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As one of the most widely used construction components in the world, cement is a source of around 8% of carbon emissions.
In an effort to help cut down on that burden, researchers at Facebook parent company Meta recently set out to develop a less energy-intensive formula for the concrete it uses in its data centers, tapping machine learning to optimize for sturdiness and sustainability.
The company claims the project, a joint effort with a team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has now yielded a concrete-making method that’s 40% less carbon-intensive than the regional average of the Chicago-area data center where it’s been tested.
“Using the input data on concrete formulas along with their corresponding compressive strength and carbon footprint, the Al model was able to generate a number of promising new concrete mixes that could meet our stated data center requirements with a lower embodied carbon impact than the industry standard,”...