Industry News

Microalgae and waste biomass, here the future asphalt

An environmentally friendly asphalt, made of microalgae and waste biomass, including wood and sewage, could replace the common bitumen used on our roads.

In a statement to the Guardian, Bruno Bujoli, director of research at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) at the University of Nantes, said: "The chemical composition of the microalgae bioasphalt differs from petroleum-derived asphalt, but initial tests have concluded that it also bears similar viscous properties and can bind aggregates together efficiently, as well as being able to cope with loads such as vehicles". How does it work? Find out more here.

New waste wood energy plant will light 49,000 homes in Yorkshire

Barnsley metropolitan borough council gave planning permission to build a £65 million waste wood gasification plant on a former coal mine. The future Renewable Energy Centre, managed by Peel Environmental, will be capable of processing 150,000 tonnes of waste wood each year and will generate enough energy to power ca49,000 homes in Yorkshire.

Peel Environment said that "the development would provide up to 25 jobs during operation and 200 jobs during the construction phase". Find out more on

England could need 1m houses by 2025

"Without urgent action to release and consent more land, England’s housing shortfall will total 1 million within 10 years", underlines a report by the global real estate provider Savills. "Britain is facing an annual shortfall of 136,000 new homes across, 100,000 of which is in England", continues the report.  

"This gap can be reduced substantially, but only by boosting the supply of consented development land in high demand locations and supporting a wider range of developers and delivery models". According to Savills, private housebuilders could deliver 150,000 new houses starts a year in England by 2020 but they need to be backed up by a National housing policy. Find out more on Savills website and Telegraph website.

DRC timber production deeply affected by illegal logging, NGO reports

"None of D.R. Congo's 87 million euros ($97 million) of timber production appeared to comply with international timber trade laws", underlines a report by Global Witness. The London-based NGO denounces that "Democratic Republic of Congo's biggest logging companies are systematically violating national laws to plunder Congo's forests, undermining efforts to protect the world's second largest rainforest". Find out more here.

Dennis Smith takes interim role at BMF

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has appointed Dennis Smith on a consultancy basis as Interim Membership Services Director.  He will assist the BMF for a three-month period, while the trade body seeks a permanent replacement for its long-standing Federation Secretary, Peter Matthews. Read more here.