what makesAs the construction industry becomes more and more focused on green, sustainable product solutions, it can often be ambiguous as to what exactly makes eco products ‘eco’. For instance, what differentiates concrete eco paving and walling products from standard concrete paving and walling products?

The answer is that concrete eco paving and walling products achieve their ‘eco’ status from the large percentage of recycled content they are comprised of. This involves waste concrete material, which usually comes from damaged or imperfect concrete product units that will go unused, undergoing a crushing process. This is a relatively simple procedure. As the waste material is crushed, it is condensed into recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) as a partial replacement for primary aggregates.

Following the removal of any contaminants via a screening process whereby the recycled concrete aggregate is graded based on the size and quality of the aggregates, the aggregates that pass are then used to form eco paving and walling products that promise an equal performance level and all the aesthetic detail and beauty of the standard product equivalents, but with valuable environmental benefits.

Tobermore, a world class paving and walling manufacturer, use this method to create their concrete eco products, and as a result, their eco paving products consist of no less than 64% of recycled content and their eco walling products consist of no less than 61% recycled content, thereby achieving a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

Like all Tobermore products, the company’s eco paving and walling ranges are also produced via a variety of green manufacturing methods. The 50 acre Tobermore factory at company headquarters in Northern Ireland features a rainwater harvesting system that allows products to be created with 100% recycled water, and the installation of solar panels on the factory roof and the recent addition of a 250KW wind turbine on site have permitted products to be produced with renewable electrical energy.

Tobermore’s eco paving products have recently been used to create the beautiful, contemporary new landscape at the University of Hertfordshire, recently awarded at the 2015 RIBA East Awards, as hard landscaping materials with recycled content were an essential requirement in meeting the BREEAM and planning requirements.