New concrete builds on the success of previous generations of concrete. It is an ancient material that is being developed continuously.

New concrete is a family of materials that includes self-compacting concretes, high-strength concretes, ultra high strength concretes – even a ductile concrete is available. New concrete is a successful combination of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. Its traditional benefits of inherent robustness, fire resistance, sound insulation and durability have been carried toward to meet the demands of modern construction. Unlike other materials, these benefits come free of charge. There is no need for additional, expensive and labour-intensive coatings, coverings or vibration dampeners.

New Concrete 05 demonstrates how the traditional benefits translate into modern, cost-effective and efficient construction. It examines how the use of concrete’s thermal mass can help address the issue of climate change and how the material’s robustness and inherent fire resistance can build safer structures. On site, concrete delivers fast construction, as is demonstrated by specialist Bell & Webster, which was finishing off the 10th floor of a hotel in east London while the bedrooms up the fourth were fully furnished and ready for occupation. Apart from speed of construction, new concrete also gives projects the “wow” factor as the new Mercedes Benz headquarters in Weybridge shows.

Meanwhile, new concrete is being used in innovative ways to provide shelters such as the “building-in-a-bag” developed by two post-graduate students, and for earthquake-resistant buildings by precast specialist Elcon.

The concrete industry is confident that the new and innovative construction methods it is developing will meet and even outperform the performance levels being specified by designers.

Ian Cox, chief executive, The Concrete Centre