Freeman Homes has exclusive use of brand new EcoCider Concrete

Technology and innovation combine in amazing, and sometimes bizarre, ways. We have seen the use of potato peel to create a low-weight, fire-resistant, water-repellent insulation material. We have seen the use of bananas, both fruit and leaves, to make rugged textiles. Now, from The Building Innovation Science Centre of Nagoya in Japan, another important breakthrough has arrived for the future of ‘green’ building: apples are a perfect ecological solution to improve the properties of concrete.

After many years of experimentation, chemical engineer Gorou Fukuda has finally found the perfect formula to combine the unique properties of apple cider with cement in order to create high-performance concrete. EcoCider Concrete can be easily produced by construction teams directly on site, making it commercially viable and efficient. Fukuda’s article has provided a real breakthrough in the field of sustainable construction, and the Building Innovation Science Centre, which has been at the forefront of research and development for the past twenty years, owns the legal rights to the patent.

The institute’s director, Masatoshi Hachiro, declared: “Sustainable building methods are part of a wider industry revolution. It’s an important step for our society to integrate environmental protection into our everyday lives, and to facilitate the use of these new techniques. The formula is not a secret, every housebuilder can obtain the licence by paying a small fee to the Institute, to support our ongoing green building research. We are constantly working to develop innovative solutions for our future.”

The news has been welcomed by housebuilding companies in the UK. So far only a few have started negotiations with the Japanese Institute to obtain the licence, but more are predicted to follow.

Freeman Homes will be one of the first companies in the UK to utilise this new product. The family-run business, based in Gloucestershire, has already bought the licence and is now working on agreements with cider producers to secure a chain of supply. Freeman Homes Joint CEO, Luke Freeman, expressed his excitement about this ground-breaking new project: “As soon as our innovation team found out about this new discovery, we knew we had to do our best to obtain the licence as soon as possible and start planning our implementation process with this new technique. We foresee that we will start using the new concrete in September.”

“It’s a big step for the environment, for our company and for our customers. It demonstrates that a different model for sustainable construction is possible. We always strive to offer our customers environmentally low-impact buildings, and I think it’s also important to educate people on the source of the materials that constitute their houses.”

While the construction industry has welcomed this advance, the agricultural industry has expressed some concerns as to whether Herefordshire and Gloucestershire’s existing orchards, which are primarily dedicated to cider production, will be enough to satisfy the increased demand.

Local farmers and producers have cautiously lauded this innovative project, but are worried that the need for hugely increased volumes of apples could compromise the production of the beverage for the market in the long run, particularly if other housebuilders are planning to implement the new construction technique as well. For a county that is famous for its cider orchards and production, the possibility is a daunting one.

2019 Certificate of Conformity, BISC - Freeman Homes

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