Yorkshire based construction products manufacturer Naylor Concrete has invested more than £155,000 in a new research laboratory at its manufacturing site in Barugh Green near Barnsley. The new facility will play a key role in the development of new low carbon concrete materials which will help Naylor and the construction industry deliver net zero.

The new R&D laboratory includes an area dedicated to the development of new concrete mixes as well as a product testing facility which will include bespoke testing equipment developed in partnership with Sheffield based engineering company, Tinsley Bridge Group.

The project is the latest of three significant investments made by Naylor Concrete at the site this year which also include a £220,000 investment in a new concrete curing system which is expected to reduced carbon emissions by 12.75 tonnes, and the creation of a dedicated on-site technical team and related offices.

It also follows the recruitment of a specialist Concrete Technologist who will play a key role in the development of low carbon concrete mixes.

Helen MacIntosh, technical and development director for Naylor Concrete, said:

“Naylor has a long-standing commitment to making significant investments in production facilities and R&D.

“As a CO2nstruct Zero Business Champion and a leading British manufacturer, our net zero strategy is a fundamental part of our overall business plan and this latest investment underlines our commitment to ensuring we become a Net Zero business by 2050 and to supporting the UK construction industry on its journey to Net Zero.”

Mark Gillespie, CEO of Recycl8


The importance of reducing the immense CO2 emissions of the concrete industry cannot be overstated. According to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Low Carbon Concrete Routemap, in the UK alone, concrete accounts for approximately 1.2% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, although globally, the cement production GHG emissions associated with the use of concrete could be as high as 4%-5%.

While cement accounts for 10 – 15% of the make-up of concrete, it is responsible for nearly 90% of the CO2 emissions from its production. In the UK alone the annual CO2 emissions of cement production is a staggering * 9 million tonnes.

It’s important to note that there has been real progress in recent times, with overall CO2 emissions down by over a half from 1990 to 2018, so we have certainly made strides in the right direction. Nonetheless it’s clear that all stakeholders within the construction industry must work together if we are to achieve NetZero in the UK by 2050.

The ICE Routemap recommends a number of key measures which all stakeholders within the construction industry should embrace in order to reduce the impact of their operations on climate change. One of these carbon reduction measures is defined as improving how we make concrete: “Concretes that use other cements or constituents outside of current standards will be part of the overall solution to reducing the carbon intensity of the industry.”*

At Recycl8, we are on the cusp of bringing our pioneering contribution to this solution, to market. Our team of industry experts have developed a breakthrough process that repurposes Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) – the ash from waste incineration – into a low carbon, high performance solution for concrete manufacture. Our solution reduces the quantity of cement required to make concrete – and therefore the volume of CO2 that is generated in the process, without any sacrifice in strength or quality.

Close collaboration with the Energy-from-Waste and construction industries is crucial to our mission of reducing the carbon footprint of the concrete industry. We are committed to working with industry partners to develop, adapt and scale our sustainable, emission-shrinking solution, making good on our commitment to reducing climate change today, without compromising on the infrastructure required for the successful economies and communities of tomorrow.



* Source: UK GHG Nat. statistics 2021

*Source: ICE Low Carbon Concrete Routemap 2022

An innovative range of heavy-duty anchors from EJOT UK can deliver important cost and time savings onsite in a wide variety of MMC projects without compromising performance. Paul Papworth, structural anchoring specialist at EJOT UK, explains why.

Foundation design and the method adopted for securely fixing structures or volumetric buildings to them is fundamental to any MMC project. And where the design requires anchoring into concrete or other hard base materials, any Google search will reveal numerous options capable of meeting the performance requirements.  But which factors matter most in the design and specification process and how can best value be achieved?

MMC’s key advantages of installation speed and rapid project delivery, coupled with high quality construction, can be leveraged further with the right anchoring choice. And the one range which has the potential to tick all the boxes, while also enabling significant cost savings, is the LIEBIG Superplus BLS.  One of the world’s most used heavy duty anchors of its kind, Superplus BLS is approved for use in cracked and non-cracked concrete, offering assured high capacity anchoring in a wide variety of applications and conditions. These range from nuclear power plants and industrial sites to facades, structural steelwork, base plates and – of course – offsite construction and MMC.

