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Aggregate Industries pushes lightweight concrete solutions

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World Cement,

Lightweight concrete offers a more cost-effective and sustainable building solution for high-rise construction, according to Aggregate Industries, the UK subsidiary of global building materials producer, LafargeHolcim, and should play a crucial role in meeting the complex design challenges posed by these projects.

“The task for the modern structural engineer or contractor is not an easy one,” said Barry Mellor, Commercial Manager for Aggregate Industries Lytag lightweight aggregate. “Given the growing trend for high-rise developments across the UK, the onus is on creating cost-effective and sustainable structures which, at the same time, provide scope for greater design freedom than ever before.”

Lytag is made from flyash generated by coal-fired power stations. The flyash is transformed into small round pellets, which are then heated to 1100°C. This creates a very hard pellet with a honeycombed internal structure of interconnecting spaces. These hard pellets can then be used as a superior, consistent, lightweight aggregate, which is up to 50% lighter than natural aggregate.

Being a secondary aggregate means it can improve the green credentials of a build, as seen during the construction of the £135m 70 St Mary Axe landmark development – the latest skyscraper set to transform London’s skyline. Lytag was instrumental in helping the tower recently receive an Excellent rating in BREEAM by conforming to clause WST 02 in relation to recycled aggregate.

“Providing the same level of structural performance as standard weight aggregate used in concrete formulation, Lytag is ideal for reducing the number and size of columns in order to create bigger structures with greater spans, whilst at the same time being able to reduce the total load of their builds,” continued Mellor. “Essentially, it reduces the volume of foundation needed by using less concrete and steel during the construction process.”

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