Both climate change and increasing urbanisation of European cities is making the management of rainwater and runoff a major challenge.
More than three-quarters of surfaces in cities across Europe are impermeable. This creates challenges for city planners such as environmental risks of localised flooding and considerable pollution of the natural environment.
The current use of permeable surfaces is rare due to the costs associated with installation. In addition, permeable surfaces are typically less resilient than impermeable ones.
Project CIRCLE will address this challenge by developing new solutions for permeable surfaces using a novel concrete mix with lower environmental impact, greater market value and the potential to decontaminate drained water.
ESITC and University of Lancashire will continue R&D research in this field by developing a concrete mix that is ready to use, helping to reduce on-site implementation time and with the added possibility of depolluting drained water.
The project will use sustainable materials and renewable resources. Instead of gravel, it will incorporate shellfish waste, which is abundant across Channel area coasts. Even more importantly, CIRCLE, will filter pollutants present in runoff water and which alter the quality of groundwater. Thus, all downstream biodiversity will be provided with optimal environmental conditions making this a truly sustainable innovation.