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Issue 8.1

Concrete and Development: Context-driven Formwork Design for Scalable, Accessible and Low-carbon Concrete Structures

Society is building at an unprecedented rate: building stock will need to double by 2060 (UNEP 2021), adding over 230 billion m2 (24.7 billion ft.2) of floor area in new construction, equivalent to a new Paris every week (Abergel et al. 2017). Most of this construction will occur in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs). This article advocates using materially efficient design methods that enable sustainable development through scalable, low-cost, low-carbon concrete structural systems for LEDC construction. This article presents a generalized framework for evaluating contextual design and fabrication methods before demonstrating its use by evaluating several lab-scale structurally optimized prototypes. It begins with a discussion of the motivating factors for low-carbon concrete construction in LEDCs. 

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