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    UK Concrete Show 2014

    UKConcreteShow

    Last year we told you about our involvement in the UK Concrete Show. We were not involved this year, which is probably why we forgot to tell you all about it!

    Like last year, the show took place at the NEC in Birmingham at the end of February, and again grew in size and scope. It was moved from Hall 17 to Hall 5, which is the largest indoor exhibition hall in the UK, and was for a long time the largest in Europe. This extra space was filled with 62 new exhibitors, 5 new in-hall demonstration areas, and all of the plant and equipment displays that had to be outside the previous year.

    Among the big names at the event were Putzmeister, Liebherr, Lafarge Tarmac, Husqvarna and CEMEX, covering all types of concrete materials and equipment, and demonstrations were done by Blastrac, Shotcrete and Adseal. In addition to the many global companies whose UK subsidiaries were at the show, almost 10% of the exhibitors were companies exhibiting in their own right from all round the world, including Denmark, Poland, the USA and China.

    Below you can view a short promotional video showing some of the events and exhibitions of this year’s show.

    Complete Driveway Designs Video Advert

    A new Complete Driveway Designs advert is now available to view on our you tube channel and on our website. The advert features a few examples of our Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveways and Patios and shows off a selection of decorative features such as walls, fencing and decking.

    To see the video on our Youtube channel click here

    Olympic Legacy

    The Olympic Stadium

    The Olympic Stadium

    When submitting the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, the organisers chose to place sustainability at the front. The team highlighted the huge opportunity they would have to increase awareness of climate change and the issues around it. Throughout the whole process of organising the games, there has been a commitment to making London 2012 the ‘greenest’ games of all time. This began with the designing of the venues and transport links, carried on to the actual hosting of the games, and hopefully will leave a long lasting legacy of a sustainable environment.

    Since the games were awarded to London, all of the construction partners have been encouraged to guarantee the use sustainable materials wherever possible, and construction managers worked hard to identify suitable sustainable materials that could be used. One such product that will be widely used is recycled concrete aggregates. Recycled aggregates are made from materials such as bricks and concrete that are crushed and turned into a product ready for reuse in the construction of new buildings or roads. Recycling concrete into aggregates is considered to be more sustainable than mining, processing and transporting new aggregates. Partners were asked to ensure that a minimum of 20% of the value of the materials used would be recycled content, and that a minimum of 25% of the aggregate would be recycled. They were also asked to transport at least 50% of the materials by sustainable means i.e. water or rail, and to use energy-efficient, low emissions vehicles on-site.

    Concrete frisbees: an altogether more dangerous beach party?

    Concrete is a great material for many different types of building work, but it isn’t the first thing that springs to mind for creating flying objects with, for example frisbees. You can just imagine the chaos it could cause at a beach party — participants coming away with cuts and bruises, and your faithful pet dog breaking his teeth on the thing!

    But try telling that to the Rome Free Academy — they have just finished a collaborative engineering course (with SUNYIT, Madison-Oneida BOCES and the Rome City School District taking part) which aimed to answer the question — “How far can you throw a concrete frisbee?”

    Engineering, computing and maths students took part in a two week long program consisting of four six-hour classes, in which they had to design and create a concrete frisbee that would be tactile and aesthetically pleasing, as well as flying straight and true for a long distance. In general, the frisbees were created by placing some grass into a wet concrete mixture to form the shape, then inserting a binder into the mould for extra support.

    Each frisbee was first weighed and judges on its looks. The hardest part — the throwing test — came next. Students had three throws to prove how far their frisbees would travel, and they had to land them without breaking them, so accurately landing them somewhere soft was of upmost importance!

    Preston bus station: “treasured location” marked for demolition?

    Preston bus station was opened in 1969, and back then it was the largest bus station in Europe. Due to its innovative architectural design and concrete construction, it is still regarded today as an innovative “treasured location”. Even though it may look unremarkable compared to a lot of today’s cityscapes, it broke a lot of barriers back in the day, and many of Preston’s inhabitants regard it with warmth and compassion (excitement is possibly too strong a term), like an old familiar friend.

    However, all is not well on the buses in Preston. Preston City Council have marked the building for demolition in their latest plans for city centre redevelopment. This is seen as a grave concern, a feeling shared by many around the world. The World Monument Fund has marked the bus station as a heritage site, and a “treasured place at risk” — one of 67 new locations recently added to the list. They see it as a prime example of British “Brutalism”, an architectural style characterised by concrete forms, and stark repetitive angular geometry.

    They also argue that the building is still perfectly useful and functional, and will stand the test of time better than a lot of modern lightweight architecture. Those in favour of its demolition say that Preston needs to move with the times, and modernise to attract growth.

    What do you think? Architectural treasure or outdated relic?

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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