Does the key to cutting carbon lie beneath your feet?


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A new system aims to reduce the embodied carbon of a floor slab by up to 75%. But are other solutions already to hand?

More than half of the embodied carbon in an office building is contained in the structure, with the bulk of it in the floor slabs. So, given the net zero agenda, it comes as no surprise that the industry is searching for ways to reduce the carbon impact of that humble building element, the floor slab

For a concrete-framed office building, the flat slab has been the default option for designers and contractors for many years. It does not have any beams, which means it provides a space-efficient, shallow structural zone, making it easy to install partitions and services.

The formwork is simple and quick to erect, with reinforcement easily installed. And the column grid can be irregular, making flat slabs ideal for residential buildings, as these tend to feature more irregular grids.

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