Coloured asphalt for urban renewal of old steelworks
Ravenscraig, Motherwell, Scotland
North Lanarkshire Council
Renewal of old steelworks
A new community leisure and recreational space was planned as part as part of the regeneration of the former Ravenscraig steel works. The striking geometric design, based on a series of circles, incorporated a play area, sports facilities, sensory garden and visitor hub. A safe, accessible surface was needed in colours and Tarmac’s ULTICOLOUR coloured asphalts were specified. However, after budget reviews due to the Covid virus outbreak, an extensive value engineering exercise was undertaken. Alternative materials were considered like resin and painted surfaces, but ULTICOLOUR was considered more likely to retain its finish and minimise future maintenance requirements, a key consideration on this project. It was important to the client that the site should be enjoyed by all users including those with disabilities or mobility issues.
By working collaboratively and with careful selection of materials within the design, a cost-effective solution was found that delivered the architect’s vision within the client’s budget. The final design would combine ULTICOLOUR mid blue and buff quartzite coloured asphalts with a conventional black asphalt to help deliver a highly visual but cost effective solution. ULTICOLOUR asphalts use a clear polymer modified binder, pigment and colour matched aggregates to produce brighter colours than conventional asphalts and a longer lasting finish that resists surface wear and keeps its appearance for longer. They deliver a smooth, even surface that would be safe and accessible for all visitors including wheelchair users. ULTICOLOUR can also be laid quickly using conventional paving equipment, meaning large areas can be completed rapidly, with less labour costs than alternative surfacing materials.
Results and benefits
The surfacing required on this project was very intricate, with longitudinal joints between conventional black asphalt and the mid-blue ULTICOLOUR being saw cut in a curved design allowing very little margin for error. This required excellent attention to detail from the surfacing contractor to ensure the architects design was fulfilled. ULTICOLOUR asphalts are only available for installation by accredited contractors who have full access to expert training, advice and technical support. As planned, 141 tonnes of ULTICOLOUR 6mm Buff Quartzite & 129 tonnes of ULTICOLOUR 6mm Mid Blue asphalt was delivered to the site and installed by the contractor during March and April 2021. Work was completed to an excellent standard, with ULTICOLOUR bringing the external hard surface design to life and work being delivered within the client’s budget.