Green Building

S3, E1: Tony Sheridan on Building a Greener Future with the Revolutionary Cemfree Cement

todayFebruary 17, 2024


S3, E1: Tony Sheridan on Building a Greener Future with the Revolutionary Cemfree Cement

Welcome to Constructive Voices. In Episode 1 of Season Three, we explore the urgent shift within the construction industry towards more sustainable practices, particularly in the face of the UK government’s net-zero targets. (You can tune into this episode from Tuesday 20th February).

The construction industry is seeking environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional cement due to its significant carbon footprint, with the UK government setting net zero targets for the sector. A promising innovation in this field is Cemfree by DB Group, a binder made from waste material through alkali activation, offering an 85% reduction in carbon emissions compared to conventional cement. Jackie De Burca investigates Cemfree with Tony Sheridan,

About Tony Sheridan

Tony SheridanTony Sheridan is Group Commercial Manager at DB Group (DBG), the pioneering leaders behind Cemfree, an alternative to traditional cement that offers the construction industry unprecedented savings of up to 85% in carbon emissions.

Tony has over 20 years of construction industry experience and has spent the majority of that in management roles within the ready-mix concrete industry. He has remained dedicated to furthering his own knowledge of the industry as well as others, with a degree in civil engineering before completing a further MBA in 2010.

Tony remains committed to influencing the industry to work towards a more sustainable future, and through his leadership of the commercial function of all divisions at DBG, he is championing sustainable practices every day in the role.

Cemfree Tony Sheridan Constructive Voices

Here are the main discussion points:

  1. The Carbon Footprint of Cement: We discussed the significant environmental impact of traditional cement production, which has prompted the search for greener alternatives.

  2. Cemfree – A Game Changer: The spotlight shone on Cemfree by DB Group, a groundbreaking binder that utilizes waste materials through alkali activation and offers an astonishing 85% reduction in carbon emissions.

  3. Industry Efforts Despite Policy Gaps: Despite the absence of a clear government strategy for net zero in construction, we highlighted the proactive steps taken by the Low Carbon Concrete Group and the demand from infrastructure clients for lower carbon materials.

  4. New Standards for a New Era: We talked about how the introduction of new British standards is facilitating the adoption of alternative binders like Cemfree by endorsing performance-based specifications.

  5. A Spectrum of Sustainable Solutions: Our conversation touched on various innovative methods to lower concrete’s carbon impact, including carbon injection, the use of calcined clay, waste blending, and emerging carbon capture technologies.

  6. The Cost of Change: While Cemfree does come with a 10-15% cost premium, we discussed how companies like Network Rail are investing in these materials for the sake of the environment.

  7. Join the Movement: We concluded by encouraging our listeners to contribute to the conversation by sharing the podcast and subscribing for the latest updates, while expressing our appreciation for their support.

Despite a lack of a clear government roadmap for achieving net zero in construction, the industry is making strides towards sustainability, led by certain entities and driven by infrastructure clients demanding lower carbon materials. New British standards support performance-based specifications, allowing for the use of alternative binders like Cemfree. Other approaches to reducing concrete’s carbon impact include carbon injection, calcined clay, waste blending, and carbon capture technologies.

While these solutions are at various stages of development, there is a collective movement towards greener construction practices. Cemfree, although costing 10-15% more than traditional materials, is being integrated into products and structures, with entities like Network Rail willing to bear higher costs for reduced environmental impact. 

For more insights and discussions on the future of sustainability in construction, stay tuned to Constructive Voices. Thank you for joining us, and let’s build a greener future together!

Be sure to check out another way to help our planet by heading over to the Beyond Biodiversity Training Course.

Written by: Jackie De Burca

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