CEE's Dr. Lawrence Kahn recognized by the American Concrete Institute

Congratulations go out to Dr. Lawrence F. Kahn who was recently tapped by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) to receive the 2013 Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award.

A longtime member of the ACI, Kahn was recognized for his outstanding leadership of Committee 562, an ACI group which recently produced the first-ever standards to guide the evaluation, repair, and rehabilitation of concrete buildings. He will officially receive the Bloem award at ACI's annual conference, to be held in Nevada in March of 2014.

Kahn is pleased his past work on this issue has been recognized, but he is more interested in attaining the next goal: getting the regulations recognized by the International Existing Building Codes.

"That will take a few years to complete, but we've already been before the structural committee, and they are greatly in favor," said Kahn. "Now we need to get the U.S. building officials who vote on the codes."

Kahn’s dogged commitment to the improvement of the practice does not surprise his colleague, Karen and John Huff School Chair Dr. Reginald DesRoches.

“Larry is a great scholar, teacher, and mentor. I cannot think of anymore more deserving of this great honor," he said.

Prior to the issuance of the Committee 562 rules, the only guidelines for concrete rehabilitation were in ASCE 3141, which deals exclusively with seismic rehabilitation. More routine repair of concrete structures -- an industry estimated to generate as much as $20billion in annual business -- has been largely unregulated.

"People make the repairs, but there are no minimum standards for quality or safety," he said.

"In the U.S., current regulations essentially say if you're rehabbing a building, you should tear it down and build it new. Our purpose in issuing these rules is to make it safe and economical for building owners to renew their existing facilities. The ACI and the committee consider this to be a move that promotes sustainability, because if you re-use your materials, you do not need to expend additional resources to mine them, develop them, and purchase them. You already have them."