How have we done this? Well, we've been working with contractors and suppliers to produce concrete that meets the high requirements set by the design teams on the London 2012 venues, structures, bridges and highways. We are also trying to reach the targets we have set ourselves in reducing carbon emissions.
To reduce carbon emissions we are:
- Replacing raw materials in cement with a higher amount of recycled materials;
- Using recycled and combined material in concrete, for example 'stent' (a waste product from the Cornish China Clay Industry) and recycled glass; and
- Importing over 90% of the materials used to make the concrete by rail, which, for every tonne of material transported, emits about five times less carbon than transporting by truck.
So how do our suppliers, who produce concrete, and our contractors work together to create concrete mixes that use less carbon? This is done by testing the quality and performance of the low-carbon concrete before it is used.
As a result, low-carbon concrete has been used to create the foundations and structure works for the venues and infrastructure.
Not only are we committed to building world-class sporting facilities, but we also aim to ensure they are environmentally friendly too.
Delivering low-carbon concrete is challenging because of the pressures to get the work done on time and within budget, while also trying to get the highest possible finishes. We have been able to show that attention to detail and real commitment to sustainable construction is possible.
If the UK construction industry takes up a similar approach, more than 1m tonnes of carbon would be avoided each year and for very little (if any) additional cost. That would be a great outcome and one we are keen to help other projects achieve.