Ultra-low carbon concrete brought to you by Poundfield Precast

With many companies committing to a net zero future the importance of having more sustainable options for the construction industry has become an even greater priority.

Posted on: December 23rd 2021    •    Posted in: SigmaRoc, Ultra-low carbon concrete
Ultra-low carbon concrete

At our current rate of material consumption, we’re absorbing 157% of the natural resources on the planet – meaning we’d need an earth and a half to maintain our ecological footprint.

As a building material, cement cannot be matched. But as the world’s third highest source of man-made CO2, greener options have become of even greater importance.

As a major precast concrete manufacturer we recognise the contribution we can make to help our customers lower their carbon footprint and are able to offer our customers cement-free ultra-low carbon alternatives.

What is ultra low carbon concrete?

Concrete is made up of aggregates, water, cement and air and of these 4 ingredients aggregates make up the largest amount of volume and fortunately these are low in embodied carbon.

However, it is the cement, or binder, which has the highest embodied CO2 and this is where the focus has been to find alternatives to OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement) in order to reduce the carbon footprint of this important building material.

Poundfield are now providing customers with a greener option to traditional cement by using an ultra-low carbon alternative which can save up to 76% in embodied CO2 compared to a conventional mix.

What is ULCC?

Using an Alkali-Activated Cementitious Material (AACM) that activates pozzolanic materials such as Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag (GGBS) and Pulverised Fly Ash (PFA) results in a binder which can replace a variety of cement types to create Cement free Concrete. The reaction between GGBS and the cement free binder forms a solid material comparable to OPC, making it an ideal replacement. Replacing 100% of the OPC with a Cement free binder results in an embodied CO2 that is up to 80% lower than OPC-based concretes.

What is embodied CO2?

Embodied CO2 is a term used to reflect all the CO2 emitted in the production of materials. It takes into account the energy used to extract and transport raw materials as well as emissions produced from the manufacturing processes.

Ultra low carbon concrete from Poundfield Precast retains all of their hardwearing properties but with one major addition – a major eCO2 saving of up to 76%.

On a typical install of 80 x 3 metre high Alfabloc retaining walls for example, by switching to Poundfields Greenbloc range means reducing the amount of eCO2 by 26 tonnes, with no compromise in quality.

With the help of Greenbloc you can now reduce the environmental impact of your project by significantly reducing your carbon footprint.

Early this year SigmaRoc Plc, reaffirmed its commitment to reducing the construction industry’s dependency on cement by becoming the only company to offer a cement-free ultra-low carbon alternative for every product in its precast concrete portfolio.

From January 2022, every product currently manufactured by Sigma Roc’s Precast Product Group (PPG) –  Allen Concrete Ltd, CCP Building Products Ltd and Poundfield Precast Ltd – will be available in a cement-free ultra-low carbon option.

The announcement follows the launch of Greenbloc – the first ever cement-free alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) blocks – in February 2021.

The cement-free range, which also extends to bespoke solutions, will be manufactured at its five sites located across the country, to provide the broadest geographical reach of any precast concrete product supplier in the UK, while also minimising carbon emissions throughout the supply chain.

Michael Roddy, Managing Director of Sigma Roc PPG, commented: “Greenbloc set the bar for bringing a cement-free alternative to a traditional building material into mainstream use, but it was only ever the start of our low-carbon journey.

“The benefits of using cement as a building material are undisputed from an application perspective, however the carbon required in the manufacturing process cannot be ignored.”

Mr Roddy continued: “Our aim is simple. The market is changing and understands the need to acknowledge, address and action a tangible approach to decarbonisation. We want to give architects, contractors and specifiers the choice of using an ultra-low carbon cement-free alternative to precast cementitious products.”

To find out how our ultra low carbon concrete could help your business get in touch with the team at Poundfield Precast.