For many years concrete has been the preferred material for kerbing used in civils and highway construction, replacing traditional quarried stone with a product that can be quickly and cost-efficiently produced in large quantities and from seemingly inexhaustible natural resources. But consultants and architects are now turning in increasing numbers to a radical new alternative – Bison heavy-duty steel edging.

The impact of concrete kerbing on the environment

Despite - or maybe because of - its widespread use, concrete pin kerbing now carries an environmental cost that cannot go unnoticed or be ignored. An independent carbon footprint assessment confirmed that the overall footprint created by manufacturing and distributing concrete pin kerb is substantially higher than that of Bison edge.

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Bison Steel Kerb

Stronger than concrete

As Bison edge is significantly stronger than concrete, a shallower kerb edge can be used in its place. This widens the carbon footprint gap even further - a carbon reduction of 54% can be achieved by replacing 150mm concrete kerb with 75mm Bison.

Part of the problem with concrete kerbing is that it uses large volumes of non-recyclable materials - not only the kerbing itself but also the concrete used to haunch it during installation. At the end of the kerbing’s life, this material can only be crushed for aggregate or sent to landfill, creating yet another environmental problem. 

On the other hand, Bison steel edge is 85% recyclable, making it a better choice for environmentally responsible, sustainable construction.

Bison Steel Edge

The design limitations of concrete kerbing

The design of landscaped areas edged with concrete pin kerbing is limited by the selection of profiles offered by manufacturers. More intricate designs require extensive cuts which cost time and money, interrupt the flow of the curve and will be primary points of deterioration over time.

Bison steel edge can be shaped - either during manufacture or on-site - to follow the profile of any curve. This opens up unlimited possibilities for design creativity and results in a stronger product with fewer joins to spoil the effect.

Another limitation of concrete edging is its thickness - commonly 50mm or 75mm - as this creates an unavoidably visible barrier between contrasting areas of hard and soft landscaping. At only 7mm, Bison edging is much more discreet and can almost give the impression of not being there at all. Its rounded top edge also ensures a smooth finish with no sharp edges.

Any architect or landscape designer worth their salt will undoubtedly consider the long-term durability of products and the effect that any deterioration will have on design and function.

We have already mentioned the tendency of concrete to crack due to frost or impact. Concrete is also subject to moss and lichen, and as the mortar at joins starts to deteriorate this creates ideal places for weeds and other vegetation to grow. Bison steel edging offers a tough, long-lasting and corrosion-resistant surface that will maintain its good looks far longer than concrete.

Bison heavy-duty steel edging is designed and manufactured in the UK by ExcelEdge. For more information and to talk through using Bison as an alternative to concrete on your next project, contact the customer support team at sales@exceledge.co.uk

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