Session Descriptions


ACI International Update: New Initiatives for Advancing the Concrete Industry
Presented by Cary Kopczynski, ACI President, CEO and Senior Principal of Cary Kopczynski & Company (CKC)

Cary will provide an overview on ACI’s expanding global footprint, which now includes over 30,000 members in more than 100 countries. In addition, he will share a sneak peek at a major new ACI initiatives to be introduced late this year that will focus on improving the constructability of structural design and the productivity of concrete construction. Cary and ACI leadership are developing a multidimensional program that will tackle the productivity challenge head-on.

This exciting initiative will be spearheaded through a new ACI Center of Excellence – a separate entity that will be formed under the ACI umbrella, the new center will assist the industry in improving construction productivity, with the initial focus being the constructability of structural design.

Cary will also discuss ACI’s new center of Excellence for Carbon Neutral Concrete that will be introduced this spring. It, too, will a separate entity under the ACI umbrella and will help unify, focus and support the efforts of many people, organizations, and trade associations working in the sustainability arena.

Development of a Universal 3D printable concrete solution
Presented by Henrik Lund-Nielsen & Davide Zampini

The use of 3D printing in construction projects is gaining ground on a global scale given that this new construction method has the potential to deliver significant savings due to efficient use of materials and less need for labor combating an increasingly scarce availability of skilled labor as well as offer new advantages in terms of form freedom.
However, virtually all projects to date have been printed, not with real concrete, but with 3DCP bagged / ready-to-mix dry mix mortars characterized by a very high cement content. Various suppliers have emerged on a global scale to assist the adoption of 3D printing by providing convenient ready-to-mix dry mortar solutions that are relatively easy to apply in the various 3DCP systems and demonstration projects.
A serious negative consequence of using the convenient dry mix mortar process combined with the high cement content is that the cost of the mortar per ton is many times higher than if an ordinary ready-mix concrete had been used. Hence, for large scale 3DCP “industrial” projects the potential labor savings risk being more than offset by higher materials prices with little overall economic gain from using the new construction method as a result.
For the 3DCP method to conquer market share on a global scale, an inexpensive and robust ready mix 3D printable concrete made from local available cement and raw materials must be applied. However, thus far such a solution did not exist.
The presentation presents a first solution, which has enabled the fabrication of 3D printable concrete based on local cement and raw materials anywhere on the globe. The presentation describes the results from the application of the solution in two prototype projects in Angola and Denmark, and further results obtained from rolling out the solution and using it in Malaysia, Japan, Oman and the US.

Technical challenges stand as barriers against codifying and standardizing the 3D printing technology application
Presented by Mansour Faried, MSc Cm, PMP, CCE

Absence of codes and standards regulating the application of 3D printing in construction industry is commonly claimed to be one of the major obstacles against the wider application of such promising technology in the field of construction, especially that this field is well known for its requirement of strict compliance with both of local and international codes.

The intention to develop some sort of regulation or standard to regulate this process has been confirmed by several entities, however those endeavors are still hindered by several barriers, and that also include the efforts been spent so far by the newly formed 3D printing committee under ACI UAE Chapter.

During this the presentation, those barriers will be further explored and elaborated base on real life cases, starting form understanding the basis of 3D printing principles, investigating some of the technical details related to the methodology which impact the standardization, and also shed the light of some non-technical barriers also which again slowing down the standardization efforts.

Innovative Materials and Systems While Navigating Building Code Compliance (Virtual)
Presented by Mahmut Ekenel, Ph.D., PE, FACI & Melissa Sanchez, S.E., LEED AP

Advances in technology are constantly opening doors in building construction as new materials or systems are developed faster, more efficient, lighter in weight, less labor-intensive, and even noncorrosive and reliable in terms of durability without any sacrifice in strength or performance. For example, how an innovative material or system, for example, 3D printing construction or modular construction systems, to name a few, can safely move into the marketplace and job sites while being in full compliance with the local building codes is the focus of this presentation.

This presentation explains how an alternative innovative construction material or construction method can be shown to comply with the building codes.

This presentation also presents several real-life case studies to explain the process of building code compliance.