There are four key reasons why the Superplus BLS represents amongst the best choices for anchoring in MMC.


1. Cost savings – more “kN per £”


The Superplus BLS is the only self-undercutting anchor that, without special tools, creates its own undercut. It works in a slightly different way to all other types of concrete attachment products to deliver game-changing results.  This means the Superplus BLS will provide more ‘kN per £’, with the assurance of ETA and UKTA certified performance but without the price tag usually associated. The product is capable of offering significantly improved tensile performance at 200% that of other heavy duty type anchors, 300% of the performance possible with throughbolts and 250% that of the largest concrete screws.
The is because the anchor comprises several core components or modules that can be sized and assembled to meet the specific needs of an application. This is an immediate cost efficiency benefit, driven by EJOT’s ability to manufacture non-standard sizes in short lead times at a fraction of what it would cost for bespoke sized anchors.

2. Flexibility to adapt to onsite challenges


Superplus BLS is suitable for shallow concrete depths and can be used at closer spacings or closer to the edge of the concrete than is typically possible. Such factors have previously been major hurdles to cost effective anchoring because they usually result in the need for custom-made anchors with lengthy lead times and a cost premium.
These challenges are overcome thanks to the anchor’s relatively small diameter and a design that enables two embedment depths per anchor diameter. This gives far greater flexibility to the designer to enable the embedment depth necessary to satisfy the design criteria, without a need to change baseplate design.

3. Installation simplicity


The role ‘simple installation’ plays in ensuring the project outcomes match the design intent, specification goals and budget is often undervalued.  For example, specifying a highly engineered, premium quality component or system where installation is specialist  in itself, could result in a solution failing to deliver on its promise. And there could be the need for costly remedial work unless it is fitted by a team with specialist knowledge.

Design innovation, therefore, is not only about a product’s performance capability – it should also seek ways to make installation as simple as possible to reduce risk. That is the thinking behind the Superplus BLS.  Its modular design and self-undercutting cone means no special tooling is needed to install it. Costly and complex installation processes have effectively been ‘engineered-out’. The self-undercutting mechanism is also not hole depth dependent, which eliminates the need for another special tool – setting equipment.

4. Application versatility


Whilst there is no one size fits all approach to concrete anchoring, the modular approach of the BLS means it is possible to use a single product for multiple different purposes on the same project.
The key to its versatility is the ability to choose different variants of the core parts of the anchor. The length and diameter of the threaded bolt and the distance sleeve can be sized within a wide range and the head styles can be chosen to suit the specific application requirements.
It all adds up to an application-specific anchoring solution that can be configured in a way that is normally associated only with 100% bespoke anchors, which are notoriously costly in small volumes and incur long lead times.

These four major benefits make the LIEBIG Superplus BLS an ideal choice for MMC as its innovative design mirrors the advances that many offsite and prefabricated products are making in transforming construction. 



To learn more about the range or discuss its use in a future project, please contact EJOT UK on 01977 687040

or CLICK HERE to email EJOT




JACKON by BEWI has two construction systems, the JACKODUR® Atlas insulated raft system and THERMOMUR® Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF), which integrates insulation materials into the concrete formwork, totally revolutionising the way a house is constructed. 




JACKON by BEWI Building Systems exceed the u-value targets of the latest Part L building regs. JACKON by BEWI’s THERMOMUR® 350 Super Block is one of the most energy efficient building systems currently available. It has a U-value of 0.15 straight out of the box, ahead of the required maximum of 0.16 U-value on external walls – part of the requirement that new homes emit 31% less CO2 under the Part L Building Regulations.

ICF constructions have been achieving the new targets for years in their basic configuration, with no “add-ons”, while other types of constructions have had to push their limits in terms of cavities, ties and expensive insulating material in order to achieve the existing levels of thermal performance.

JACKODUR® ATLAS uses XPS (extruded polystyrene) to create an insulated floor slab, while THERMOMUR® ICF uses EPS (moulded expanded polystyrene) to create the formwork. JACKON by BEWI has 60 years of expertise in manufacturing these products, which, in addition to the thermal efficiency benefits, also enable a house to be constructed more quickly and with less waste than other techniques.

