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Pioneers Pave Way To Sheffield University

Charcon, the hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, has helped to transform The Concourse at Sheffield University.
14 February 2020

The Concourse, the public realm regeneration project that connects buildings at Sheffield University, has seen a 'pioneering' paving upgrade that includes recycled content.

The university is in the top 100 universities in the world and thus a popular educational destination for international students, with almost 25% of its student population coming from over 150 different countries.

In recent years, this demand has driven the need for a more multicultural and cohesive campus, featuring a well-conceived and enjoyable public space.

The Concourse is intended to connect the new student union to the heart of the university campus on Western Bank - where there are historically recognisable buildings.

Architects, HLM, were tasked with using contemporary materials pallet on The Concourse that offered a nod to the past but also connected to the future.


“Through our early and in-depth involvement in the design phase, we were able to help HLM deliver a specification for a well-conceived and cohesive open space."

– James Gray

Specification Manager, Aggregate Industries’ Concrete Products Division

Portuguese granite


In this area of Sheffield, Portuguese granite is used heavily in many streetscapes in the form of kerbs and detailing. Therefore, HLM wanted to incorporate Portuguese yellow granite as an accent feature. They required a concrete product that had high sustainability values as well to enhance the green credentials of the scheme in accordance with Sheffield City Council’s ‘Grey to Green’ Strategy. 

Therefore, Charcon (part of Aggregate Industries) recommended their Andover Textured product because it met the aesthetic needs and it has recycled content. Both the recycled and virgin materials are UK sourced materials. This was combined with the bands of Portuguese yellow granite setts to connect the new space to the existing local vernacular of granite kerbs and concrete paving. 

To ensure the final product met client expectations, Charcon worked in coordination with the architects and the contractor, providing advice on installation and detailing.

This bespoke solution and this materials pallet will form the basis of a newly adopted strategy for all future university developments within the heart of the main campus and its surrounding buildings.


Picture: Charcon, the hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, has helped to transform The Concourse at Sheffield University.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 14 February 2020


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