Sustainable Construction Materials

Concrete is the most handled material on earth second only to water. Concrete is the most durable, longest-lasting manmade material. Our society is built with concrete and the benefits are numerous. From buildings to bridges to water treatment facilities to dams and levees, modern society cannot survive without concrete. Sustainable concrete research at UMKC involves the use of new green materials, improving the durability of concrete, and applying new types of concrete for improved environmental benefits.

Recent and Current Research

Use of Pervious Concrete to Reduce Slip-Related Falls

Principal Investigator(s): John T. Kevern, Ph.D., LEED AP
Co-Principal Investigator(s): Gregory W. King, Ph.D.
Funded by: National Science Foundation, $40,000
Goal: Use of pervious concrete pavement, compared with traditional concrete, can potentially reduce slip-related falls because it allows water drainage away from its surface and prevents subsequent ice buildup. Therefore the purpose of this work is to compare biomechanical measures of gait when walking on traditional and pervious concrete surfaces. This work may lead to design recommendations on the use of pervious concrete as a safer walking surface.

Improving “Green” Concrete Durability with Soybean Oil

Principal Investigator(s): John T. Kevern, Ph.D., LEED AP
Funded by: University of Missouri Research Board, $28,100; University of Missouri-Kansas City, $6,938
Goal: As the general public becomes more concerned with environmental sustainability, many industries are looking to reuse/repurpose materials in lieu of using highly energy-intensive virgin material sources. Concrete containing high levels of fly ash and blast furnace slag replacement often result in poor surface durability when subjected to deicer salts. The goal of this study is to improve the durability of concrete containing high recycled material content using soybean oil to provide a more sustainable option for construction and development.