American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Green Concrete: A Holistic Perspective (1.5 SDs)

AIA San Francisco
130 Sutter Street
Suite 600
San Francisco, CA
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Cement production is one of the leading CO2 producers in the world. As we strive to meet the 2030 Challenge, it is critical that we revisit our standard materials and design methodologies to develop more environmentally friendly products and designs. Toward this endeavor the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) has developed a sustainability initiatives program, which rates concrete-plant production efficiencies and allows consumers to purchase from more environmentally friendly plants. As NRMCA begins this program, we must ask: what is the impact that we can expect to see on our professions as designers, contractors, and owners? This session will provide an overview of NRMCA’s certification program; discuss the impacts on owners, contractors, and designers; and present an ambitious and successful case study on cement reduction.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how the NRMCA system will impact your projects in terms of LEED, CalGreen, and Architecture 2030
  2. Learn how to adjust your specifications to provide for PCR’s and sustainable concrete plant guidelines before the products are available to the mainstream.
  3. Determine the possible cost implications of this new system and the impact this will have on designers, contractors and owners
  4. Learn the environmental benefits of implementing PCR’s and the implications for future market products


Lionel Lemay, SE, LEED AP, is Sr. Vice-President, Sustainable Development, for the NRMCA. He manages programs that assist producers, contractors, and designers to transform concrete manufacturing and construction to improve the overall sustainability of the concrete industry and that educate concrete-industry professionals, engineers, and architects on the proper use and design of concrete for buildings, parking areas, roadways, and other applications. He has written numerous articles on concrete construction and is co-author of McGraw-Hill's Insulating Concrete Forms for Residential Design and Construction.

Chris Grimmer, LEED AP, has been with Nibbi Brothers General Contractors since 1999. As a Nibbi's Concrete Project Manager, Chris has worked on some of the company’s most technically complex concrete projects, including the $16M El Camino Hospital project and the $10.8M Avalon@Mission Bay, Phase III, project. Chris currently is working on Mission Bay Block II, a $90M multifamily housing project in the burgeoning Mission Bay District. Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from California State University, Chico.

Brook Mebrahtu is a senior project manager with the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Public Works for the last 17 years. In that capacity, he served as project designer, project lead, construction manager, and--for the last 9 years--as project manager for various types of projects, servicing several departments for City and County of SF. His wide-ranging role as project manager have included planning, obtaining regulatory approvals, managing full client relationships, managing architectural and engineering firms throughout the design phase, and overseeing construction through close out. He has worked on some of the city's most interesting and challenging projects, such as the California Academy of Sciences, the Joe Lee Recreation Center, Parque Ninos Unidos, and Rossi Park. Most recently, Brook has served as project manager for the 277,500 gsf, $145.5M San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters building, which is slated to earn LEED Platinum certification and on which six different green-concrete mixes were responsible for a net savings of 7.4 million lb of carbon emissions. Brook received a BArch from the University of California at Berkeley.