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Sat July 20 2024

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Shellfish – the secret to permeable concrete?

21 Feb 23 Two British universities have been working on a French-led research project to develop a permeable road surface made with seashells.

Sea shells
Sea shells

The Circle project has been seeking to develop a low carbon, poured-in-place concrete pavement with improved drainage properties. Seashells, it seems, could be the answer.  

The project began three years ago, led by French organisation Builders for Society (Ecole d’ingénieurs),with materials company Eqiom (part of the CRH group), Communauté d'Agglomération des 2 Baies en Montreuillois, the University of East Anglia (UEA), the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and French local authority Golfe du Morbihan.

Over the past three years they have established that the addition of shellfish waste can successfully substitute other aggregates to reduce and preserve non-renewable components. Simultaneously, the use of shellfish waste tackles another environmental issue by recycling materials.

The final event – presentation of the findings – takes place at the UEA in Norwich next week (28th February).

Circle researchers will present their results on optimising the concrete formulations and from monitoring the durability of the material and its draining properties over the seasons.

Case studies of the concrete trialled at several pilot sites will be discussed, particularly the Eurovéloroute V4 pilot site and the Ostreapolis project, both in France.

Finally, research developed at UEA’s Norwich Business School will propose business models that can support the adoption and marketing of this new concrete product.

One of the pilot roads
One of the pilot roads

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