Innovation and Quality
COMMITMENT: DEVELOP NEXT GENERATION SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
2020 MILESTONE: Establish Tarmac centres of excellence with universities and research bodies.
We are committed to exploring how new construction methods and materials can be developed to perform in a more sustainable way throughout their life cycle. To do this we must gain a better understanding of how materials can perform in the built environment of the future, and how these properties can be used for the best outcomes.
We have a network of Centres of Research Excellence with partners such as the University of Nottingham, University of Hertfordshire, University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and Heriot Watt University. Research projects focusing on disruptive technologies, 3D printing and carbon capture technology continued throughout 2016.
Our work with the Centre for Sustainable Communities (CSC) at the University of Hertfordshire, for instance, is focused on learning how buildings can be designed to be resilient to climate change and no longer dependent on fossil fuel, while still providing places where people want to live, work and play. In 2016 we commenced a three year PhD study to understand the decision making process in the sustainable materials supply chain namely, the interplay between a range of possible factors that are brought to bear on decision-making processes relating to purchasing practices in the construction industry. These include legal and regulatory constraints, finance, conventions and cultural practices Learn more on uh-sustainable.co.uk
We have continued to provide new solutions to help our customers and in 2016 we launched a number of new products. Our new 12.5kg Mastercrete mix for example aims to make life easier for our construction customers and those in the DIY market. In addition to our standard 25kg pre-packed cement range, the product develop team at Tarmac, working closely with construction professional developed a small 12.5kg bag. The bag size is ideal for a 4:1 sand/cement mix, in that one mixer bag is used with two bags of building sand to create the perfect mix – saving customers time and money as there is no wastage.
TopFlow Screed C Belitex. This new innovation is a cement based, free flowing screed that can be laid quickly, trafficked after just 24-48 hours and dry within 14-21 days. Topflow Screed C Belitex is a solution that provides users flexibility in installation and overall build programme.
Carbon capture technology
Carbon capture is a key technology for tackling climate change. Although it is likely to be quite some years before it can be applied technically or economically to our cement or lime manufacturing processes, we are supporting the development of carbon capture research projects.
During 2016, we continued to support a European consortium of organisations from industry, technology providers and academia that successfully secured €12 million of direct funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research fund to construct and test a pilot carbon capture plant. Supported by a further investment of €8 million from the project partners, including Tarmac, the pilot plant will be constructed at a cement plant in Belgium and tested and monitored over the next five years.
We also began to support research carried out by the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre and became a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for a consortium of UK universities that manage the Carbon Capture and Storage and Cleaner Fossil Energy Centre for Doctoral Training.
We are supporting the UK Government’s development of a 2050 Decarbonisation roadmap for the cement sector, and in 2016 worked with various government departments to develop a joint action plan to deliver on the roadmap. This collaborative work will continue into 2017 and beyond.