Glow in the dark concrete for office and retail development

Glass Yard, Chesterfield



Blue Deer Developments


Cara Construction Ltd

Location type

Glass Yard, Office and Retail Development, Chesterfield


November 2021

The challenge

The Glass Yard is a prestigious mixed office and retail development in Chesterfield, on the site of what was the once the largest manufacturer of domestic glassware in the UK. It has been designed sustainably and ergonomically by developer Blue Deer Ltd. for an open plan, daylight filled environment. The client approached Tarmac’s representatives looking for a safe, practical, durable and visually distinctive finish for the main external walkways and first-floor balconies that would complement the modern design and sustainable ethos of the building. After providing advice and number of samples, the client chose TOPTINT Glow a unique, glow in the dark decorative concrete that uses light sensitive chippings to help illuminate areas such as footpaths, cycleways and pedestrian areas.

Our solution

TOPTINT Glow concrete is available in a range of base colours using liquid pigments for deep, long-lasting, wear resistant colours and a choice of two glowing chippings in jade or marine. These luminescent chippings absorb energy from sunlight during the daytime and then gently emit this light when the sun goes down. As well as providing a distinctive appearance, the exposed aggregate finish provided a textured, slip resistant finish that would remain safe in all weathers. Glanville Norman, product development manager at Tarmac, explains: “New developments such as the Glass Yard or other existing high-profile sites often require something visually distinctive that will set them apart, and we’re always looking to develop new and exciting materials that can complement bold design. This is the first time that TOPTINT Glow has been used on a major commercial development and we were delighted to be able to propose a solution that not only has high aesthetic and environmental quality but also helped to improve safety and visibility.” 

Results and benefits

The glowing aggregate provided a passive and energy efficient form of demarcation to help guide clients along the balconies and walkways at night-time and in low ambient light conditions. This fitted with the building’s sustainable design ethos. The gentle glow provided by the light emitting chippings also provided an ambience that was sure to be a talking point for customers and would help put the new development on the map. The client was delighted with the outcome: “One of the key principles of our design at the Glass Yard was to introduce a new kind of working environment that is exciting, safe and sustainable and one that people enjoy travelling to and working within. We challenged Tarmac to come up with something that was a bit different for the central walkways and were impressed by Toptint Glow, as it gave us something that was durable but also serves as a design feature that puts a smile on people’s faces.” Tim Turner, Managing Director, Blue Deer Ltd. 

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Additional info


Footway demarcation from the glowing aggregate used in Toptint Glow helped improve safety for staff and customers.


Distinctive glow in the dark surface was certain to make this new venue a talking point for customers. 


Footway demarcation was achieved without using any additional energy, using only the energy from the sun.

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