30% less concrete – the new material-efficient base floor solution is stronger than previous solutions and genuinely reduces the carbon footprint of construction.
Due to its unique 3D structure, the FF-FLOOR solution uses 30 percent less concrete than traditional solutions, thus making similar base floor structures 20 percent stronger. Production will begin in the spring in Finland, Sweden, and Lithuania.
The novel FF-FLOOR insulation solution for base floors was developed by Finnfoam Oy, a family-owned business from Salo in Finland. Compared to traditional solutions where an even layer of concrete is poured on a layer of regular insulation material, the new solution can reduce the amount of concrete required by almost one third.
The solution, which utilizes mold technology, consists of insulation panels with lattice-like grooves. The concrete poured on top of the insulation panels with locking tongue and groove joints fills the grooves creating a lattice-like support structure for itself in the base floor. The delivery also includes a custom-made reinforcing mesh designed for the system, which is installed into the grooves in the insulation panels. This makes it unnecessary to walk on top of the panels at the worksite.
“Material efficiency is crucial. When the overall solution is made significantly lighter, the carbon footprint is also often reduced. In this solution, heavy concrete is replaced with a lightweight insulation material and 3D design is used to increase the durability of the structure up to 20 percent, even though the amount of steel required by the structure is a couple of percentage points smaller than with traditional solutions. Less is better”, sums up Finnfoam CEO Henri Nieminen.
More ecological, more cost-effective, faster
Ecological or green alternatives are almost always more expensive to the consumer, but now it is even possible to save when choosing a solution with a smaller carbon footprint.
“Concrete is approximately twice as expensive as lightweight thermal insulation, when measured by volume instead of weight. Significant savings can be produced when concrete is replaced with a material that is only half as expensive”, says Nieminen.
The reduced amount of concrete also decreases the curing time, which is often challenging in terms of scheduling at the worksite. Thus, the new solution can both accelerate and facilitate building projects.
Genuine emission reductions for future construction
The Ministry of the Environment is expected to specify limits for the lifetime carbon footprint of buildings in 2023, and according to current plans, the calculation of carbon footprint will become mandatory by 2025.
The material- and energy-efficient FF-FLOOR solution will reduce the carbon footprint of buildings both during the construction phase and use, while also streamlining the building projects.
Nieminen emphasizes that any comparison of solutions with different carbon footprints must consider the entire life cycle of the buildings and that the comparison must be made at the building level.
“We at Finnfoam support reducing the carbon footprint with both new construction-stage solutions
and proper thermal insulation, which is the most significant factor in reducing use-phase emissions.
After all, 70–85% of building emissions are produced during use”, says Nieminen.