Bradford Estates paving the way to a greener future by using low carbon concrete and ecological paint

Protecting the environment is one of our top priorities at Bradford Estates and helping us achieve this is the use of low carbon concrete – part of work costing
£1 million at Woodlands Farm, our main farming enterprise. It is one of two innovative products we are using during a rolling programme of works across the estates – the second being ecological paint. The concrete and paint absorb CO2, leading to significant reduction in carbon emissions and complements our commitment to install air source heat pumps during property refurbishments.

The products: The low carbon concrete is supplied by Hanson, it absorbs carbon dioxide throughout its life, is 100% recyclable and reduces carbon emissions associated with concrete by up to 35%. Graphenstone ecological lime paint is helping to create healthier and more sustainable homes through its graphene technology which is ideal for use in repainting, construction and restoration. It is estimated that three 15 litre buckets of the paint absorb more than 10kg of CO2 over the course of one year.

The Work: Alastair Hollands, our Construction Director, explains how the concrete and paint are being used: “At the moment we are putting in a new farm road at our main farming enterprise, Woodlands Farm. The road is using 295 cubic metres of concrete and we are just about to do the grain store extension which will take about 4,000 square metres of concrete. We are talking about an overall development at Woodlands costing more than £1million. “Shifting to Hanson Eco Plus concrete will cost us more but the fact that it absorbs CO2 over the course of its life means it is the right thing to do and goes hand-in-hand with our ongoing commitment to the environment. It is more difficult to get hold of than normal concrete but we will keep using it as we embark on future projects.

“The Graphenstone paint is again more expensive than what we would otherwise use but its ability to absorb CO2 over its lifetime has actively encouraged us to make the shift as part of our planned maintenance and general refurbishment of properties – fitting in with the estates’ wider remit in terms of reducing our carbon footprint and becoming generally more sustainable.”

Making the shift:
“We are currently using the paint on a first property, a Grade ll Listed building, Church Farm House and cottage. We will then be moving on and using it on another farmhouse as we make the shift to this product over time. It will be used on any future refurbishments and we have plans for two more, possibly three, this year. “This is all alongside the installation of air source heat pumps during refurbishments and increasing levels of insulation. We have now installed seven air source heat pumps at our properties, we are about to start on another one and have a further two or three properties lined up beyond that. “It all means that as well as reducing the carbon footprint, we should see a reduction in utility bills over the course of a year – something which is even more important as energy costs continue to rise. In basic terms the pump is about three times as efficient as using fossil-burning fuel.”