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Sustainability Visionary Jean-Claude Roumain

One of the driving forces in the push to turn rice hull ash into a viable commercial product is one-time Holcim (US) Inc. corporate product manager Jean-Claude

One of the driving forces in the push to turn rice hull ash into a viable commercial product is one-time Holcim (US) Inc. corporate product manager Jean-Claude Roumain, who retired recently from the company's Mountain Region office in Louisville, Colo., to become an independent consultant on sustainability in concrete and cement.

Roumain was instrumental in helping Holcim create the Envirocare family of cementitious materials (below), which were launched in late 2006 at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild Conference. The line spans nine pozzolanic, blended and specialty binder products Û including the well-established GranCem slag cement brand Û each processed or formulated to replace portland cement in concrete at varying levels.

With consulting clients already in place, Roumain says that his philosophy toward sustainability and service-life technology has always been to look at a concrete structures as their own sustainable technology. The process that goes into making a building last 30 years isn't that far removed from making it last 50 years, he explains. Or a bridge that is designed to last 75 years, why don't we come up with a way that, with just a few adjustments, it can be made to last 100 or 200 years. My goal will be to take on projects and find ways to enhance or extend the life of a structure.

Roumain says the focus of his consulting business, JC Roumain LLC (

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), will be advising clients on both technology and certain products to help them improve their sustainable practices.