Building Magazine


Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute creates committee on sustainable design

The Chicago-based Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has created a committee that will help develop concepts and techniques related to sustainable design for both architects and precast manufacturers. The committee met at PCI’s fall convention in October to outline goals and strategies.

“For several years, PCI has been working to aid architects in using precast concrete for sustainable design, but these efforts have been spread through all of our committees and staff work,” explains James G. Toscas, president. “This committee will focus those efforts and maximize the contribution we can make in this critical area.”

The committee sponsored several seminar programs during the fall convention, including arranging for the keynote speaker, Edward Mazria, an internationally recognized architect known for designs that feature a cutting-edge environmental approach. His published works include The Passive Solar Energy Book published by Rodale Press. The group also hosted panel discussions on “Sustainability 101” and “Plant Best Practices,” which discussed sustainable manufacturing concepts.

In addition to working to promote sustainable design concepts to architects, the group also is leading PCI’s efforts to improve environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques used by its PCI-Certified plants. These include optimizing material usage, making efficient use of water, reducing energy use and minimizing site disturbance.

The committee will collaborate with other organizations to research and develop design innovations and system solutions to existing challenges related to sustainable designs. A variety of programs are in the works for 2008, including development of a comprehensive Web site and producing fact sheets for targeted audiences.

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