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The inclusion of natural materials such as concrete, wood and stone in contemporary interior design has been a trend for some years now. It appears that dense urban living is accelerating our innate desire to spend time in spaces that connect with the outside and bring nature in.

Concreate has responded to this desire with a range of innovative, lightweight polished concrete floor and wall panels that take sustainability seriously. The product has been distributed in New Zealand since 2016 by Masonry Design Solutions (MDS).

While poured concrete is weighty and takes time to apply and polish, Concreate’s ready-made tongue-and-groove planks are only 14mm thick and fit together with no grout needed between them. They can be used to impart a raw concrete industrial aesthetic without the need for heavy construction and they use far less energy to transport and install, which, in turn, lessens the building’s carbon footprint.

Mark Wilson, director of Concreate, explains: “Concreate was conceived as a green alternative to concrete finishes. Initially, the two creators were trying to come up with a way of retrofitting concrete floors and walls into older buildings but with a specifically ‘green’ aspect, which led to the development of Concreate.”

The inclusion of natural materials such as concrete, wood and stone in contemporary interior design has been a trend for some years now. It appears that dense urban living is accelerating our innate desire to spend time in spaces that connect with the outside and bring nature in.

Concreate has responded to this desire with a range of innovative, lightweight polished concrete floor and wall panels that take sustainability seriously. The product has been distributed in New Zealand since 2016 by Masonry Design Solutions (MDS).

While poured concrete is weighty and takes time to apply and polish, Concreate’s ready-made tongue-and-groove planks are only 14mm thick and fit together with no grout needed between them. They can be used to impart a raw concrete industrial aesthetic without the need for heavy construction and they use far less energy to transport and install, which, in turn, lessens the building’s carbon footprint.

Mark Wilson, director of Concreate, explains: “Concreate was conceived as a green alternative to concrete finishes. Initially, the two creators were trying to come up with a way of retrofitting concrete floors and walls into older buildings but with a specifically ‘green’ aspect, which led to the development of Concreate.”

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What is it made of?

Concreate is composed of two layers of concrete. The base layer makes up 75 per cent of the plank, which is magnesium oxide cement with layers of recycled textile. Magnesium oxide is one of the world’s most sustainable building materials. It uses 50 per cent less energy to manufacture than traditional cement used in other concrete floors and gives the base a pliable strength.

The top layer is a microfibre concrete, which has been air cured and finished with three coats of natural Danish oil. Concreate has an easy-to-clean, waterproof surface that is dust free and mould proof – great for people who suffer from any allergies.

Alongside the highly sustainable materials used in the Concreate panels, Mark says that the company has taken their green credentials even further, thanks to the fact that Concreate’s partner company, New Spirit China Bay, sources the raw materials within a kilometre of their manufacturing plant near Shanghai. This ensures that the whole process is far more environmentally friendly than if the company trucked the raw materials long distances.

What is it made of?

Concreate is composed of two layers of concrete. The base layer makes up 75 per cent of the plank, which is magnesium oxide cement with layers of recycled textile. Magnesium oxide is one of the world’s most sustainable building materials. It uses 50 per cent less energy to manufacture than traditional cement used in other concrete floors and gives the base a pliable strength.

The top layer is a microfibre concrete, which has been air cured and finished with three coats of natural Danish oil. Concreate has an easy-to-clean, waterproof surface that is dust free and mould proof – great for people who suffer from any allergies.

Alongside the highly sustainable materials used in the Concreate panels, Mark says that the company has taken their green credentials even further, thanks to the fact that Concreate’s partner company, New Spirit China Bay, sources the raw materials within a kilometre of their manufacturing plant near Shanghai. This ensures that the whole process is far more environmentally friendly than if the company trucked the raw materials long distances.

Healthy homes, healthy people

There is a growing awareness of the potentially harmful impacts that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions can cause on our health. VOCs are compounds that are released from burning fuel and from everyday products, such as building materials and furnishings, paints and thinners, wood preservatives, glues and cleaning products.

Concreate has recognised the importance of a healthy home environment by ensuring all products in its range are almost completely VOC free and have passed the VOC emission test to gain the respected Intertek ‘Green Leaf’ certification.

Mark says, “Both the floor and wall panels are bonded to the subfloor and wall using solvent-free, VOC-free adhesive. Additionally, there are three-millimetre rubber beads made from recycled tires within the adhesive we use for our flooring product. This is designed to give the panels great acoustic performance between floors and it is softer to walk on, as well as greener. Concreate planks can also be recycled, as all of the component ingredients are derived from natural minerals and fibres.”

Healthy homes, healthy people

There is a growing awareness of the potentially harmful impacts that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions can cause on our health. VOCs are compounds that are released from burning fuel and from everyday products, such as building materials and furnishings, paints and thinners, wood preservatives, glues and cleaning products.

Concreate has recognised the importance of a healthy home environment by ensuring all products in its range are almost completely VOC free and have passed the VOC emission test to gain the respected Intertek ‘Green Leaf’ certification.

Mark says, “Both the floor and wall panels are bonded to the subfloor and wall using solvent-free, VOC-free adhesive. Additionally, there are three-millimetre rubber beads made from recycled tires within the adhesive we use for our flooring product. This is designed to give the panels great acoustic performance between floors and it is softer to walk on, as well as greener. Concreate planks can also be recycled, as all of the component ingredients are derived from natural minerals and fibres.”

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Lower heating costs but warmer interiors for longer

Mark comments, “Concreate is also great for maintaining and warming a home, as it acts as a thermal mass and actually stores warmth. Once the required room temperature is reached, a Concreate floor will maintain the ambient room temperature. It also absorbs solar gain and stores the natural heat of the sun, meaning it is an integral part of a low-carbon building.”

As the surface of Concreate is tactile, it is not cold to the touch and is ideal for use with underfloor heating systems as it can radiate and store heat.

There are six colours available in the polished concrete floor system, including mineral white, dark grey and natural grey. The polished wall panels come in eight different tones, with titanium black, bronze grey and metal grey among them.

A timber panel in a variety of different colours is also available, allowing for versatile options when it comes to flooring design, as the tongue-and-groove system creates a seamless transition between timber and concrete.

Find out more about the environmentally-friendly Concreate ranges on ArchiPro here and how they could be used in your flooring or wall project.

Lower heating costs but warmer interiors for longer

Mark comments, “Concreate is also great for maintaining and warming a home, as it acts as a thermal mass and actually stores warmth. Once the required room temperature is reached, a Concreate floor will maintain the ambient room temperature. It also absorbs solar gain and stores the natural heat of the sun, meaning it is an integral part of a low-carbon building.”

As the surface of Concreate is tactile, it is not cold to the touch and is ideal for use with underfloor heating systems as it can radiate and store heat.

There are six colours available in the polished concrete floor system, including mineral white, dark grey and natural grey. The polished wall panels come in eight different tones, with titanium black, bronze grey and metal grey among them.

A timber panel in a variety of different colours is also available, allowing for versatile options when it comes to flooring design, as the tongue-and-groove system creates a seamless transition between timber and concrete.

Find out more about the environmentally-friendly Concreate ranges on ArchiPro here and how they could be used in your flooring or wall project.

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