Apparently, experts in the fashion world are arguing that this season purple is the new black.
Fortunately, in the construction industry things are more constant. As this latest annual NCE concrete supplement shows, concrete continues to be the material of choice for cost effective civil engineering, structural and architectural solutions.
Its unrivalled benefits of inherent fire resistance, robustness, acoustic and thermal performance, sustainability, low maintenance and whole life costing means that, while fads for other construction materials may come and go, concrete is a constant.
Not that constant has to mean dull. Above ground, ongoing development means that concrete provides innovative and exciting solutions that fully answer the design and construction challenges faced.
This has seen the use of high strength, selfcompacting concrete, as used in the Lex 2000 project (see p18), result in significantly reduced steel content with subsequent saving from rocketing prices.
Meanwhile, on and below ground cement and concrete continue to deliver. Changing the concrete mix for the new Iver South sludge treatment works (p12) accelerated the programme by four months, while the use of cementitious materials for the remediation of brown field land (p7) will eliminate the environmental problems associated with dig and dump.
Furthermore, while research such as that carried by BRE on concrete's fire performance (p11) underlines the material's acknowledged performance benefits, new research and products such as Inditherm's carbon-based conductive polymer (p10) will increase future concrete possibilities and applications.
Concrete's versatility means it can offer both the constant assurance of performance and the potential to realise new fashionable concepts and vision.
To find out how, contact The Concrete Centre on tel: 0700 4 500 500 or 0700 4 Concrete.