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British Standard concrete guidance updated

Waste concrete

Guidelines for concrete use have been update in the UK, in order to cover a wider range of materials. 

Business development firm BSI has amended BS 8500 - the British Standard published in 2015 for specifying and producing concrete.

The guidance, which is split into two parts, describes ways of specifying concrete. It also outlines requirements for the constituents of concrete, the properties of fresh and hardened concrete and their verification, the limitations for concrete composition, the specification of concrete, the delivery of fresh concrete, the production control procedures and the conformity criteria and evaluation of conformity.

The first part of BS 8500, which covers specifications, has been amended to offer five different approaches to the specification and quality of concrete including the correct way of compiling each specification. The technical rules will apply whether the concrete is ready-mixed, site mixed, or used in pre-cast elements.

Meanwhile, the second part of the guidance, which covers the constituent materials in concrete, has been updated to contain information for concrete producers regarding the five new approaches to specification.

The amendments are predominantly concerned with increasing the range of cementitious materials covered by the guidance. These now include natural pozzolana, natural calcined pozzolana, or high reactivity natural calcined pozzolana as either an addition or a component of Portland‐pozzolana and pozzolanic cements. The range of ternary cements which include up to 20% limestone fines has also been increased.

In addition, the amendments ensure that changes from new or revised standards will align with the conformity assessment and accreditation policy in the UK.

BSI head of built environment Ant Burd said: “Concrete is a key title within our standards portfolio that supports the built environment sector. The principles and guidance in the BS 8500 series and its associated documents will enable professionals engaged in the writing and interpretation of concrete specifications to ensure it is durable in the intended environment, of the precise quality and is utilised correctly.”

A BSI spokesperson added: “Major building materials in construction such as concrete are now expected to achieve an even higher standard of quality, durability, reliability and consider environmental matters such as embodied carbon.  

“The changes made to this standard will be of interest to ready-mixed concrete manufacturers, concrete specifiers and designers of concrete structures.”

The next revision to BS 8500 is expected in 2023, according to BSI.

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