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In situ and pre cast concrete

Concrete lends itself well to forms of construction that control temperature through thermal mass -see the BPCF site for some useful downloads on the benefits of thermal mass. However Portland Cement is less sustainable -in fact Cement production has been recorded as the third ranking producer of CO2 in the world after transport and energy generation.

The impact can be reduced by using cements incorporating Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA), or 'Fly ash', a by-product of burning coal in power stations or Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag (GGBS), a by-product of the Iron industry.

Consider use of limecrete (lime recycles C02) instead of concretes based on Ordinary Portland Cement.

Use of recycled aggregate and steel reinforcement further reduces the impact.-see theAggregain website for more on this. Of course if you can recycle the aggregate on site from demolition works, then that is an ideal solution.

Recyclable formwork

To find out more about the sustainabilty of concrete visit

  • Aggregain -online guide to sustainable aggregates, including pulverised fuel ash -includes a directory of suppliers and specification guidance.
  • British Cement Association -he trade and research organisation that represents the interests of the UK's cement industry -loads of useful downloads on everything from coloured concrete to admixtures.
  • British Precast Concrete Federation -the trade association of precast concrete manufacturers -its aims are to promote precast concrete in construction market, and disseminate information. Very comprehensive set of international technical links.
  • Concrete Centre -for just about everything about concrete -information, images, cpd and research, as well as just plain inspiration with their image database.
  • Concrete Society -membership organisation providing cpd, technical development, professional/business networking and information services on concrete for the UK construction industry.
  • Mortar Industry Association -just about everything you need to know about mortar, with a series of data sheets on cement and lime mortars.
  • Slag Cement Association -US organisation promoting the use of slag cement, or ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS), which has been incorporated into concrete projects in the U.S. for over a century.
  • Phantom Crushers -
  • Red Rhino Crushers -compact mobile crushers to use onsite onsite and create substantial reductions in costs on skip-hire, landfill charges, haulage, manpower and space.
  • -website designed to inform anyone interested in knowing more about concrete, its sustainability and how it can be used in sustainable design and construction -downloadable guide to specifying sustainable concrete.
  • Wales Environmental Trust -creates new markets for recyclates such as aggregates.
Manufacturers and Products -In Situ Concrete
  • Beco -makers of Wallform, an insulating concrete formwork system (ICF) -polystyrene blocks are clipped together and filled with in situ concrete.
  • British Readymix Concrete Association -get it delivered to your door -directory of members and a number of dowloadable guides to using concrete.
  • Clayboard -a unique, environmentally friendly void former and foundation stabiliser developed by Dufaylite. Clayboard is a biodegradable honeycomb core set between lightweight polypropylene facings.
  • Eco Block -a walling system that comprises polystyrene panels that snap together and are filled with concrete.
  • Styro Stone -EPS (expanded polystyrene) shuttering system, that provides an economic and environmentally friendly method of wall construction.
  • MASS -specialise in hi-tech concrete finishes used by architects for quality interior fit-outs.

Manufacturers and Products -Lime concrete

  • Calch ty Mawr Lime -the Welsh Centre for Traditional and Ecological Building do insulated Limecrete Floors and recycled aggregates.
  • Limecrete -technical article by leading expert Ian Prichett on the use of Lime Concrete.
  • Round Tower -natural hydraulic lime in County Cork.
  • The Limecrete Company -actually a family business based in Norfolk offering onsite batching and placement of limecrete using their 'big green machine'

Manufacturers -Pre Cast components

  • Coltman -one of Britain's largest independent suppliers of precast concrete products for the construction industry -floors, roofing, stairs and bespoke components.
  • Trent Concrete -specialists in pre cast concrete, providing high quality factory made cladding and structural components.

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Featured books:

Architectural Insitu Concrete
David Bennett
RIBA Books
Sep 2007
Price in UK pounds

Concrete at Home: Innovative Forms and Finishes
Fu-Tung Cheng and Eric Olsen
Price in UK pounds

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