When nano-scale particles in concrete rearrange themselves, the life of a building can be shortened. Luckily, researchers have figured out how to make buildings stronger. It’s one more element in the changing world of concrete.

MIT researchers have pieced together one of the oldest mysteries in construction – why concrete breaks down. The answer could help buildings, bridges and other structures last far longer than they do today.

Longer-lasting structures, of course, would directly help reduce the carbon dioxide generated in manufacturing concrete – 5 percent to 8 percent of the total manmade CO2 comes from making concrete – and eliminate tons of waste by curbing building demolition.

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