The Concrete Research Roadmap

In partnership with the Building Research Associa on of NZ (BRANZ), the Cement & Concrete Associa on of NZ (CCANZ) has developed a research roadmap around the theme of resilience.

Canvassing opinion from within the concrete industry, along with other stakeholders, the roadmap identifies common research areas and articulates these as a series of goals. Specific research projects to achieve these goals form the final component of the Roadmap.

A common problem with a research strategy is to accept that demand exceeds the resources available. As such the exercise quickly becomes, consciously or not, one of prioritisation.

The Roadmap therefore acknowledges that prioritisation may occur, but it will be an outcome of understanding research needs. A successful roadmap will ensure everyone benefits, and that engagement will continue even if some sector needs don’t appear to be met immediately.

There are a number of incentives for pursuing research across the concrete industry, ranging from academic interest through to product development. It’s critical in a small economy such as New Zealand, with a limited number of experts, that our research efforts are suitably focused.

The Roadmap assumes that New Zealand cannot attempt to be world-leading in all possible disciplines, but rather a mixture of customer, innovator and occasionally front-runner. The Roadmap defines these roles as adopt, adapt and adept.

To ensure the methodology for arriving at the Roadmap is inclusive, concrete related concerns across the supply chain were accounted for – from constituent materials, concrete supply, design and construction, ownership and maintenance, as well as end-of-life.

  • Adopt – a customer of products, expertise and technologies developed elsewhere. Examples include imported cement, admixtures and structural design innovations
  • Adapt – informed selection of existing products and services but with a significant adaptation. An example might include adapting concrete admixtures for high UV levels
  • Adept – widely acknowledged as domain specific experts. An example being capacity design principles developed by Paulay, Park and Priestley at the University of Canterbury.
“There are a number of incentives for pursuing research across the concrete industry, ranging from academic interest through to product development.”

The complex interaction between these stages of the supply chain was considered,along with their relationship with investors,
project managers and consultants. A number of common themes based around security of supply, adoption of overseas technology and workforce demographics and capability were identified in the first phase of the project.

Many respondents were looking to build and support expertise within disciplines and across stakeholders.
The final list of project areas identified included overseas concrete formulations/practices, carbon pricing, demographics, investor incentives and materials science.

The hope is that the industry will take up the challenge of adopting the results of this project. Developing the Concrete Sector’s 10 Year Research Roadmap can be downloaded from the BRANZ website;

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