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    CD Designs Blog

    A New Generation of Listed Buildings

    Aside from the obvious aesthetics that are associated with concrete – pattern imprinted concrete driveway, new iconic architecture and even a concrete dress, the examples to be found of early concrete builds can also be defined as a thing of beauty.

    Concrete buildings, particularly post-war period, struggle to achieve listed status as they’re comparatively ‘new’ builds but these examples of modernist architecture are fast disappearing and there are campaigns and debates around the UK to protect these leviathans of concrete that straddle the British skyline.

    Some buildings have already made the grade and along with the cult Trellick Tower and Concrete House, which we have covered in some more detail for you, we can also add Dudley Zoo and the BBC Television Centre to the list. Scotland has been instrumental in protecting its own iconic concrete structures and several community and educational sites have been added to the protected list.

    We know from the results we can achieve with pattern imprinted concrete driveways that concrete isn’t just made for building residential and commercial blocks – it’s also an artistic and sturdy material which structures such as the Concrete Sculpture of a Man in Essex and the Emley Moor Transmitting Station can confirm. Emley Moor is a television transmission tower on the Yorkshire hills and as well as withstanding the blustering winds for all this time it’s the tallest free standing building in the UK, and ranks 25th tallest in the world – we’re impressed!

    We’re proud of all the pattern imprinted concrete driveways that we install and as a nation I think we should be collectively proud of all of the concrete structures that have helped to shape our landscape.

    Olympic Concrete Use

    One of the key themes of the London games has been sustainability. The UK team won its bid on a pledge to make the 2012 games the greenest in modern history and they are, together with the International Olympics Committee, committed to fulfilling this promise. The plan is to follow the ‘One World Living’ ideals set out by the WWF and sustainability solutions organisation BioRegional, this set of principles aims to promote health, wellbeing and sustainability. This means that as far as possible the construction of the Olympic park will be completed with low carbon and recycled building materials and, with 1.3 million tonnes of material being used in the development, concrete is a huge part of this.

    Aggregate Industries UK Ltd are supplying the ready-mix concrete for the Olympic Park, A very similar blend to that used in pattern imprinted concrete driveways, have adapted to meet the demands of the Olympic Delivery Authority for responsible sustainability in building materials. ODA Chief Executive David Higgins praised the company saying that they had “demonstrated a clear commitment to meeting and exceeding targets using recycled materials and transportation by rail.”

    The statistics are very impressive; over 22% of all the total aggregate used in the combined construction of the Olympic village, stadia and media centres has come from recycled aggregate resulting in an estimated carbon reduction of around 35%. The hope is that the sustainable methods used on this grand scale will start to make their way into the domestic market, with pattern imprinted concrete driveways for residences also being made from good-quality recycled aggregate.

    For a few weeks in the summer of 2012 the eyes of the world will be on London. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate exactly what sustainable construction can deliver and concrete will play a major part.

    Concrete Coffee Machine

    Yes, this is another one of our infrequent “look at this bizarre use for concrete” blogs. And this one’s a really good one. We understand that not everyone likes concrete and pattern imprinted concrete driveways as much as we do. But who doesn’t love coffee? We know that a strong cup of tea is the traditional brew of the north west, but coffee is the drink to go for when you need a bit of a pick-me-up.

    Put the two things together – concrete and coffee – and you get this little beauty: a coffee machine made out of concrete.

    According to that webpage, the concrete coffee machine’s designer wanted to make concrete into “a desirable consumer product”. That’s something that we entirely agree with. Concrete is an excellent material for many design applications.

    We utilise concrete’s special characteristics when we imprint patterns on driveways, which then harden into durable surfaces. Our pattern imprinted concrete driveways and patios are definitely desirable consumer products, and if you take a look at our case studies you’ll be able to see the end results of some of the jobs we’ve done for customers. Pretty convincing examples of concrete as a desirable product, as we’re sure you’ll agree.

    Tempted By A Concrete Slide?

    When we’re trawling the internet for interesting concrete related facts to share with you, we sometimes trip over some really fantastic ideas. Like this one: a concrete slide integrated into a house. We think you’ll agree that it’s slightly more exotic than a pattern imprinted concrete driveway.

    Admittedly, it’s a play-house. But at 150 square metres, it’s not exactly the smallest play-house ever, is it? So, are you tempted by a concrete slide to link your first floor to the ground floor? You’ll still need stairs, obviously, in order to get up to the top of the slide in the first place.

    If you prefer your home improvements to be a little bit more sensible – but still visually striking – maybe a pattern imprinted concrete driveway is more what you’re looking for.

    Our pattern imprinted concrete driveways may not be quite as much fun as a slide built into the side of your house, but they are excellent hard-surfaced drives. And they’re available in a variety of finishes and colours, meaning that there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of design.

    If you’re interested in a pattern imprinted concrete driveway, we offer free, no obligation quotations. And if you’re interested in a concrete slide… well, we’ll have to see what we can do…

    Things You Never Knew About Concrete #9

    It Can Be Really Heavy!

    Well, perhaps you had an inkling that concrete’s pretty heavy. But we bet you don’t know exactly how heavy concrete can get. As always, Complete Driveway Designs is happy to help.

    According to the font of knowledge that is the internet (don’t worry, we double checked our facts), commercial concrete can get pretty heavy. Obviously, the stuff we use when we install pattern imprinted concrete driveways is a lot lighter and a lot less dense.

    But the concrete we want to talk about has an impressive average density of 350 lb per cubic foot. That’s double, maybe slightly more than double, the usual density and weight of construction concrete.

    This special super-heavy concrete was required in the construction of an extension to an American hospital. Heavyweight concrete was needed as part of radiation shielding requirements. It needed to be particularly dense in order to cut down on the amount of space it took up.

    For more information, check out this long and very informative article about the concrete and the job or which it was used. If you’d like to see some examples of significantly less dense but hopefully more visually appealing concrete, then you should check out our case studies.

    Remember to come back to the blog sometime in the next couple of months, when we’ll be bringing you another interesting (hopefully!) fact about concrete.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

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

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