Environmental impact of installation
CC consists of a PVC backing, a three-dimensional fibre matrix at its core, and a polyester fibrous top surface. The specialist cementitious material is trapped within the 3D matrix which limits loss of material during the installation process.
As a result, CC can be installed and hydrated within live watercourses with minimal loss of fines at around 3% compared to the average of 10-15% experienced when using specialist underwater concretes (CC Environmental Data document).
CC uses a specialist high early strength concrete with a limited alkaline reserve. Unlike most concretes, it is not classed as an irritant, and the PVC backing is a high grade, phthalate-free compound chosen to minimise the product’s impact on the environment. As a result, CC can safely be installed on environmentally sensitive sites without any adverse effects on wildlife or the local ecology.
CC’s eco-friendly properties have led to its use on numerous sensitive sites and specification by several environmental agencies around the world, including public works projects for Environment Agency, National Resources Wales and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in the UK.
The fibrous top surface layer of CC is the perfect surface for the growth of moss and algae, particularly in channel lining applications where the surface is generally moist and provides the perfect conditions for growth.
This not only results in the material ‘greening’ over time for a more natural appearance, but can theoretically assist in balancing out CC’s carbon impact.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry found that these organisms absorb large amounts of CO2 and remove nitrogen from the air in order to “fix” it to the form required for their growth.
The study undertaken at the Max Planck Institute discovered that algae, mosses and lichens take up around 14 billion tonnes of CO2 and fix around 50 million tonnes of nitrogen every year.
As a result, the growth of these organisms on CC’s surface will assist in reducing CC’s environmental impact over the BBA certified 120-year durability of the CC lined asset.