Construction Challenges for Outer Space Resilient Infrastructure
3D-Printing Optimized Concrete-like materials for Lunar Construction

Hunain Alkhateb, Professor, The University of Mississippi

NASA has been looking to advance 3D printing construction (3DPC) systems through Moon to Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technology (MMPACT) new program. The major research goal for MMPCAT is to develop, deliver and demonstrate on-demand capabilities to protect astronauts and create infrastructure on the lunar surface.

Our collaborative research with NASA-Marshall builds upon published data for Moon and Mars construction materials, testing, and in-space environmental experiments. One major existing issue underlying all NASA's construction materials research is the cost of payloads and indigenous availability of materials. Any optimization for construction materials that would reduce the payload necessary to build the infrastructure will drastically reduce the cost (current estimates: $1.2M/Kg). Another major challenge that the research needs to address is the lunar environmental hazards, besides the landing plumes.

Four major research themes need to be evaluated to address these underlying and many other challenges:

1. Construction materials design and optimization;
2. High-fidelity computational efforts to study the effects of extreme environmental conditions on selected materials' performance;
3. Validation of the environmental deterioration mechanisms;
4. Performance optimization of on-ground, large-scale construction technologies and validation of in-space, small-scale 3D printing processes. Generated data need to be analyzed via machine learning algorithms and utilized for down selection purposes.

Dr. Alkhateb's presentations will address some of the 3D-printing (3DP) lunar construction challenges and requirements. She will give an update on ongoing developments and optimizations of potential materials.


NEx Introduction
Jerzy Z. Zemajtis, Ph.D., P.E

NEx is being established between the American Concrete Institute, a leading global authority for the development, dissemination, and adoption of its consensus-based standards, technical resources, and educational, training, and certification programs, and Aramco Americas, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Aramco, the world leader in integrated energy and chemicals.

Nonmetallic polymer-based materials are increasingly being deployed across multiple industries and offer exciting new possibilities for all types of construction. Incorporation of nonmetallic materials and products in the built environment may contribute to improved sustainability, durability and resilience of structures.

Nex focuses on accelerating the use of nonmetallic materials and products in the building and construction sector. With industries such as oil and gas, construction, automotive, packaging, and renewables beginning to explore nonmetallic materials, NEx will focus on global collaboration to drive education, awareness, research, and technology adoption of nonmetallic building and construction materials.

ACI 318 PLUS Platform & ACI 318 Certification
Presented Khaled Nahlawi, Distinguished Engineer MACI

318 Plus links the content of one ACI document, 318 Code, with curated, related content from other ACI forms of information such as committee documents, periodicals, videos, and 3-D graphics. The platform allows each user to create their own sets of electronic notes for personal information and resources that can be shared with other individuals. The platform is built around ACI CODE-318-19 and the related design and detailing manuals.

The platform will continue to grow to include additional ACI documents. This presentation will provide an overview of the platform. In this presentation, the speaker will touch basis on a new upcoming 318 certification program.

The Role of US. Federal and States Authorities in Supporting the Innovation and Advances in Concrete Technology
Presented by Mohamed Idrissi, P.E, MACI, MSCE, LEED Associate, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),

The US. Federal and States Agencies have been the largest consumers in the concrete industry. In 2020, the US federal government spent 355.54 billion in public construction where most of these infrastructure projects depend heavily on ready-mix concrete. To ensure quality, meet the datelines, and to overcome construction challenges, the US Highway Agencies and their infrastructure experts entered a strategic partnership with the concrete industry leaders to conduct, manage and support research that expedite innovative solutions and deliver new technologies such as:

1) Solutions to reduce the ready-mix carbon footprint without sacrificing its quality and strength, 2) Technologies and approaches that improve long-term concrete durability and performance,

3) Effective solutions for concrete construction challenges in new construction and rehabilitation projects.

Notably, the Federal and State agencies continue to support innovation and advances in concrete technology. Today, most of US state highway agencies (DOTs) adopted the use of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) and consider it as an effective Acceleration Bridge Construction (ABC) method. In addition, the US.

The Department of Transportation (FHWA) through its Center of Accelerating Innovation identifies innovation in concrete and identifies opportunities to implement these innovations that best fit the needs of their respective State transportation program on the national level. Furthermore, every year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation PennDot develops four to eight innovations such as :

1) Certified Concrete Finishers Course,

2) UHPC for Bridge Preservation and Repair,

3) UHPC Connections for Prefabricated Bridge Elements.

