Innovative new concrete reduces rail’s carbon footprint

BAM Nuttall has carried out the first pour of Cemfree cement-free concrete on the UK rail network.

In a major step towards reducing carbon emissions in the UK construction industry, BAM Nuttall has successfully completed the UK’s largest single pour of an innovative new cement-free concrete on behalf of Network Rail at Chatham station, Kent.

The 300 cubic-metre continuous pour, which supports the foundation for a new step-free access at Chatham Station, is the first use on UK rail network of Cemfree, production of which reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% in comparison to traditional cement-based concrete.

The 300 cubic-metre continuous pour saved approximately 62 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Using Cemfree to deliver this project, rather than traditional concrete, saved approximately 62 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of 230,000 miles in an average-sized diesel car.

Huw Jones, BAM Nuttall.

Huw Jones, BAM Nuttall’s divisional director for rail, said: “On its own, traditional concrete production contributes 8% to global carbon emissions. That’s more than three times the output of the global aviation industry. That carbon footprint is largely due to the energy intensive methods that go into the production of cement, a vital component of traditional concrete.

“By working with Network Rail to gain product approval for this revolutionary product, we can continue to deliver our vital railway improvements with less impact of the environment.

“Seeing this product being used on site underlines our commitment to developing innovative sustainable solutions for Britain’s railway and I look forward to seeing other projects making use of it. It has the potential to make a huge contribution towards the reduction of carbon emissions across the construction industry.”

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