Advances in materials will allow the design of thin, lightweight concrete elements for more diverse applications. More than 100 concrete trout—each just 2 to 4 inches thick and weighing about 850 pounds—will soon ornament concrete retaining walls along the Calgary underpass shown on page 70. They are being cast with Ductal, Lafarge's ultra-high performance, fiber reinforced concrete that offers ductility, strength, durability and aesthetics.
Advances in materials will allow the design of thin, lightweight concrete elements for more diverse applications. More than 100 concrete trout—each just 2 to 4 inches thick and weighing about 850 pounds—will soon ornament concrete retaining walls along the Calgary underpass shown on page 70. They are being cast with Ductal, Lafarge's ultra-high performance, fiber reinforced concrete that offers ductility, strength, durability and aesthetics.

Fifty years ago, floor problems due to moisture were well recognized and many good practices established. Amazingly, our construction industry and facility owners still spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fix concrete floor slab moisture problems. Over the next 50 years we will make significant changes in our practices to eliminate these costs through education, availability of information, and partnering among levels of construction professionals: architects will consult with subcontractors and tradesmen before projects are bid; subcontractors will not be afraid to tell general contractors what they think and GCs will be more receptive to listening; buildings will be smarter and will monitor themselves from right after concrete placement; new high-tech floor designs and construction practices will shorten the path to occupancy from months to weeks.

Technology transfer from research to the field will be at our fingertips as design professionals have up-to-the-minute access to resources on materials performance and construction practices. While much good information is available, we daily run into design professionals and construction workers who are not educated about the state of the art. The most important mission of the next few decades is to bring all design professionals and workers to a high level of knowledge about the materials and methods they use.

—Howard Kanare

Read more prognostications by industry leaders on the next 50 years of concrete.