Natural cement – new applications, old technology

A recent CABE webinar looked at the unique performance and environmental benefits of natural cement.

One important element of construction is that, to get the best results, it often requires a combination of modern ideas with long-held experience. Too much progress, too soon, can result in many of the lessons, hard-earned throughout centuries, being lost. But too much tradition can miss out on the exciting developments in materials, design and technology. In any case, ‘old’ technology can have some very interesting modern applications.

A perfect example of this is natural cement: a completely natural material that has been around for almost 200 years yet offers a wealth of performance and environmental benefits over more contemporary cement options. One company that is making the most of these qualities is Barnsley-based Natural Cement.

Natural cement is manufactured from a particular type of limestone that has clay in it. It’s excavated, heated, ground into a powder and the company then uses it in its products. Modern products use limestone as a base with a combination of additives or minerals which are blended together to create a manufactured product. 

Specialist performance

Because of natural cement’s unique qualities, it can be used for quite specialist applications. 

Natural cement sets fast, becomes strong quickly, is waterproof, and has a high chemical resistance, which lends itself well to certain specialist applications. 

There are also significant environmental benefits. Even though the use of natural cement is 200 years old, its abilities are very much in line with what people are looking for and it’s environmental performance has been a big driver in its success. The product has around a 30% lower carbon footprint that traditional or Portland cement. On top of that, there’s no use of chemical additives – its requires no bonding and curing agents.

Natural Cement’s products are also supplied in fully recyclable packaging with no contaminated waste once used and, as a company, it has been awarded carbon neutral status as well as ISO40001 accreditation for its environmental management procedures. It's certainly an area that's growing.

Keeping the trains a-running

Natural Cement has been involved in a lot of projects in which its products prove useful to overcome problematic areas where there are issues that need to be resolved quickly.

For example, it supplies materials to London Underground and Network Rail projects – areas that are time critical where problems need to be fixed and everything back up and running as quickly as possible. Natural Cement's products lend themselves to those kinds of demands really well.

The company also gets involved in a lot of marine work because its products work underwater. It supplies Environment Agency projects and the Canal and River Trust, and a number of its products are also DWI Reg 31-approved for potable water applications.

To provide a full introduction to Natural Cement, CABE recently ran a webinar covering the history of natural cement and the production processes. It also looked at the differences between natural cement and other types of cement – the properties, how they work, and the benefits of them compared to other products. It also explored the environmental benefits and the sustainability aspect of natural cement. 

Watch the webinar here.

Webinar disclaimer: Whilst the information contained within this webinar is considered to be true and correct at the time of recording, CABE does not warrant or represent that the information is free from errors or omissions. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may also impact the accuracy of the information contained within. CABE accepts no liability for any way the information included in this presentation is interpreted and/or used.



MRICS Building Surveyor

Building Surveyor MRICS Glasgow Edinburgh Your new company A homegrown Scottish consultancy with pr...


Senior Quantity Surveyor

Senior Quantity Surveyor opportunity in Essex Your new companyOpportunity to join a privately owned...


Senio Building Surveyor

Senior MRICS Building Surveyor IMMEDIATE REQUIREMENT: MRICS Senior Building Surveyor - £75,000 + P...


Quantity Surveyor (Civils)

Quantity Surveyor required for National Civil Engineering organisation based nr Wrexham We are deli...