Fresh Concrete: Exploring new approaches to making and using concrete
This online series of talks showcases some of the innovative practice and new types of concrete emerging to address climate mitigation and adaptation.
Fresh Concrete is intended to be a platform for knowledge sharing for all construction professionals, bringing a fresh approach and fresh thinking for concrete.
Live events will take place online on Wednesday lunchtimes, 1pm - 2pm.
Find out more about each event below.
Wednesday 2 March, 1pm - 2pm
This first Fresh concrete event featured joint winners of the 2021 NRG Cosia Carbon XPrize - CarbonCure and CarbonBuilt. Each demonstrated a different way in which concrete can be manufactured using CO2, reducing both the embodied carbon of the concrete and also permanently locking in captured CO2 emissions. Deployment of their technologies, to avoid and reduce carbon emissions, has been described as a gamechanger for global decarbonisation.
Carbonation is the naturally occurring process in which concrete absorbs CO2, permanently removing it from the atmosphere. The rate of carbonation depends on the type of concrete (or cement-containing product), the conditions to which it is exposed, and its design - in reinforced structures carbonation is designed to be limited to protect steel reinforcement. Innovative industrial carbonation technologies are being developed to enhance and accelerate carbonation and consequently remove large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Eric Dunford - Senior Director, CarbonCure
Already utilised in projects across the US, including the new Amazon HQ, in Washington DC. CarbonCure’s innovative technology injects captured CO2 into concrete during mixing, and uses wastewater in the batching plant to convert CO2 into minerals for use in new concrete mixes.
Cindy McLaughlin - Head of Product, CarbonBuilt
The CarbonBuilt technology enables the production of very low- or no-carbon concrete blocks. Custom formulations reduce cement and uses diluted CO2 from any source (nearby industrial emitters, biomass, or Direct Air Capture) to cure them, thus chemically transforming and permanently storing the CO2. Blocks manufactured using this system were recently used to construct a single-storey Habitat for Humanity home in Alabama.
The event recordings are now available here
Wednesday 27 April, 1pm - 2pm
The second Fresh Concrete event focused on innovative methods of construction using concrete. It includes 3D printed concrete and a new structural system, designed to be simply ‘deconstructed’ and re-used or re-configured. The speakers included Glen Rust, R&D Engineering Leader from Laing O’Rourke, and Natalie Wadley, Director, ChangeMaker3D.
De & Re-constructable modular concrete structures
Glen Rust, R&D Engineering Leader, Laing O’Rourke
Laing O’Rourke has developed a new, patented structural system that can be built up to 4 times faster and saves up to 70% of embodied CO2 when compared to a traditional structural system. A key feature of this ‘D-Frame’ system is the connection development and testing which was completed following a systems engineering methodology with the Imperial College Civil Engineering department.
Glen will explain the principle and benefits of this structure which can be simply ‘deconstructed’ and re-used or re-configured supporting the principles of the circular carbon economy.
Low carbon 3D printed concrete
Natalie Wadley, Director, ChangeMaker3D
Globally 3D Construction Printing is gaining momentum, demonstrating sustainability benefits underpinned by carbon reduction, less waste and enhanced safety. The technology is digitally driven by design software that converts design files into a 3D printing code, which enables the 3D robot to extrude quick drying mortar to structures at pace.
Natalie will describe the processes, opportunities and benefits of this innovative method of construction using concrete, and some of ChangeMaker3D’s recent projects with infrastructure clients in the UK including HS2 and United Utilities.
The event recordings are now available here
Wednesday 25 May, 1pm - 2pm
The third Fresh concrete event focuses on innovative technology that has the potential to transform the performance and uses for concrete. It includes new concrete being trailed in roads to wirelessly recharge electric vehicles in motion, and self-healing concrete that uses a bacteria-based admixture, to enhance water tightness, reduce maintenance and increase the life span of concrete structures.
Recharging electric vehicles using concrete
Mauricio Esguerra , Co-Founder & CEO, Magment
Magment have developed an innovative form of concrete with the ability to recharge electric vehicles as they move across it. Engineered using magnetic particles, from recycled electronic waste, this magnetizable concrete technology is currently being trialled in roads and warehouses to provide dynamic, wireless charging, concrete infrastructure.
In this presentation Mauricio will explain the technology and its benefits, as well as its potential applications for sustainable transportation and manufacture and an update on current pilot projects and business models such as Charging as a Service.
Low carbon, self-healing concrete
Vighnesh Daas, Director, JP Concrete
Sensicrete is a low-carbon, self-healing concrete that utilises bacteria embedded in the mix to produce limestone to seal cracks. The technology is designed for use in concrete structures that come into contact with moisture and water, extending their service life and further reducing maintenance requirements.
More effective crack control and watertightness also offers potential to reduce steel reinforcement and additional membranes. In this presentation Vighnesh will explain how self-healing concrete works, its use in projects by BAM in the Netherlands and more recent UK developments including precast, nature-enhancing, marine structures.
Fresh Concrete 4: Innovative concrete manufacture
Wednesday 22 June 1pm - 2pm
This final Fresh concrete event features innovations in the process of making concrete that can dramatically improve the resource efficiency, quality and performance of concrete as well as reducing embodied carbon.
It includes Digitised concrete - intelligent, in-transit, real time concrete management and Graphene-enhanced concrete to achieve stronger, more durable concrete that can avoid the need for reinforcement. Both innovations are already being trialled in projects around the UK and each presentation will provide more details including principles and benefits of the new technology, as well as its future potential.
Alex McDermott, Co-founder, Nationwide Engineering
Concrete incorporating graphene has been shown to have enhanced durability, improved early tensile and flexural strength and rapid early progressive strength.
Recent projects have also demonstrated both programme and embodied carbon savings using thinner ground-bearing slabs without the need for reinforcement or shrinkage joints. This presentation will describe the benefits and deployment of this new form of concrete using the graphene-enhanced liquid admixture Concretene.
Phillip White, Founder, Cloud Cycle
Data analytics and machine learning technology has been developed to track and monitor the movement and contents of ready-mixed concrete. Real-time data is provided to assess and enable intervention in the making and delivery of the concrete, helping to monitor its quality, reduce waste and embodied carbon.
In this presentation, Phillip will explain the benefits of the new technology developed by Cloud Cycle, its use in current trials and projects in the UK including HS2, and its potential to reduce the need for slump tests.
Fresh Concrete is produced in partnership between The Concrete Centre and and the Building Centre and is free to attend.