The company also offers the market-leading JACKOBOARD® range of waterproof, weight-loading and thermally insulating construction boards for wetrooms and showers.  There is no need to tank wetrooms constructed using either with a waterproof membrane or a paint-on solution, because JACKOBOARD® is manufactured from 100% waterproof XPS. This saves the installer both time and money, since a separate tanking system is not required and only the joints where the boards meet need to be taped.





Leading fire protection specialist, Promat, has launched PROMATECT®-H, a high-performance fire-resistant

calcium silicate board, which  can protect concrete elements

for up to 240 minutes.


Many building materials, such as concrete, have an element of natural resistance to fire. However, in the event of a fire, exposed concrete can experience both mechanical and chemical changes such as explosive spalling and external cracking, both of which can cause it to progressively lose its strength, resulting in potential structural failure.

PROMATECT®-H ensures concrete columns, walls, beams, and slabs comply with UK fire and building regulations and prevents structural failure in the event of a fire. In addition, it is classified as A1 non-combustible when tested and classified in accordance with EN13501-1, making it easy to specify with confidence.

The fire protection board offers architects, main contractors, sub-contractors, and specifiers the option to upgrade structural elements of a building, creating a more flexible approach to internal fit outs or refurbishment projects. Ceilings and partitions can be easily produced using the boards. As an added advantage, they have a smooth surface leaving a great finish when painted and used alongside standard joint fillers.

Wit a high resistance to water, PROMATECT®-H will not deteriorate when used in damp or humid conditions. This enables the board to be installed and left semi-exposed so it can be brought into the construction schedule at an early stage, helping to streamline building processes in line with project timelines.


For more information, CLICK HERE to get in touch with the Promat team.





Material scientists Barney Shanks and Sam Draper are lauded for their efforts in helping eliminate carbon emissions from the building and construction industry.

On October 06, 2022, Copenhagen-based Henrik Frode Obel Foundation announced material technology company Seratech as the winner of Obel Award 2022. The architecture award recognised the efforts of the company’s material scientists and London’s Imperial College PhD students Barney Shanks and Sam Draper in creating a solution against the alarming carbon footprint generated by the building and construction industry. The duo have created a carbon-neutral concrete through an efficient, low-cost process using materials that are naturally available all over the globe. The technology, according to Obel Award jury, best represents the 2022 theme of the award – ‘Embodied Emissions’ – referring to the irreversible and unremedied amount of CO2 that’s released in the construction of concrete architecture, and the need to sequester the problem at source.

Seratech’s solution is about capturing carbon from various industrial production processes to create a 100 per cent carbon neutral product that serves to potentially reduce embodied emissions. Though still at the ‘lab level’, the company hopes to scale up the concrete’s production in the near future to help achieve low carbon constructions.

Through this year’s thematic and the corresponding winner, the OBEL Award jury highlights the need for innovative and flexible cross-disciplinary solutions to combat climate change. Lauding Seratech’s endeavour, the jury shared that “it is necessary to encourage ambitious, cross disciplinary ideas that do not just provide a temporary or a small scale fix nor an unrealistic shift in the current practices.” The jury consisted of Martha Schwartz, as Chair (Founder, Martha Schwartz Partners, USA), Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (Co-founder, Snöhetta, Norway), Louis Becker (Design Principal and Partner, Henning Larsen, Denmark), Dr Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Germany), and XU Tiantian (Founding Principal, DnA, Beijing, China).

The fourth honouree to have received the annual prize that “recognises exceptional architectural contributions to human development”, Seratech’s winning new age concrete is preceded by Professor Carlos Menos’ urban design proposal 15-miuute city (2021), German architect Anna Herringer’s multi-layered building Anandaloy (2020) from northern Bangladesh, and Japanese architect Junya Ishigami’s Water Garden as the 2019 winner.

