New research to be presented on sustainable concrete made from seashells

Published by  Communications

On 20th Feb 2023

A background of sea shells.
Credit: EQIOM-A CRH Company and BUILDERS Ecole d’ingénieurs.

Findings from a major project to develop a sustainable drainage concrete - made from seashells - will be presented at an event this month.


Almost three years ago, the Concrete solution dRaining for the CLimate and Environment (CIRCLE) Project was formed to seek alternative solutions to the challenge of growing soil urbanisation, particularly as Europe is regularly faced with flooding episodes with major human, environmental and financial consequences.

Drainage of road surfaces therefore became an obvious route to investigate in order to combat this devastating phenomenon.

On Tuesday February 28, the CIRCLE Project will host its Final Event at Dunston Hall in Norwich, Norfolk (UK), to present research findings on the development of an eco-friendly, cast-in-place concrete with sustainable characteristics.

The CIRCLE Project was selected and supported within the framework of the INTERREG VA France (Channel) England European Cross-border Cooperation Programme, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This brought together six French and British partner institutions: BUILDERS Ecole d’ingénieurs (Lead Partner), building materials company EQIOM, Communauté d'Agglomération des 2 Baies en Montreuillois (CA2BM), the University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Golfe du Morbihan.

CIRCLE Project partners have since been developing a solution in the form of a draining poured-in-place concrete pavement based on seashell waste, with potentially lower environmental impact and significant drainage properties.

They also found that the addition of shellfish waste can successfully substitute other aggregates to reduce and preserve non-renewable components. Simultaneously, the use of shellfish waste tackles another environmental issue by recycling materials.

Project Investigator for CIRCLE’s partner team at UEA, Prof Konstantinos Chalvatzis, said: “We are looking forward to hosting the CIRCLE Project’s final event, bringing together all CIRCLE partners and stakeholders alongside industry experts and a public audience interested in sustainable construction solutions to help fuel a future with a circular economy.

“This will be a unique opportunity to meet with and question our research experts on the CIRCLE Project’s latest innovation and results.”

During the event, which is free and open to the industry and public, CIRCLE researchers will present their results on optimising the concrete formulations and from monitoring the durability of the material and its draining properties over the seasons.

Case studies of the CIRCLE drainage concrete trialled at several pilot sites will be discussed, particularly the ‘Eurovéloroute V4’ pilot site and the ‘Ostreapolis’ project, both in France, highlighting the potential transferability of the innovative solution developed.

Finally, research developed at UEA’s Norwich Business School will propose business models that can support the adoption and marketing of this new environmentally friendly concrete product.

Register for free at

CIRCLE Project Final Event Details

About:            The CIRCLE Project presents its findings from the development of a draining cast-in-place concrete, made with shellfish waste to reduce environmental impact and contribute toward a circular economy alongside with the associated business case for such products.
When:             Tuesday 28th February 2023, 12:00 – 17:30 GMT
Where:            Eaton Suite, Dunston Hall Hotel, Ipswich Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8PQ
Cost:               Free to attend, industry, press and general public welcome.

1. Refreshments and networking lunch on arrival.
2. ‘Sustainability in Concrete & Cement Industries’
                        –  Welcome and opening lecture by Professor Konstantinos Chalvatzis (UEA / UK)
3. ‘Formulations and monitoring’
– Partner Presentation by Nassim Sebaibi (Builders Ecole d'ingénieurs / FR - Lead Partner)
4. ‘Adaptation for the production of CIRCLE concrete in the plant’
– Partner Presentation by Guillaume Cremoux (EQIOM - A CRH Company / FR)
5. ‘UK pilot site and numerical modelling’ 
– Partner Presentation by Professor Karl Williams (UCLAN / UK)
6. ‘Eurovéloroute V4 pilot site’
– Partner Presentation by Noël Flipo (CA2BM / FR)
7. ‘Ostreapolis project’
– Partner Presentation by Séri Duong and Mathieu Meyer (GMVA / FR)
8. ‘Business Models’
– Partner Presentation by Dr Xin Li (UEA/ UK)
9. Q&A Session

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