The Past, Present and Future of Concrete Construction
Concrete has always been the major construction material since the historical past, at present and will continue into the future. This presentation covers the period from the first UK design code (CP 114, 1957) in UK to the current European design code (BS EN 1992-1-1: 2004) and their associated standards on concrete and its constituent materials. The 10th Professor Chin Fung Kee Memorial Lecture in 2000 on “Concrete: From 2000 psi to 80 MPa and Beyond” was delivered before the adoption of Eurocodes. This new system is based on performance approach, in place of the more prescriptive approach of the former UK system. Engineering education and practice have to meet the changes with updated knowledge to benefit from these advances in design, materials and construction. The main emphasis is on changes in concrete with new types of cement, addition, admixture and the diminishing stock of aggregates. Replacing the traditional reliance on past experience with innovative approaches in concrete technology based on acceptance of rational performance criteria leads to progress in the construction industry. The progressive advances over the past six decades provided by personal experience have transferred through the teaching, research and development of new concrete concepts in concrete technology to the construction industry. There is also an urgent need to look into the future direction for concrete and the associated challenges ahead with the expected global warming to achieve higher levels of strength, consistence and durability for a sustainable concrete construction industry.