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Wed May 18 2022

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Statue showcases low-carbon concrete at COP26

9 Nov 21 A 23m-tall sculpture that incorporates low-carbon concrete produced by Aggregates Industries was unveiled yesterday in Glasgow during COP26.

Hope Sculpture (Steuart Padwick, Keith Hunter Photography)
Hope Sculpture (Steuart Padwick, Keith Hunter Photography)

The sculpture, which is the centrepiece of three public art installations by artist Steuart Padwick, has involved a collaboration between four principle build partners – Aggregate Industries, Ramboll, Urban Union and Keltbray. It is being used as a showcase of how the construction industry can drive better and more sustainable building in the transition to net zero.

Its long concrete columns take their form from the brick chimney stalks that once littered the East End of Glasgow. On top of the columns is a 3m-tall age-, gender- and race-neutral child, designed to appear to embrace the surrounding nature and reach out to a greener, hopeful future.

EcoPact Max – part of Aggregate Industries’ lowest carbon range of concrete – was used in the project’s columns and pile caps. This high-strength, ‘green’ concrete is claimed to offer a minimum 70% CO2 reduction compared to a standard (CEM I) concrete mix. To meet the desired sustainability credentials for the sculpture, Aggregate Industries developed a bespoke EcoPact Max+ product that included 20% recycled glass. This was manufactured locally at Aggregate Industries’ network of plants in Scotland.

The child too is constructed using 100% cement free concrete and recycled crushed glass.

Hidden from view, but significant also to the carbon impact of the build are re-claimed steel gas pipes used for the piling and recycled rebar.

“It began as a conversation with Ramboll and became a legacy gift from 50 companies to Glasgow,” said artist/designer Steuart Padwick.

Alan Dowdall, buildings director at Ramboll said “The carbon savings on this project are huge and it demonstrates what can be achieved when you approach projects with a lean construction mindset, you are sensible with materials and can hone the design early on.”

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Throughout the project, Aggregate Industries’ technical specialists, assisted by Master Builders Solutions, worked in close partnership with the project team to create a range of bespoke solutions to meet the brief. These have included the addition of pigments into the concrete mix to achieve a bespoke colour for the statue’s different component parts. In addition, specific aggregate types have been used in the mix to create the exposed rustic finish in the design of the statue, which includes a light-coloured 4/14 aggregate from Skye and the recycled glass. These aggregates have been exposed through power washing at the precast works to create the desired finish.

Dragan Maksimovic, CEO at Aggregate Industries, said: “As an industry, reducing carbon emissions has long been a goal – and as a business, we are transforming globally, and locally, to become a leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions. One of the ways we are doing that is through the development of our EcoPact ‘green concrete’ products, which draw on new technology, our world class R&D facility and local expertise to create a range of low-carbon concrete products including our EcoPact Max product – a sustainably viable, green solution for the Hope Sculpture.

“We are delighted to be a trusted partner of this iconic project. The sculpture serves as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to achieve global environmental milestones, which go well beyond COP26, as well as an iconic piece of concrete art that showcases low- carbon, sustainable solutions at their very best.”

Keltbray lifted the sculpture into place
Keltbray lifted the sculpture into place

Paul Deacy, managing director, demolition & civil engineering, at Keltbray said: “Keltbray is honoured to be a part of The Hope Sculpture project. The sculpture is a powerful symbol and it means a lot to us to be able to help deliver such an important beacon of hope. Our values are very much aligned with the project, as sustainability and wellbeing are embedded in everything we do as a business. We have very much enjoyed collaborating with the other businesses involved to bring this meaningful sculpture to the people of Glasgow.”

The Hope Sculpture is one of three public art installations now in situ across Glasgow. The iconic Hope Sculpture is located at Cunigar Loop, part of Clyde Gateway, while the 4.5m ‘Beacon of Hope’ is located at Glasgow Central Station. The 3.5m Hope Triptych is located at the University of Strathclyde’s Rottenrow Gardens. Visitors will be encouraged to access the sculptures via a walking and cycling route that connects the pieces.

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MPU

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