A committee that will work to develop sustainable design techniques and concepts was created by the Chicago-based Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). The group met in October 2007 to outline its goals and strategies.
According to James G. Toscas, president at PCI, "PCI has been working to aid [professionals] in using precast concrete for sustainable design, but these efforts have been spread through all of our committees and staff work." Jim Lewis, committee chairman, adds, "Owners and architects are actively seeking information that will help them create sustainable designs that are cost effective, functional, and efficient."
Several programs were sponsored by the committee this fall, and the group also hosted panel discussions on "Sustainability 101" and "Plant Best Practices," which highlighted sustainable manufacturing concepts.
Leading PCI's efforts to improve environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques used by PCI-Certified plants, the group helps companies optimize material usage, use water efficiently, reduce energy use, and minimize site disturbance. "Our goal," says Lewis, "is to help precasters meet achievable but stringent goals to reduce the industry's environmental, societal, and economic impact."
The committee will collaborate with other organizations in research and development for design innovations and system solutions to existing challenges related to sustainable design. For 2008, the committee is planning a variety of works, including developing a comprehensive website and producing fact sheets for targeted audiences. For more information on the committee's work, contact Emily Lorenz at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit (www.pci.org).