Van Berlo B.V. Van Berlo B.V.

Innovation Award 2023

22 November 2023

Innovation Award 2023

Innovation Award 2023: Van Berlo crack-free and low-carbon concrete floors

Innovation Award 2023: Van Berlo crack-free and low-carbon concrete floors The jury concluded that flooring manufacturer Van Berlo took a bullheaded approach to improving the quality of its flooring for distribution centres while also reducing CO2 emissions. “To prevent crack formation through shrinkage, it uses less cement. This also means you need less reinforcement to achieve the same strength. So the knife cuts both ways, plus the carbon footprint can be halved.”

Innovations often come up against resistance, especially if they have consequences for other parties in the chain. Van Berlo’s high-tech approach actually affects every link in that chain, in an industry that is highly driven by costs and reluctant to change, according to the jury. Using its own laboratory, proprietary data and working closely with researchers at TU Eindhoven, Van Berlo creates customised products from a mass product. The mortar composition is carefully tweaked for each floor and precisely tailored to the local situation. This calls for an exhaustive material research beforehand, but also during the work itself. Every concrete mixer is sampled on arrival. Then the exact dosages of self-developed and patented admixtures are added to create a high-tech end product. When Van Berlo perfects the technique to make the extremely fine fractions they use to optimise granular packing react with carbon dioxide beforehand, carbon-neutral or even carbon-positive flooring will be a reality.