called hydration, the paste hardens and gains strength to form the rock-like mass known as concrete. Within this process lies the key to a remarkable trait of concrete: it’s plastic and malleable when newly mixed, strong and durable when hardened. These qualities explain why one material—concrete—can build high-rise skyscrapers and houses, bridges and basements, sidewalks and superhighways. You can find more information on concrete and portland cement by visiting the Portland Cement Association’s Web site at www.Cement.org and on sustainable solutions using cement at www.ConcreteThinker.com

The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development stated, “sustainable development attempts to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainably designed buildings aim to lessen their impact on our environment through energy and resource efficiency. The building industry—encompassing the design, construction and manufacturing industries—is working to promote buildings that are healthy, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective places to live and work. The goal is to minimize natural resource use while enhancing social and economic benefits.

The purpose of this competition is to explore and create ideas and applications utilizing portland cement-based solutions for sustainable designs.

The focus of this competition is to craft an investigation, identify a design improvement and create a solution containing concrete or any portland cement-based application as a key building material.

Concrete Competition Program (PDF)