Developing an engineering approach for migrating from prescriptive to performance-based specification for concrete

Sreejith Nanukuttan, P. A. Muhammed Basheer, W. John McCarter, Tang Luping

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The integral variability of raw materials, lack of awareness and appreciation of the technologies for achieving quality control and lack of appreciation of the micro and macro environmental conditions that the structures will be subjected, makes modern day concreting a challenge. This also makes Designers and Engineers adhere more closely to prescriptive standards developed for relatively less aggressive environments. The data from exposure sites and real structures prove, categorically, that the prescriptive specifications are inadequate for chloride environments. In light of this shortcoming, a more pragmatic approach would be to adopt performance-based specifications which are familiar to industry in the form of specification for mechanical strength. A recently completed RILEM technical committee made significant advances in making such an approach feasible.
Furthering a performance-based specification requires establishment of reliable laboratory and on-site test methods, as well as easy to perform service-life models. This article highlights both laboratory and on-site test methods for chloride diffusivity/electrical resistivity and the relationship between these tests for a range of concretes. Further, a performance-based approach using an on-site diffusivity test is outlined that can provide an easier to apply/adopt practice for Engineers and asset managers for specifying/testing concrete structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the RILEM International Conference on Materials, Systems and Structures in Civil Engineering 2016
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-35158-173-5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2016
EventRilem International Conference 2016: Materials, Systems and Structures in Civil Engineering - Technical University Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 15 Aug 201619 Aug 2016


ConferenceRilem International Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleMSSCE 2016
Internet address


  • concrete
  • Specification
  • testing
  • modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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