Farewell speech prof.dr.ir. K. van Breugel (CiTG): concrete

27 September 2019 15:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

The Model: Vehicle for Glory and Damage

Science and technology are inconceivable without the use of models. Models describe reality or pieces of it. We often accept -  for a variety of reasons - that models are a reduction of reality. Models for concrete are a good example of a rigorous simplification of reality in view of their applicability in the practice. Nevertheless, the entire built environment is difficult to imagine without concrete and the use of models for this material. Today, however, the question rises whether the large-scale use of concrete hasn’t violated reality so much that the society has now to pay for it. “Concrete is tipping us into climate catastrophe. It’s payback time”, Vidal writes in the Gardian Concrete Week in 2019. Is the situation really that dramatic? This presentation is about the impact of the construction industry on the environment, what climate change means for the lifetime of our infrastructure, who has to pay for the effect of climate change on our infrastructure and what we can still do about it.