The goal of this presentation is to inform the audience about the role of US federal and state authorities supporting the innovation and advances in concrete technology throughout:

Developing and funding long-term program that support and fund research in concrete and other construction material (i.e., FHWA Everyday Counts Innovation for a Nation on the Move)
Adopting and implementing new innovation and technologies in public-funded projects (example UHPC, Lightweight HPC.)

Develop standards and specifications for new innovation solutions

Enforce the implementation of latest codes, standards and specifications developed in the concrete such as ACI 301-16, 341.2R-14, 341.3R-07, 341.4R-16, 342R-16, 343R-95, 345.1R-16, 345.2R-13, 345R-11, 548.10-10, 548.8-07, and 548.9-08

Adopting policies to reduce carbon footprint of cement-based material

Fund projects that use green concrete material and provide tax credits for builders to adopt new materials

Advances in Development and Characterization of Sustainable Construction Materials
Presented by Kemal Celik, PhD, MACI

The building sector is responsible for approximately 37% of the global energy consumption, of which 85% is spent on cooling, heating, and lighting. The sector also accounts for 40% of the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Cement manufacturing which serves as the backbone of the construction industry contributes nearly 8% to the emissions.

This urges the need for investment in sustainable and low-carbon construction materials and their applications for more energy-efficient buildings. This talk will focus on our investigation into a few promising low-carbon alternatives to conventional Portland cement. The results of multi-scale experimental studies in performance enhancement and characterization of limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) produced with kaolinitic clay of various reactivity will be first presented. Then, I will discuss the promise of recovery and direct carbonation of brucite from desalination reject brine for use as a construction material. Finally, the 3D printability of cementitious materials containing cenospheres will be introduced. In particular, a focus will be on the morphology, microstructure, compressive strength, and thermal conductivity of the 3D printed matrix.

Sustainable Structures with Unidome Void Former Technology
Presented by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andrej Albert

In recent years, slabs and foundations with void formers have become very popular. This is mainly due to the fact that the use of this technology can save about 30% of concrete in the construction of a building, which has a great impact on CO2 emissions and the building's sustainability. Moreover, with Unidome's new and innovative technology, the costs for slabs and foundations with void formers are at the same time lower than for solid slabs and foundations.

The presentation will first briefly review 20 years of research and development of void formers used in structural components. Then the design and construction of slabs and foundations with void formers will be described and finally some project examples will be presented.

Innovative Materials and Techniques for Treating Leakage in Basements
The Use of 3D Laser Scanning to Prepare as Built Structural Drawings
Presented by John Young, Young Engineering Consultancy Services

Traditionally in temperate climates some degree of minor dampness or seepage into basements is permissible for areas with a basic utility such as car parking. However in the Middle East with the harsh aggressive groundwater it is critical to avoid any leakage to ensure the durability the concrete.

Conventionally leaks in leaking reinforced concrete basements have been treated with injection of polyurethane but this method has limitations for crack width depth and location and permanency. This paper will highlight how YECS have worked on projects that used innovative materials and techniques with the alternative techniques of acrylic curtain wall injection and/ use of crystalline hydrophilic waterproofing.

When there has been a hold in the construction process, resulting in partially complete structures or there is a need for refurbishment or change of use of buildings and the original drawings are not available there is a requirement to prepare as built structural drawings.

Traditionally this would involve extensive conventional field survey work and exploratory breakouts to verify concrete cover/details steel reinforcement details/layout. This paper will outline how YECS have carried out projects using 3D laser scanning and various nondestructive testing techniques on reinforced concrete to prepare as built structural drawings.

Sustainability of Concrete for Mega Projects
Presented by Suvendu Kumar Basak

World cement production is estimated to be more than 4.1 billion tonnes per annum and thus responsible for approximately 7% of global CO2 emissions. Construction of buildings and infrastructure relies heavily on concrete. Cement, being a key constituent material of concrete, contributes significantly to embodied carbon of concrete and therefore finding alternatives is key to more sustainable construction. Given the amount of concrete required for many infrastructure projects, reduction of the embodied carbon of concrete is vital in meeting the project’s environmental and sustainability goals - including the development of circular economy.

In this presentation, parametric study performed on the embodied carbon values of concrete is discussed. Furthermore, challenges, barriers, areas to focus and strategy to decarbonize concrete in mega infrastructure projects are presented.

The ACI UAE Chapter is looking forward to seeing you in Dubai