Sjálfútleggjandi steinsteypa.


Valgerður Sverrisdóttir,
iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra

Ráðstefna um sjálfútleggjandi steinsteypu,
haldin á Hótel Nordica, 18. ágúst 2003.

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Representatives of the scientific community from all over the world.

On behalf of the Icelandic Government I am pleased to welcome you all to Iceland, the land of fire and ice. It is a great honour for Iceland to play host to so many guests, and we are well aware that many of you have had a long and tiring journey to reach our country.

Concrete is the most used construction material in the world and, if correctly composed, it can be very durable, the witness of that is the Pantheon temple in Rome erected about two-thousand years ago and still in good condition. In Iceland, concrete is especially important since it is the only construction material fully domestic, and you have probably noticed that most constructions in Iceland are made of concrete. In spite of extremely harsh climatic condition our experience with concrete is good, even though you can find here as well as in other places examples of poor concrete.

Our most serious problem used to be alkali-silica reactions in concrete, common in buildings before 1979. It leads to intensive research on preventive actions and now we believe that this problem has been solved, no significant damage due to alkali silica reaction has been reported for more than twenty years. This is a striking example how research and development can save the society huge maintenance cost. In no other country has this problem been solved in such an effective and economical way.

    Self-compacting concrete, as I have been informed, is one of the largest steps for the last 50 years in developing high quality concrete. It flows like a pure liquid while conventional concrete is stiff, not easy to handle and has to be formed in place by heavy vibrator. This new technology affects the entire community, not least the working conditions at the building site where the hard labour, as placing concrete has always been, is now replaced by a clean and labour-friendly methods. Furthermore, the durability of concrete is increased significantly by use of self-compacting concrete and may thus save the society considerable resources in maintenance costs.

    Ladies and gentlemen,
    Sharing knowledge is the most vital part of any development process and it is enjoyable to see so many active participants in that development. Accordingly, it gives me great pleasure, as Minister of Industry to see the high professional goals set by the organizers and participants of this conference. I hope these goals will be met and I now declare the third International RILEM symposium on Self-Compacting concrete open. I hope that your work here will prove fruitful and that all of you who have come from overseas will enjoy your stay in our country.


    Valgerður Sverrisdóttir