September 9, 2017, 11am PDT
A versatile building material with a long pedigree, concrete also has associations with ugliness and totalitarianism. Its reinforced variety, widely used today, can conceal a costly flaw.
March 8, 2017, 8am PST
Headlined by vertical (and horizontal) sprawl in China, India, and elsewhere, the global building boom requires vast quantities of concrete and asphalt. And to get those materials, sand must be taken from the environment.
June 17, 2013, 12pm PDT
Portland cement doesn't come close to matching the resiliency of the concrete created by ancient Romans. After years of research, scientists believe they've unraveled the ingredients and production techniques that made Roman concrete so superior.
March 22, 2013, 8am PDT
A growing "sand scandal" in Shenzhen may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the quality of concrete used in constructing China's skyscrapers. The construction of what was to have become the country's tallest building has been halted.
June 5, 2012, 8am PDT
Michael J. Coren has a preview of an MIT report that lays out the economic and environmental benefits of stiffer pavement.
March 5, 2011, 11am PST
Toronto's City Hall is a massive concrete structure. Oddly, so was all its furniture, which was included with the original design. <em>99% Invisible</em> looks at this unconventional design choice, and the legacy of that furniture.
February 23, 2010, 12pm PST
When you think of sidewalks, you most likely think of concrete. Though it makes up the vast majority of sidewalks, concrete isn't the only game in town.
July 9, 2009, 8am PDT
As oil prices rise, so does the cost of asphalt. Concrete, historically more expensive, is now becoming a viable cost competitor. Because of its lighter shade, its also been shown to contribute less to climate change.
May 7, 2009, 9am PDT
Advances in material development have brought to the market a new type of concrete that can bend under pressure and heal cracks with the addition of water.
March 31, 2009, 2pm PDT
Concrete in a Minneapolis bridge replacing that which collapsed in 2007 is made of a concoction that boasts less environmental impact and durability. And it's self-cleaning.