Making Better Concrete

Making Better Concrete; Guidelines to Using Fly Ash for Higher Quality, Eco-Friendly Structures
Bruce King 2005
ISBN 0-9764911-0-9
Paperback 53 pages

HFAC concrete is being increasingly required for buildings to achieve environmental approvals and meet building requirements. This book is the only guide for builders and design professionals on how to work with it. Coal fly ash and other pozzolans are abundant industrial waste products that happen to be an excellent ingredient in concrete all over the world as a means to greatly reduce the use of portland cement, while increasing concrete strength and durability. Production of portland cement accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gases, making fly ash an attractive alternative for global economic, health and environmental reasons. The use of fly ash as a performance-enhancing ingredient in concrete is one of the most outstanding examples of industrial ecology i.e. making effective use of waste resources, and ultimately eliminating the concept of waste altogether.

HFAC concrete was used by the Romans before the invention of portland cement, and many of their buildings, such as the Pantheon in Rome, still stand in testimony of its durability and beauty. Making Better Concrete will explain why HFAC concrete is better, and will provide your team with the information it needs to use it.

Look Inside

Back Cover
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 


“This is the best and most readable ‘how to’ guide for using high fly ash concrete — highly recommended. Using HFA concrete is a win-win-win solution: it makes better concrete, costs less, and has a greater environmental benefit than almost any other primary building material out there.” – Scott Shell, Architect
“Finally, a book on HFA concrete written so we can all understand it. I will make this required reading by everyone in Tech Services, Operations and Sales.” – Burt Lockwood, Central Concrete Supply
“Making Better Concrete covers all the basics, beginning with a history of fly ash and pozzolans and descriptions of the common (and some not-so-common) materials with pozzolanic properties. King then explains how they work, how to specify them, and how to work with the resulting mix on the job site. The book wraps up with a summary of the performance and environmental benefits of using fly ash and a series of appendices containing sample mixes and listings of useful resources. Best of all, the entire text has King’s friendly, self-effacing, and humorous voice, which makes it as easy to read as anything this technical could be.” – Environmental Building News
“Who should read this book? Architects, building designers, builders, engineers, concrete suppliers and subcontractors, and anyone else who wants to use fly ash easily and effectively. If you use concrete in your work, Making Better Concrete is the book for you.” – The Last Straw
“This is a compact little book that should be required reading for all architects, engineers and builders. Concrete made with some fly ash has very few down sides and many advantages over concrete made with only portland cement. As an architect, I see little reason to ever specify concrete without using some fly ash in every mix.” – review

About the Author

Bruce King earned a degree in Architectural Engineering from University of Colorado, Boulder, and has worked on commercial and residential buildings throughout the world from every kind of material. San Francisco high rises to New Mexico adobes, to Scottish lime to Mongolian straw bale, every project presents challenges and opportunities to build for economic and energy efficiency, while maintaining standards of safety and comfort. King’s first book, Buildings of Earth and Straw, (1996) is a direct result of working on his first straw bale project, the Real Goods Solar Living Center in Hopland, CA, after discovering the lack of information for design professionals and lay people who wanted to work with alternative materials. His subsequent books, Making Better Concrete (2005) and Design of Straw Bale Buildings (2006) provide essential “how-to” guides for working with ecologically-friendly building materials. King is also founder of the Ecological Building Network, a non-profit committed to providing technical information on green building, and a founder of Green Building Press. He consults with clients throughout the world on building with alternative materials, has contributed to many books and publications, and gives lectures and seminars on the future of building in a post-oil world. He has produced three international conferences on alternative building materials, and, in addition, he serves as an advisor to many companies, including Serious Energy, CalStar Products, Carbon Leadership Form, Green Building Advisor, Oryzatech, California Straw Building Association and others. He lives with his wife and two children, along with assorted furred and feathered companions, in San Rafael, California.

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