Shanks and Draper discuss the idea behind the technology produced at Seratech Video: Courtesy of Obel Award

So how is this concrete actually produced? Co-founders Shanks and Draper have mechanised a chemical process of capturing and storing C02 to create an alternative to Portland cement in the concrete composition.

“We found a way to take the world’s most abundant waste product, CO2, and react it with the world’s most abundant mineral, magnesium silicate. In doing this, we produce two things: magnesium carbonate and silica,” says Shanks. “But the really exciting bit is the silica. We use this as a cement replacement material, and if this is scaled globally, not only does it cut Portland cement production by 30 per cent, but also sequesters the emissions from the remaining 70 per cent, resulting in carbon-neutral concrete,” Draper, the company’s CEO adds.

A private limited company comprising a team of scientists, engineers and business leaders, Seratech’s technology has been in development since late 2020 and is currently working on the design of a pilot plant to model the process at a large scale. Following acceptance into the climate-tech accelerator Greenhouse in August 2021, the company has also received two grants totalling £212k to hire more researchers in its team, in addition to being featured as a case study in The Green Construction Board’s ‘Low Carbon Concrete Routemap’.

“The overall idea with this project,” according to Seratech’s Chief Technical Officer Barney Shanks, “is essentially where finding a way to reduce the carbon emissions associated with cement and concrete is zero but without impacting the properties of cement and concrete itself. If it is fully adopted, this technology eliminates three billion tonnes of CO2 being released in the atmosphere every year.”

In this time of aggressive urbanisation where the need for concrete and cement is seeing a continual rise, and which is only expected to increase in the future, Seratech’s sustainable endeavour brings a ray of hope in significantly decarbonising the construction industry. Draper and Shanks will receive a prize sum of EUR 100,000 and an artwork by Barcelona-based artist Tomás Saraceno at the Obel Award official ceremony, to be hosted at the Utzon Centre in Aalborg, Denmark, on October 25, 2022.

With three key projects under the spotlight, we hear more about Spantherm – the innovative insulated precast concrete ground-floor system which is being adopted by a growing number of housebuilders and developers in GB.

By producing high performance insulated structural concrete units offsite Creagh have redefined the speed of installing a fully insulated ground-floor.  Spantherm is an efficient alternative to labour intensive beam and block installations. It has been utilised at a housing development in Peterborough by NRI Civils who opted for the work to be completed by Creagh’s expert fitting team, requiring no labour from them and saving them time onsite.
Adam Moody, Contracts Manager for NRI Civils said: “We chose Spantherm because one of the things that we are looking for as a business is to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, reduce labour and time onsite and when you’ve got a difficult site, where you’re struggling for storage, that’s exactly where Spantherm is perfect!”
Spantherm’s initial appeal is clear, as a typical floor on a detached house or a pair of semi-detached homes is fitted onsite in less than two hours. Once in place and grouted, the floor achieves its full structural capability within 72 hours, however building activity can commence on perimeter walls within 24 hours. “The team have been absolutely fantastic” adds Adam. “They are always on hand for technical support. We will definitely be using Spantherm again to help our optimum goal of achieving better efficiency and reducing costs and labour times.”
Spantherm has also been used in Nottinghamshire, where a new homes development is being built by Geda Construction. With no additional site works or laying out required, a typical 90m² floor can be installed in just 90 minutes and provides level base without camber for timber frame or block construction.
Installation is not affected by adverse weather conditions and secondary screeds with extended drying times are not required. Spantherm is designed to reduce cold bridging at wall / floor junctions making an important contribution to Part L performance, whilst achieving U-value as low as 0.11W/m2K.
“Geda used Spantherm to push the project along as its one operation that just makes it so much quicker and easier to facilitate onsite,” said Shaun Wormall, Site Manager for Geda. “We are impressed on the installation of the slabs and the time that it saves us onsite. From a site management point of view it’s been really good, Creagh have been very responsive and the production timescales and installation has been quick and painless.  We would definitely use Spantherm again, brilliant product, well-managed and well-run.”
An increasing number of builders in GB are switching from traditional beam and block builds as its significantly reducing labour onsite.  Malcolm Flinn, Director of Stapleford Oaks Ltd in Nottingham states “I chose Spantherm because it’s labour saving, has made life easier for me, its quick, efficient and clean”.
“I would use Spantherm again because the block and beam method takes so many more men and machines on site, and takes a lot longer
to lay.  It also leaves a lot of work for the bricklayers to do at floor level.  With Spantherm we are in and building off it almost straight away” stated Malcolm.
Watch the testimonial videos at


by Joe Bradbury


As a proud Midlander and Editor of MMC Magazine, my interest was always going to be piqued when I heard that industry leader Creagh are building an offsite residential tower called ‘St Martin’s Place’ in the heart of my local city, Birmingham. I had to find out more:


