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    TARMAC Sustainable Energy

    TARMAC, a leading UK construction materials company, and a major concrete supplier, has become a founder signatory to the revised Concrete Industry Sustainable Construction Strategy. The strategy comprises of six commitments designed to help companies try and deliver a zero-carbon built environment though monitoring and providing transparent whole-life data, sharing best practice, low carbon transport, monitoring water usage, targeting continuous improvement in sustainable production performance and reporting performance annually.

    Dr Martyn Kenny, Director of Sustainability at Tarmac, says: “The concrete sector has made great progress in measuring, managing and reducing its impact, while enhancing its contribution to creating a sustainable and zero-carbon built environment. We recognise that we need to continue this important work and the new Concrete Industry Sustainable Construction Strategy provides an effective way to lead the construction sector and drive further progress.”

    As well as this commitment, TARMAC recently achieved the Carbon Trust Standard across its whole business, having 100 per cent of its products certified as responsibly sourced, and the industry’s first five-star rating from Achilles BuildingConfidence for effective supply chain management.

    Concrete In Summer

    Forgive us for pointing out the obvious, but concrete is pretty strong stuff. It’s used for all manner of construction tasks, and if you use it properly – like we do at Complete Driveway Designs – it’s a remarkably adaptable material.

    Investing in a pattern imprinted concrete driveway also means that you can avoid some of the problems that come with other surfacing materials. In summer, for example, tarmacadam can be adversely affected by heat. If it’s your average summer, your tarmacadam should be fine. When temperatures rise, however, tarmacadam can sometimes become soft. That’s going to make it more susceptible to cosmetic damage, like scuffing and denting.

    That won’t be an issue with a pattern imprinted concrete driveway. In fact, summer is the best time for us to install a pattern imprinted concrete driveway; it’s dry, which is important for the installation process, and remedial work like resealing. And also, summer is a much nicer time to be working outside!

    If you take a look at our case studies you’ll see some examples of pattern imprinted concrete driveways that we’ve already installed for our customers. As you’ll see from those case studies, our pattern imprinted drives look really good. They’ll also give you a chance to see how they look in good weather; we don’t tend to take photos of our work when it’s raining.

    Concrete vs. Tarmacadam

    As contractors who have experience with both tarmacadam and concrete, we’re fully aware of the benefits of both materials. But, as contractors who focus on installing pattern imprinted concrete driveways, we’ve got a vested interest in explaining the benefits of concrete in comparison to other surfacing products.

    concrete driveway imprinted feature

    concrete driveway imprinted feature

    One of the major benefits that concrete has over tarmacadam – other than the fact that concrete can be pattern imprinted – is that concrete is more ecologically friendly. In increasingly “green” times, we know that this is an issue for our customers. Obviously, if you really want to cut down on your carbon footprint, don’t get a driveway at all. In fact, get rid of your car. If, however, you want a durable, well surfaced driveway but also want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, then we’d suggest concrete over tarmacadam.

    Concrete, unlike tarmacadam, can be readily recycled. Tarmacadam contains petroleum-based substances, which give it its gluey consistency before it has hardened. This is also the reason why tarmacadam can be compromised by solvents which affect these petroleum-based substances. Concrete, on the other hand, can be broken up and recycled and isn’t contaminated.

    A pattern imprinted concrete driveway will also last longer than a tarmacadam drive, provided it’s properly looked after. A longer lasting driveway means less energy and resources are expended in replacing it with a new one.

    Tarmac Driveway vs. Imprinted Concrete Driveway

    There are a number of different options available to those who are looking to solve their driveway problems by investing in a long term addition to their property. Usually, however, this choice – which can be a difficult one – boils down to choosing between two of the most common hard-surfacing materials: tarmacadam (or “bitmac / tarmac”) and concrete.

    Along with the obvious difference in composition between the two materials, there are a number of other distinguishing features which should be taken into account when choosing between the two options.

    For domestic applications like driveway design, both concrete and tarmac require certain additions before setting, in order to increase their workability. For tarmac, this is known as “cutback”; it’s the addition of a solvent. This solvent stops the tarmac setting in order to increase the amount of time it can be worked and shaped. This solvent has to evaporate out of the tarmac before the setting process can be completed. Although this does allow greater flexibility in working the unset tarmac, it can backfire, meaning that the surface of the tarmac will stay soft and sticky for weeks of even months after it should’ve set. Concrete is not affected by its admixtures in this way.

    There are a number of other issues affecting tarmac which a concrete driveway will not suffer from. Soft, badly set tarmac, can, for example, be scuffed by the wheels of cars with power-steering turning “on the spot”. This can make it unsuitable for driveways in which some tight reversing and turning is necessary.

    Tarmac, even well installed and properly set, is much more susceptible to chemical solvents than concrete. A spillage of vehicular oil on tarmac will eat through the surfacing and spread through the surrounding tarmac. There’s no way to salvage tarmac which has been exposed to such solvents; any affected patches must be cut out of the driveway and patched up with new tarmac.

    Although tarmac driveways may have a lower initial price than concrete driveways, you should remember that the difference in price is indicative of a difference in quality. To use an old but accurate cliché, you get what you pay for.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

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

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