Bolton-based Combined Soil Stabilisation is a leading specialist subcontractor offering soil stabilisation and bulk earthworks services. Constituting one of its biggest projects to date, the business was awarded a contract to undertake a large earthworks and stabilisation works scheme with Volker Fitzpatrick for a major warehouse development being built in Skelmersdale.
As part of the extensive soil stabilisation process, the total hard-surfacing area of 70,000m2 required lime and cement stabilisation to achieve the required levels of frost resistance, as well as meeting a 30% California Bearing Ratio (CBR) - the standard strength test for determining the bearing capacity of material.
Within a project window of just 12 weeks, it was imperative to find a construction materials partner with the right product supply – along with the logistics networks to deliver direct to site within such a tight timeframe. Enter Lafarge and its innovative Terracem binder.
Although the initial brief called for standard CEM I, Lafarge – part of the Aggregate Industries Group – was able to go one better by recommending its innovative Terracem solution. This specialist binder for soil stabilisation can help ensure greener and more efficient construction.
Launched in 2018, Terracem is the UK’s first hydraulic binder specially formulated for use in soil stabilisation. Designed to strengthen existing onsite material without the need to import aggregates, Terracem has been specifically engineered to improve soils. The solution strengthens weak substructure layers to create a working platform while offering reduced embodied carbon. A total of 1000 tonnes of Terracem was supplied during the project, helping to decrease embodied carbon by approximately 15% when compared to a standard CEM I solution. Using the Terracem blend had the added benefit of a fast setting period, helping the on-site team to complete the project quickly during harsh winter weather conditions.
Terracem also worked well with the wide variety of soil types treated during the project, such as sands, gravel, peat and other materials used on site. John Shrimpton, Technical Development Manager at Lafarge comments: “We are delighted with the project outcome. Our breakthrough Terracem blend offers a much more environmental approach to traditional ground engineering as it cuts down on material waste and the carbon emissions associated with hauling aggregates. We hope this latest project offers an even more conclusive case for the use of specialist binders in soil stabilisation as the ‘go-to’ method for greener and more efficient construction.”