February 29, 2024

Construction leaders build an ecological alliance

Proactive companies Willmott Dixon, FACE Brickwork, Grayson, Speedy Hire and Cemfree have joined forces to raise awareness for environmentally friendly building materials and methodologies.

Green-thinking industry leaders from across the sector have built a demonstration wall using eco-friendly alternatives to prove that by working together, the carbon-heavy industry can do something constructive to help the environment. 

The demonstration wall showcases some of the latest developments in environmentally-conscious building; from cement-free mortar and battery operated plant, to recyclable mortar boards and progressive building practices. Even the location has green credentials; the demonstration wall is on the site of Willmott Dixon’s new Spelthorne Leisure Centre project, one of the most advanced, energy-efficient Passivhaus leisure centres in the world.  

“The biggest issue for the construction industry is that it’s a high impact sector, so small changes do make a material difference…everyone has to play their part to give us a chance of having a planet that’s worthy of handing down to the next generation,” says Alistair Donaghey, Regional Head of SHE from Willmott Dixon, which has been spearheading sustainable and environmental practices through its Now or Never Strategy.

The aim of the demonstration wall is to prove to other building professionals that eco-friendly alternatives are not just great in theory, but in practice too. Keir Dixon of FACE Brickwork had the idea to build a wall that doesn’t divide, but brings together different facets of the construction industry.

“I knew there would be a lot of influential visitors to Spelthorne Leisure Centre as it’s such a ground-breaking project. If they could see the demonstration wall and what’s possible, it might inspire other construction teams to start making change happen. We’ve already had positive comments from experienced construction professionals that didn’t know some of these green-alternatives even existed.”

For example, Cemfree Masonry Mortar is a revolutionary sustainable alternative to Portland cement, cutting the CO2e emissions by up to 70%. Combining this with the zero-emission battery-powered mixer from Speedy Services, and we’re starting to see a way of building that’s sensitive to the environment.

Tony Higson of Graysons, the leading consumables supplier who have produced the first 100% recyclable mortar board, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting this meaningful project. Offering eco-friendly construction methods does not mean compromising on quality, that’s a really important message for us.”

Katie Wills; Major Accounts Manager of Cemfree, manufacturer of cement free alternative binder praised this demonstration, “when Keir Dixon of FACE Brickwork contacted us about the demo wall, we thought this was a great idea in demonstrating true collaboration with likeminded innovative companies.  The wall not only show cases our Cemfree Masonry Mortar but also Breedon Balance Cemfree Dense Blocks; ‘cement-free concrete dense block using Cemfree binder as the cement replacement’.  We can’t wait to be involved in a live project with everyone very soon.”

The alliance is very optimistic about the industry prioritising sustainability. As Rachel O’Sullivan, Regional Supply Chain Manager at Willmott Dixon says “It’s amazing what can be achieved when like-minded businesses come together and pledge towards a greener future.”