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The cover photograph (NCE last month) concerning the Ashford CTRL contract says it all: an unhappy concrete operative facing another making-good job intended to repair/cover- up bad, honeycombed concrete.

The contract manager claims that a strong learning culture has been established and lessons are being learned, but I wonder whether the team has heard about self compacting concrete. SCC offers many significant benefits, including the elimination of problems due to incomplete or difficult compaction.

Practical advice on SCC can be obtained from either the Advanced Concrete and Masonry Centre at the University of Paisley or from the Concrete Society.

Professor Peter JM Bartos (M), Director, ACM Centre, University of Paisley, Paisley PA1 2BE, Scotland

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