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Benefits  > Minimize Site Disruption
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green design constructionThe goal of minimizing site disturbance during and after construction is to:
  • Conserve existing natural areas
  • Restore damaged areas
  • Provide habitat and promote biodiversity

These site development strategies are implemented by carefully siting the building to minimize disturbance to existing ecosystems, restoring damaged areas, and designing the building to minimize its footprint.

Trees can be protected during construction by avoiding compaction and disturbance of soil around the building at the job site, especially soil over roots. In addition, the area under tree drip lines should be fenced and made off-limits to all foot and vehicular traffic, and tree trunks and exposed branches should be well protected with strong wood barriers. Arranging truck access to minimize the need for trucks to re-position or turn around will also help protect the site.


green design constructionConcrete buildings can be designed with tuck under parking. This reduces the amount of land needed for parking lots and increases the amount that can be left as natural areas.

Using ready mixed concrete helps reduce site disturbance because:
  • Concrete is brought to the site when ready to be placed, and does not require storage at the site.
  • Only the quantities needed are brought to the site. Extra concrete is returned in the ready mix truck. New concrete generally does not contribute to construction waste.

    In addition, special concrete applications are possible to limit the disturbance around construction areas. For example, truck traffic around the site during concrete pours can be minimized by placing concrete with a boom pump or using self-compacting concrete (SCC) which is fluid enough that large areas can be placed from one point.
Using precast concrete helps reduce site disturbance because:
  • Precast concrete elements are brought to the site when ready to be erected.
  • Fewer trucks and less time are required for construction because concrete is made off-site; this is particularly beneficial in urban areas where minimizing traffic disturbance is critical.
  • Precast units are normally large pieces, so greater portions of the building are completed with each activity.
  • Less noise is present at the construction site because concrete is made offsite.
  • Waste is minimal because only needed precast elements are delivered to the site
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Located at BookstoreConcrete Pipe Design Manual (2004)
American Concrete Pipe Association, #01-101, 330 pages
Available for $45 member, $22.50 non-member. An indispensable tool to help engineers select the type, size, and strength requirements of pipe. It eliminates the lengthy computations previously required. The manual includes standard installations using the indirect design method. More than 330 pages of tables and figures covering hydraulics of sewers and culverts, live loads and earth loads, supporting strengths and supplemental design data are listed. Detailed example problems of specific applications illustrate the use of the time saving design aids included in the manual.
Located at BookstorePervious Concrete Pavements (2004)
Paul D. Tennis, Michael L. Leming, and David J. Akers, Portland Cement Association, Item Code EB302, 36 pages
Available for $25. Pervious concrete as a paving material has seen renewed interest due to its ability to allow water to flow through itself to recharge groundwater and minimize stormwater runoff. This introduction to pervious concrete pavements reviews its applications and engineering properties, including environmental benefits, structural properties, and durability. Both hydraulic and structural design of pervious concrete pavements are discussed, as well as construction techniques.
Download DocumentConcrete in Practice No. 38 - Pervious Concrete (2004)
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, 2 pages.
Available for free. Concrete In Practice-Pervious Concrete is a one-page information sheets on important technical topics, written in a non-technical "What, Why and How?" format.
Download DocumentFreeze Thaw Resistance of Pervious Concrete (2004)
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, 17 pages
Available for free. There have been several pervious concrete pavement projects in dry and wet freeze areas demonstrating good field performance over several years. Recommendations for successful performance of pervious concrete pavements under the various freeze-thaw conditions have been provided. There is limited experience of performance of pervious concrete pavements in hard wet freeze areas. Therefore, in such areas utmost care must be taken. Pervious pavements should be placed by an experienced installer and the pavement structure and surrounding details should be designed to accommodate the anticipated water flow and drainage requirements.
Download DocumentNo Pipe Dream: Concrete Serves Water Users Best (2000)
Environmental Council of Concrete Organizations, #EV23, 4 pages
Available for free. Manufactured for endurance. Concrete pipe is the recognized leader in service life among buried pipe products. This four-page bulletin describes why water users are best served by concrete transmission and distribution systems.
Download DocumentPervious Concrete Mixtures and Properties (2004)
Portland Cement Association, CT043, 8 pages
Available for free. Pervious concrete is ideally suited as a solution to stormwater management issues with added environmental benefits. The large void content designed into this specialty concrete allows water to pass through rapidly, minimizing runoff and recharging groundwater supplies. Also known as permeable concrete, porous concrete, gap-graded concrete, no-fines concrete, and enhanced porosity concrete, pervious concrete can be used in a wide range of applications, although its primary use is in pavements.
Download DocumentPervious Concrete Pavement: A Win-Win System (2003)
Dan Brown, P.E., Portland Cement Association, CT032, 9 pages
Available for free. Use of Pervious Concrete Pavements Helps Owners and the Environment.
Download DocumentUnderstanding Pervious Concrete (2005)
Dan Huffman, Construction Specifier Institute, December 2005, 9 pages
Available for free. While pervious concrete pavement has been around for more than 20 years, it has only recently garnered much attention due to increasingly stringent stormwater management guidelines that now position the product as a sustainable building material. Pervious concrete provides the potential for environmentally responsible site use and lowered construction costs in projects ranging from a simple sidewalks, driveways and patios, to major pedestrian plazas and full-blown multi-acre parking lots for national commercial big box builders.