HS2 contractors in London have begun using a new low carbon concrete product which provides a reduction of 42% in CO2 in comparison to a standard concrete
The product, CarbonNeutral®, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, used for the first time in London, has been supplied to HS2’s enabling works contractor, Costain Skanska joint venture, and Lydon Contracting Ltd by global building materials manufacturer CEMEX, from their plant, based in Wembley.
After engineering carbon reductions into the concrete mix design, CEMEX calculates the embodied carbon generated from extraction and processing of raw materials, product manufacturing and distribution. The residual carbon is then offset, making the concrete carbon neutral from manufacture to use.
To achieve carbon neutrality, carbon is offset by the removal or reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere.
The first use of the Vertua Classic Zero concrete in the capital recently took place at an HS2 site in North West London, ready to prepare the ground for an electricity substation which will power the tunnel boring machines excavating HS2’s London tunnels.
A further delivery of Vertua is planned at the same site by the end of October. By using this low carbon concrete, a total of 12 tonnes of carbon should be saved once deliveries are complete, with an additional 17 tonnes of residual CO2 offset.
Britain’s cleaner greener future
Peter Miller, environment director, HS2 Ltd said: “We know that climate change is the greatest long-term threat to Britain’s security and prosperity.
“The Government has set a target for net-zero emissions by 2050 and HS2 is playing its part in meeting that challenge.
“Using innovative techniques and products in the construction of the new high-speed railway, we can not only build HS2 more sustainably, but we can lead by example, showing how the construction sector can help deliver Britain’s cleaner greener future.”
Dan Hunt, programme director at Costain Skanska joint venture, said: “Working closely with our supply chain, CSjv has identified many ways to maximise our environmental credentials, leading to more than 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) saved to date.
“We have focused on identifying innovations and efficiencies throughout our whole programme, from our power supplies and fuel sources through to working methodology by reducing and recycling materials.
“We have worked hard to reduce the amount of concrete needed across the programme and by working with CEMEX, we have further reduced the carbon footprint of our works.”