Sustainable, low carbon concrete for National Rehabilitation Centre

Stanford Hall, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough



Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust


Vinci/McAlpine/Hillstreet UK Northfield Construction

Location type

National Rehabilitation Centre



The challenge

Construction of a new National Rehabilitation Centre in located between Nottingham and Loughborough, required a large volume of concrete for the foundations, floor slabs and supporting columns. The building had been designed to achieve net-zero carbon over its life cycle, so minimising embodied carbon emissions during construction was a key priority for the main contractor. The Midlands Readymix Team at Tarmac were asked to recommend materials that would combine a low carbon footprint with the required structural performance. Detailed carbon footprint calculations on materials would also be required as part of the project to contribute to an accurate calculation of the building’s overall impact. 

Our solution

After working with the contractors to understand the specifications, strength requirements and programmed timescales for the project, Tarmac’s team were able to recommend optimised mix designs with major reductions in embodied carbon. This was supported with detailed cradle to gate carbon footprint calculations and sample testing to make sure that the data was in place to support these recommendations. The proposed mixes would deliver a 40% reduction in cement content compared to standard mixes using Ordinary Portland Cement. For the columns and upper floors this would reduce the carbon per cubic metre from 283.18 to 184.19 kg CO2e/m3, a saving of 98.99 per cubic metre. This would deliver a total reduction for this element of the project of 396 tonnes of CO2e for the 4000m3 required or 35%. 

Results and benefits

As planned, these low carbon concrete mixes were supplied to the site as required during the building programme. Around 3000m3 was supplied to Hillstreet for construction of the foundations and ground floor slabs. A further 3500/4000m3 of low carbon concrete was supplied to Northfield for all the columns and upper floors. Tarmac’s Technical representatives were on hand throughout, to ensure that all of the mixes were delivered as specified and to help the contractor get the best possible result. All the carbon savings for the project were fully documented on detailed carbon footprint calculations to help the project delivery team record the total emissions for the building. 

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CEVO - Our unique approach to low carbon materials

CEVO is our commitment to supplying concretes that offer transparent carbon savings and easy to understand performance grading based on the amount of carbon taken out of the design using replacements, limestone fillers or an Alkali Activated solution.

We align our current range of CEVO, low carbon concretes, to ratings published by the ICE, endorsed by the Green Construction Board in the Low Carbon Concrete Route-map. A, B, C to G gradings similar to efficiency bars that we see on electrical items across our daily lives.

Using this system to select the carbon reduction required means as new materials science offers improved new low carbon concretes, we simply align the product to the grading system. 

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