The development is the first to commercially use Concretene, a greener and cheaper concrete alternative that blends concrete with graphene.
Discovered by the University of Manchester in 2004, graphene is a 2D substance that is the world’s strongest known material. It’s stretchy. It conducts electricity and heat. It’s incredibly thin – only as thick as a single atom.
Concretene is technically a formula that allows graphene to evenly disperse throughout concrete, making a stronger mixture that can be poured just like concrete. It has serious green credentials too. Concretene reduces the amount of concrete required by 30% and speeds up the curing time from 28 days to 12 hours. But the big saving point is that concretene eliminates the need for reinforced steel, which can reduce a project’s carbon emissions by an estimated 22%-34%.
Concretene is the creation of the University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and Nationwide Engineering.
At Mayfield, Concretene was poured to make a 2,480 sq ft mezzanine floor for a roller disco at Escape to Freight Island. According to Mayfield officials, using Concretene rather than pure concrete reduced the amount of carbon emissions for the slab by 4,265kg.
While Mayfield may be the first to commercially use the product, it’s not the first to have a Concretene floor – that honour goes to Southern Quarter gym in Amesbury’s Solstice Park.
Still, Alex McDermott, co-founder of Nationwide Engineering, called the Mayfield Concretene pour a “huge milestone”.
“Not only is this our first commercial use of Concretene, but also the first suspended slab as used in high rise developments,” he said.
“As world leaders in graphene-enhanced concrete technology, the interest from the international building industry has been beyond expectations, as looming legislation is forcing significant carbon reductions throughout construction.”
Using Concretene fit in with the goals of Mayfield according to developer U+I, which along with LCR, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester makes up The Mayfield Partnership.
“Our ambition is for Mayfield to become an exemplar sustainable neighbourhood, where people and planet come first,” said U+I development director Arlene van Bosch.
“Innovations such as the use of Concretene are central to realising our vision – we want to push the boundaries of design and construction to create the most environmentally-friendly place possible.”
The team behind the roller disco includes Versarien as the graphene producer, Civic Engineers on engineering design, Epic Engineering on engineering and Phaus as interior architect.
- Elsewhere in Mayfield: Drone video shows the River Medlock winding through Mayfield Park