Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Antonio Nanni

Second Committee Member

Nestore Galati

Third Committee Member

Fabio Matta

Fourth Committee Member

Ronald Zollo

Fifth Committee Member

Brian Metrovich


White cement has currently received increasing attention due to potential for use in sustainable concrete structures. Based on the U.S. Green Building Council certification practice, the LEED Green Building Rating System for New Construction and Major Renovation (LEED-NC) considers that the reflective quality of white surfaces may help to improve lighting efficiency and reduce temperature fluctuations, resulting in lower heating and cooling with reduction of related energy costs. In addition to the environmental impact, white concrete represents a valuable tool for the aesthetic acceptability of a structure, and can also offer important practical benefits in terms of safety (i.e., light reflection in the dark). In this thesis white concrete was combined with off-white rice husk ash and with a glass fibers reinforced polymer to obtain an innovative composite system able to: a) reduce the energy used for the production of the primary materials, b) decrease the temperature fluctuation in the building resulting in less energy needed for heating and cooling, and c) increase the life of the structure and thereby reduce energy usage for material disposal. It is evident that in applications where aesthetics is the driver, a great deal of attention needs to be devoted to the concrete mixture, but also to durability properties. To further improve the durability of white concrete, novel methodologies were introduced to study the corrosion mechanism of steel embedded in concrete and its effect on the color degradation of white surface. This study demonstrates the validity of the sustainable system made by white cement, OWRHA, and GFRP, and of the methodology introduce to evaluate corrosion and color degradation of reinforced concrete.


color degradation; corrosion; rice husk ash; spectrophotometry; white cement; sustainable constructions