There is a habit amongst people from Birmingham and the surrounding towns to run the place down. But I believe this habit is a bad one and that places such as Birmingham have so much to offer, logistically and culturally.

There was a feeling across the Midlands that Birmingham was on the cusp of big change when it finally received a decent train station. Grand Central came and transformed our embarrassing old New Street station into somewhere worth visiting.

It seems that despite nationwide Brexit uncertainty, businesses in Birmingham are enjoying more success than those in any other part of Britain.

In the Birmingham Mail, Neil Rami, chief executive of West Midlands Growth Company, recently said “The unprecedented rise of new enterprises here is demonstrating how the region can outclass London as a central hub of innovation, productive and long term future prospects.”

In fact, Birmingham was the second-fastest growing UK city last year; and with more Londoners moving out of the capital to Birmingham than ever before, the demand for new housing has never been higher. Earlier this year, Berkeley Homes said they could be building up to 3,000 new homes a year in the city over the next ten years.

City centre living is becoming more and more popular, and in Birmingham this is being boosted by the increase in exciting career options being offered with the expansion of business in the city. With St Martin’s Place set to complete by the end of 2020, residents won’t just be the envy of Birmingham – there will be many more vying for their luxury lifestyle in this exciting city destination.

The project

Work has already begun on St Martins Place, a 17 storey, premium development, located in the heart of Birmingham between Broad Street and Tennant Street. The building comprises five apartments with three bedrooms, 105 apartments with two bedrooms and 118 apartments with one bedroom.

St Martin’s Place will feature 228 spacious apartments, and residents’ amenities including a private gym, cinema, Wi-Fi, café and 24-hour concierge.

Colmore Tang Construction has been appointed by developer Seven Capital as main contractor for the delivery of the project, located in one of Birmingham’s most highly sought-after postcodes, just minutes from the city’s main business district. Creagh have been enlisted to manufacture, supply & fit fastrack build system Rapidres, consisting of external sandwich panels (featuring both a smooth finish and a brick finish), internal walls, stairs, lift shaft and hollowcore flooring.

CEO of Creagh, Seamus McKeague says “we are already seeing strong interest in rapid build concrete systems because developers now understand the true value of slashing programme times. Investors not only benefit from revenue gained by the early occupation of units but, also, from the mobility of their capital resource. Quite simply, shorter build times mean developers can complete more projects with the same pot of finance.”

About Rapidres

Rapidres is a fastrack offsite crosswall build system developed for residential projects, including apartments, student accommodation, hotels, social housing and custodial accommodation.

Rapidres crosswall technology delivers robust traditional style construction with the speed of a modular build for significant programme savings. Creagh design, manufacture and install the complete structure.

The total frame solution is comprised of structural walls and solid or hollowcore flooring and construction speed is greater than alternative systems. Units are manufactured offsite ensuring the desired quality is met and can be left for direct decoration if required. M&E can be incorporated into the production process for all types of services.


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In summary

City living offers a multitude of benefits, such as more job opportunities, more chances of meeting people, more education opportunities and more variety.

Birmingham needs more homes if it is to keep up with modern demand, and we know that we need to be utilising offsite more as an industry. In my eyes, a project such as St Martin’s place is the right type of building, in the right place, at the right time, being delivered by the right people. I can’t wait to see it done!


Kerkstoel 2000+ is one of the most innovative concrete companies in Europe.

It is part of the Kerkstoel Group and is based in Grobbendonk (Belgium).It specializes in the production of precast concrete walls and floors. Every precast element is made to measure in a highly automated factory.

