Skanska’s low carbon concrete innovation – how it works


A low carbon concrete trial by major firms is ready to go to the next phase. 

Skanka's carbon concrete project
by Rory ButlerDecember 9, 2022

Skanska UK is ready to progress a low carbon reinforced concrete solution trial to permanent roads, following its successful application at Junction 6 of the M42 for National Highways. 

On the job: 

  • Skanska 
  • HS2 
  • Tarmac 
  • National Composites Centre 
  • Basalt Technologies 
  • National Highways 

How it works 

The mix comprises conventional blended cementitious material and a low carbon alternative with an Alkali Activated Cementitious Material (AACM) in place of cement.  

The reinforcement steel replacement is a basalt fibre reinforced polymer rebar, five-times lighter and twice as strong as its counterpart, resistant to corrosion, alkalis and acids.   

On average, basalt has 60% less CO2 emission than steel and is a cost-effective substitute. 

After a year of trials, results show a more than 50% reduction in carbon. 

Next phase 

Working with National Highways and HS2, the next phase will trial the low carbon combination on a permanent road, where firms will capture and then publish the results, all in hopes of a rollout across the UK’s strategic road network. 

The innovation could also be used in other structural reinforced concrete elements beyond roads, Skanska said.   

“By using a unique combination of materials, we are working to not only cut carbon, but also improve the structural performance of reinforced concrete, delivering better productivity, safety and cost outcomes,” said Skanska’s highways director, Glennan Blackmore. 

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