If you thought concrete products were not environmentally friendly then it is time to think again.
Simon Leighton, whose company Concrete Works are pioneers in pre cast concrete products for the home and business, concedes that while concrete is “not the holy Grail when it comes to being green, compared to the competition it is a very good choice”.
His company was established in 2005 as a division of Corner Stone Construction and has undertaken projects for top local architects and designers, working out of a 2,000 sq feet fabrication studio in St Davids.
It is here they specialize in creating a range of kitchen, bathroom, fireplace and architectural features using innovative technology.
Mr Leighton explained how technological advances have enabled his products to make use of natural resources and recycled materials.
This year his company launched a collection of concrete products: ecoCRETE, ecoBASIN and ecoPure that are created using the latest pre-cast technology which allowed them to produce three dimensional pieces using 50 to 70 per cent less material.
Mr Leighton, explaining the changes within the industry, said: “Technology has allowed me to go greener as I can now use 45 per cent post industrial recycled materials, and as the technology grows, crushed glass ground into a fine powder put to water works better than cement. This is now an option for ecoCRETE products.
“The ecoCRETE is finished dry as opposed to our traditional GEOTECH line that uses water in the finishing process, therefore the total water usage for any given project is much lower.
“All of our concrete pieces are a more sustainable eco friendly choice than most other options. They are formed, poured and finished at our studio here in Bermuda.”
The uniqueness of the products created at Concrete Works cannot be overemphasized. “All kitchens tend to look the same because they are slabs on boxes predetermined by a massive industry,” said Mr Leighton
Every piece is made to order, said Mr Leighton, “We design your countertop to meet your needs, that is the whole aim behind it.
“We can make unique shapes. Functional sculpture is a way of describing it, instead of a flat countertop which is functional, it would it be nice to have a dedicated place for a block, or stainless steel bars inlaid into the product to protect the surface, and have things you need adjacent to the sink.
“These countertops can be shaped in millions of ways.”
With these creations there is virtually no limit to the colours that can be used.
“Our finishes include, but are not limited to, polished, ground and polished (modern terrazzo), and a wide variety of textured finishes,” said Mr Leighton.
Further, clients are able to put their individual mark on the finished
“We can inlay a variety of meaningful objects that include glass, shells, metal objects, coins, mosaics and fossils.
“There is an endless range of creative opportunities for clients to personalize what is in reality a one-off project.”
At Concrete Works they provide the design, fabrication and installation for all of their creations.
These include countertops, kitchen islands, sinks, complete kitchens and bathrooms, fireplace hearths and surrounds, water features, indoor and outdoor furniture, fire pits, planters, walls, wall panels and tiles, and with the advances in technology the variety of creations will increase.
“EcoCRETE is the way to go,” said Mr Leighton, “in part because it is eco friendly but also it can be worked thinner and it allows us to do more furniture and patio pieces.”
Mr Leighton, who gains his inspiration from what is going on in Europe, does most of the designs.
But he is proud of his one-off designs and believes his products will not become obsolete.
“If it was made for you then you are less likely to throw it away. The products we make are highly functional.
“They are pretty much art — one of a kind.”