Based on the architect’s design (general arrangements and cross-sections), structural calculations, formwork and installation plans, Kerkstoel 2000+ develops an installation plan, with all the necessary details, so that everything runs smoothly and according to plan on site.

The floors, or lattice slabs, are used as a structural and aesthetic underside of a concrete floor. Basically permanent formwork they are the ideal substrate for concrete floors and can be made in all shapes, up to 7 cm thick. Wide plates are equipped with bottom reinforcement and on the underside they have a very smooth surface. After placing the lattice slabs and propping the top reinforcement is installed. Finally, the slabs are poured with concrete to the desired floor thickness. The result: a solid concrete floor where the load is perfectly distributed.


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The reinforced twin walls of Kerkstoel consist of two shells of reinforced concrete that are connected to each other by lattice girders. All necessary built-in parts are provided in the walls during production (such as electrical boxes, power conduits, openings for windows and doors, wooden boxes, etc.).The wall elements are then assembled on site according to plan and then filled with concrete. The result is a solid construction as strong as a monolithic cast insitu concrete wall. These systems ensure high quality on site in a shorter construction time. The heavy skilled labour, such as steel-fixing and formwork, is limited to an absolute minimum.

Thanks to the hybrid character, namely the combination between prefab concrete and in situ concrete, with the necessary water-bars the walls can also be used for underground structures.

In 2018 Kerkstoel 2000+ invested in a brand new automated production hall. With this production hall, Kerkstoel wants to further specialize in the concrete wall sector. Concrete walls with integrated insulation, sandwich panels, walls with prints, etc. will now also be possible. Kerkstoel 2000+ has been active on the British market for more than 10 years, and has delivered walls and floor slabs to numerous contractors. Contact us and see what we can do for you!



As Bison Precast celebrates 100 years in business, we reflect on its remarkable history and ability to remain at the forefront of building innovation.


Bison Precast is a business built on sturdy foundations. Originally named Concrete Ltd, it was established in 1919 by JG Ambrose and CB Mathews, two Royal Engineers who had developed expertise in concrete while creating pillboxes used on the Western Front in the Great War of 1914-1918. The business’s success throughout the last century, in an often-challenging market, can be attributed to those two men and their principles of professionalism and responsiveness to the industry’s requirements.

A century of innovation

When they opened their first factory in 1919, in Leeds, concrete’s popularity as a building material was growing. Initially, the factory specialised in the manufacture of precast reinforced concrete floors and, despite the challenges of the post-war years, they were soon able to open factories in the south and the north, to meet growing demand across the country for their products.

During the 1930s, the company continued to develop new products. In 1935 it invented the pneumatic core, which revolutionised the manufacture of hollow concrete floors. It also developed the L-section unit for theatre balconies, a refined version of which continues to be used in grandstand terracing and seating.

During World War II, the company created a mobile version of the pillbox – the extemporised armoured vehicle known as the Bison, and to which the company would later change its name. In the post-war years, the company played a significant role in the rebuilding of Britain’s war-damaged factories, hospitals and government buildings, where its precast floors and the speed at which they could be assembled proved invaluable.

A lack of structural steel during this period led the company to develop pre-stressing techniques and by the early 1950s the Bison Preferred Dimension Frame was introduced for use in factories, hospitals and office buildings where large areas of floorspace were required. The following decade, the company’s Wall Frame System, which was the first fully industrialised all-British system for high-rise blocks of flats, helped to meet the country’s growing housing demand, and received the Queen’s Award to Industry in 1967.

Into the 1970s and the Bison Beam was developed, in 1974, in response to changing market needs and new mandatory requirements for ground floors. The beam’s immediate success resulted in it becoming the generic term for suspended ground floors in housing, and led directly to the use of hollowcore pre-stressed beams for intermediate floors in single-occupancy dwellings. It also saw Bison truly established as one of the leading lights in British construction.

Building the nation’s landmarks

As the Bison product range has developed over the course of the century, so too has the range of sectors it serves. Today, it provides concrete flooring, structural and architectural products for use in the construction of large infrastructure projects, car parks, healthcare, custodial, leisure, stadia, industrial, residential and commercial schemes – helping to create some of Britain’s most prominent landmarks.

