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Thu December 12 2019

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Ultra-strong concrete used in new home for solitary bees

15 Aug Ductal ultra-high-performance concrete has been used in the USA to build a pavilion designed both as a visitor centre and as a base for solitary bees.

Lafarge Holcim said that Pollinators Pavilion creates a habitat for solitary bees, which account for 70% of global non-agricultural pollination. Much of the habitat of these stingerless bees, which do not live in colonies, is under threat due to development or urbanisation and there is limited research on their habitats and nesting behaviour.

The Pollinators Pavilion has been designed to recall the ovoid bristling form of solitary bees’ compound eyes. It provides a visitors’ centre for Stone House Farm, a 2,500-acre organic farm in Livingston, New York. The wooden structure supports 300 cast concrete panels, where 5,000 solitary bees can make their home in nesting tubes in the panels.

The varied positions and orientations of panels allow the testing of diverse living conditions for solitary bees to optimise future manmade habitats, previously a little-researched area. The panel system was achieved through partnership in material research with LafargeHolcim’s Ductal UHPC team.

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