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Concrete has general properties, including versatility, resilience, durability, and relatively low cost, that make it the most widely used building material in the world. Architects, engineers, researchers, and concrete practitioners have immeasurable opportunities to incorporate sustainable development into their selection of materials for the manufacture of concrete.

The immediate and direct connection between sustainable development and concrete materials includes efficient use of materials (conservation, substitution, reuse, repurposing, and recycling), materials life-cycle assessment, replacement materials (scarcity, resource availability, and materials economics), energy (materials to support alternative energy technologies, to mitigate problems with fossil-fuel technologies, and to increase energy efficiency), mitigation of undesirable environmental impacts from technology and economic growth (corrosion, pollution, and toxic waste), and water purification. Information is presented to assist in the development of practical knowledge and selection of materials used in concrete manufacture.