Standards and Benchmarking
Insight #9: Standards and Benchmarking
Concrete goes above and beyond compliance
SITES HAVE EMS
From the extraction of raw materials through the whole supply chain to production sites, products and buildings, concrete is covered by a wide range of British and European standards, design and construction codes and Building Regulations.
Some provide very specific prescriptive requirements while others are based on final performance criteria that can be achieved in many ways. Building Regulations, structured around a range of different aspects of construction such as structural integrity, fire, thermal performance and acoustic performance, can introduce potentially conflicting requirements that need to be resolved.
Added to these are the more recent schemes for the assessment and rating of the sustainability of projects such as the BREEAM suite, Code for Sustainable Homes (no longer in use for new projects), Home Quality Mark, CEEQUAL and LEED.
The concrete industry also has a role to provide fact-based information to help designers and clients. Industry experts contribute to the development of standards, codes and regulations through representation on technical committees and working groups and by direct comment on public consultations.
This is essential to ensure that innovative solutions can meet requirements and performance criteria, while continuing to deliver robust, safe and durable structures. Although concrete manufacturers usually have technical expertise and information to support designers, the strategy recognises the need for more generic design guidance.
The Concrete Centre publishes best practice guidance on general aspects of concrete construction and specific sustainability aspects including thermal mass, whole-life carbon and long-term resilience. Over the last 10 years, the concrete industry has gone beyond simply complying with regulation, seeking to become a leader in sustainable construction.
By consistently improving our performance over and above current best practice, and enlightening clients to ensure a sustainable construction environment downstream, the concrete industry plays a dynamic role in delivering a sustainable, low-carbon built environment in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible manner.