Coloured concrete in natural surroundings as flood defence for council

Burdiehouse Flood Management, Edinburgh



NHS Lothian/Edinburgh CC


George Leslie

Location type

Residential Area


October 2016

The challenge

Development of flood defences including the erection of a flood wall structure, replacement of residential access bridge and ancillary works, along with landscaping and associated works access. The project is part of the flood defence required to protect the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children and nearby properties from the risk of flooding. The walls will be erected on both sides of the Burdiehouse Burn, they will be between 0.8m and 1.7m high and be of a colour that blends in with the surrounding natural environment. The client was using a Rekli mould from Germany to give the concrete an authentic brickwork appearance in the facia.

Our solution

After carefully studying and discussing the customer’s requirements it was agreed that the suitable colour match was Tarmac’s TOPTINT buff colour. An initial trial was setup to reinforce our product quality and colour consistency and to allow the client the benefit of testing colour consistency in different temperatures.

Results and benefits

Carl Tidy (Site Engineer - George Leslie) expressed that the trial had exceeded the client’s expectations and had provided a sharp finish from the Rekli mould and an aesthetically pleasing enriched colour finish. This was also echoed by the design team after a visit to site. Tarmac were then awarded the contract to supply 600m3 of TOPTINT from their Loanhead plant for this contract.

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Additional info

Wide choices of colours

There are many standard colours for Toptint coloured decorative concrete, these include: wheat, sandstone, alpine green, harvest tan, cotswold, mahogany, victorian grey, welsh slate, charcoal, brick red, tile red, brindle and antique white. However, if your project requires a specific colour that you can not find, our team will work with you to ensure we match it, depending on the size of the application. 

Total flexibility

We will design the mix to suit the application and can ensure that the right solution is found. Depending on the application, Toptint coloured concrete can prove to be an easier and quicker product to lay than other paving options. 


The beauty of concrete is that as well as being flexible and durable, it is also highly versatile. There is no better example of this than our Toptint range of coloured and textured concretes.

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