In 1998, Bison started the manufacture and supply of 1000m³ of terraces, walls, beams and stairs, and 45,000m² of hollowcore flooring for use in the building of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, ensuring it would be ready for the Rugby World Cup in 1999. Just a handful of years later in 2003, it began the casting of more than 90,000m² of hollowcore flooring, and over 13,000m³ of precast concrete to form 55 kilometres of terracing, ancillary steps, walls and stair flights at the new 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium.

Other landmarks that have been supported by the significant design, manufacture and supply capability of Bison Precast, but which we might take a little more for granted, include the mighty new Catthorpe Interchange in Leicestershire – where the M1 meets the M6 and the A14 trunk road – for which 7,000m² of Bison Precast’s Omnia Bridge Deck concrete units were provided; Ilkeston Railway with its 100-metre-long platforms, made up in total by 230 precast concrete units weighing a combined 700 tonnes, which is expected to serve up to a quarter of a million passengers a year; and the Dawlish sea defences which were rebuilt with nearly 100 three-metre-high heavy-duty bespoke precast concrete retaining walls, and more than 150 precast seawall units, each weighing around 15 tonnes, as part of urgent works to get Dawlish railway back on track after the existing defences and part of the railway line were destroyed in the heavy storms of 2014.

This is in addition to numerous apartment buildings, hospitals and other significant structures that are helping to regenerate, transform and serve communities up and down the UK.

Combining strength

In 2017, Bison was acquired by leading building products manufacturer Forterra, which already had two precast concrete production sites in Somercotes and Hoveringham, neither of them far from Bison’s base in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

Operating under the new name of Bison Precast, the move would create strength through the combined expertise, skill and experience of the two businesses, making it one of the biggest precast concrete manufacturers in the country, and the largest manufacturer of precast flooring.

This impressive Bison Precast team is continuing the innovative approach of its predecessors in developing pioneering techniques that are at the forefront of offsite construction. Its precast frame solutions are reducing build times, improving health and safety, and helping alleviate issues of labour availability.


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Bison Precast is also taking full advantage of its access to Forterra’s clay brick expertise, working with its counterparts to break new ground in the world of precast architectural solutions, the latest of which is being used in the construction of Kier’s new Wellingborough Prison scheme.

New brick-faced sandwich panels for Wellingborough Prison scheme

Bison Precast’s new, insulated, brick-faced sandwich panels are a great example of what can be achieved when precast concrete expertise is combined with clay brick manufacturing know-how.

The Wellingborough Prison project is one of the first to benefit from these new panels, which are part of Bison Precast’s ever-expanding Architectural Precast range.

Mike Nelson, commercial director at Bison Precast, commented: “In pairing innovative design with high tech manufacturing capabilities, our new insulated, brick-faced sandwich panels are supporting the move to DfMA, which is so important in the successful and timely completion of schemes such as Wellingborough Prison.

“Our new brick-faced sandwich panels enable us to take any clay brick option from the Forterra range and cast it into precast concrete panels. For Wellingborough Prison, Forterra’s Butterley Golden Thatch is the clay brick used, and will provide an attractive external façade to the key public-facing building on site. This technique means that design and aesthetics of DfMA schemes – such as multi-storey residential, commercial, institutional and industrial developments – needn’t be limited, which is a real step forward in delivering high quality schemes, quickly.”

Building for the future

Mike has little doubt that key to Bison Precast’s continuing success is its skilled and loyal workforce, many of whom have worked for the business all their working lives. “Any business is only as good as its people. Over the years, I have witnessed a deep sense of loyalty and identity within the Bison workforce, and the number of employees who have received long service awards is testament to this. It’s an attitude and work ethic that began with our founders back in 1919 and their commitment to serving not only the construction industry but the country, too.”

As well as continuing to deliver the pioneering products and methods honed over the last century, Bison Precast is looking to continue to develop new products and opportunities, particularly in the area of offsite manufacture, that should see the company thrive long into the future.