Reducing Carbon Footprint in Precast Pile Manufacturing
Centrum Pile Ltd are one of the UK’s leading precast concrete pile manufactures, producing over 583,000 linear metres per year. With systems in place for rainwater harvesting and waste management, Centrum Pile have positioned themselves as a sustainable concrete manufacturing company – and it doesn’t stop there!
Research shows that the history of cement dates back to the Roman times and the term ‘opus caementicium’, which was the word used to describe a masonry made up of crushed rock with burnt lime as the binder. Since then it has become the most widely used material and most consumed resource on the planet, other than water.
Cement is rarely used on its own in construction. It tends to be used in combination with sand and aggregates and is the substance that allows the materials to bind together and harden. Cement mixed with fine aggregate produces mortar for masonry or with sand and gravel, produces concrete. The chemical reaction between the cement, dry ingredients and water allows the hardened concrete to be less water soluble and safe from chemical attack. These types of cement are mostly called hydraulic cements, with the prime one being Portland Cement. The first hydraulic cements were found by ancient Romans who mixed volcanic ash with lime to produce the cement.
The Chatham House study from 2018 estimates that 4 billion tonnes of cement is produced annually and accounts for 8% of worldwide CO2 emissions, nearly 0.9t of CO2 are emitted for every 1t of Portland cement produced.
Centrum Pile manufacture their own CEM II cement by blending pulverised fuel ash (PFA) with Portland Cement. This reduces the cement content of the concrete by 30%, resulting in a lower embodied CO2 as well as improved plastic and hardened properties of the concrete.
The concrete design achieves a DC-4 durability standard which not only increase’s the life of the foundations due to its resistance to carbonation, chloride and sulphate attack, but makes it suitable for practically any ground condition.
Paul Pendleton, Centrum Pile’s General Manager says,
Not only do we reduce our carbon footprint by consuming 30% less cement, but we utilise what is otherwise a waste product from our coal fired power stations. By designing our concrete to utilise PFA we also produce a more consistent, high flow self-compacting concrete, improving our manufacturing process. Our piles can be used in most ground conditions and this offers our customers more flexibility in the knowledge that if pile lengths on site change then we can react quickly by utilising any section that we have in stock.
Learn more about our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and being an environmental friendly company here.