When embarking on a construction or civil engineering project, there are a huge number of factors to consider. The materials used play a significant role in the overall project, so it is vital to ensure that the correct ones are used.
Concrete is the most popular construction material globally and has been used in every corner of the world for years. However, concrete has several key disadvantages, including installation and curing time, environmental impact and transportation restrictions, so more and more businesses are turning to alternatives. One such alternative is Concrete Canvas.
This geosynthetic fabric has been developed as an alternative to traditional poured or sprayed concrete. It is often known as ‘concrete on a roll’ as this fabric contains a specially formulated dry cement powder mix.
So how can this concrete alternative benefit small business?
Time and cost
Two of the major factors when working on any project for a small business are time and cost. These impact the kind of work that can be done and how the project is carried out. When working on a construction or civil engineering project, any businesses need to be absolutely sure they are getting value for money and the time is being well spent. However, this is particularly true for small businesses who may be dealing with really tight budgets and not a considerable amount of disposable capital.
Using Concrete Canvas rather than traditional concrete, businesses can save on the time a project takes and the amount of money it costs. One of the main reasons for this is that unlike traditional concrete, this geosynthetic fabric does not require any mixing on-site. The material is simple to install: once rolled out and secured, the top surface is hydrated and the material is ready to use in 24 hours. As a result, a significant amount of time is saved on the overall length of the project in preparation and curing times. Furthermore, the installation of Concrete Canvas can happen at a rate ten times faster than traditional concrete.
Each small business faces different challenges, and no two projects are the same. For businesses which operate in the civil engineering sector, this is something they deal with every day. One challenge which these small businesses face is working on a project where accessibility is complex. Moving any amount of construction materials onto a site can require considerable planning, and this is exacerbated when the project itself makes traditional ways of working unsuitable.
Because Concrete Canvas arrives as a roll of fabric, it can be moved far more easily than a 17-ton mixer truck. The fabric can also be cut to any length as required with basic hand tools to ensure that it is the right size for the project while reducing material waste. When working on projects such as channel lining or slope protection this can be really beneficial in accommodating varying profiles.
One of the main issues with concrete is its environmental impact. Not only is cement the source of 8% of the worlds CO2 emissions, but the associated factors which go with it also contribute. Mixer trucks and additional workers getting to a project site over a longer period of time, and then running the mixer throughout the day contribute to traditional concrete’s environmental impact.
When spraying or pouring concrete, plant life can be damaged. With the Geosynthetic Cementitious Composite Mats (GCCMs) from Concrete Canvas, this can be avoided as the fabric is installed by hand and overspray or spillages are not a factor. Furthermore, with a lower carbon footprint than traditional concretes, low alkaline reserve level, and a low washout rate Concrete Canvas fabric has been recognised by the UK’s Environment Agency as being a more environmentally sensitive concrete solution. The Environment Agency have used the material themselves on several projects on environmentally sensitive sites. Small businesses can benefit from this as they are able to demonstrate they are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact; with more scrutiny than ever before on how seriously businesses are taking their environmental impact, making efforts like this one is vital. Concrete alternatives such as Concrete Canvas Ltd.’s GCCMs are just one option available for businesses to move away from traditional concretes and towards other options. As highlighted above, there are significant benefits to using a concrete alternative, and for this reason, their popularity is likely to continue to rise in the coming years.