CEMFREE RAPID | CEMFREE OPTIMA
Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park, located on the outskirts of Ipswich is home to 100 different species of animals, an adventure playground, woodland, café and shop. The farm and Wildlife Park has had extensive development since it was an old dairy farm 20 years ago, and is continuing to reach new heights, including the opening of Europe’s largest polar bear reserve on 21st October 2023. The new polar bear reserve required bespoke building materials that would align with the park’s overall objective of improving the planet for both human and animal inhabitants.
The polar bear at Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park is a resident in its world-class Tundra reserve, which features grassy plains, natural spring lakes and a large area of woodland. The polar bear, named Ewa, was originally based in Sweden, and faced euthanasia due to its zoo shutting down, leading to Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park stepping in and building a new reserve for the bear.
A Reserve was required that would be comfortable for the polar bear, and cater to its unique requirements, including shade, size, privacy, facilities and safety. The reserve was designed to include a concrete plunge pool, and enough space for them to wander around and seek privacy from the public should they require it.
Sadly, due to climate change, the natural habitat in Tundra is in decline, resulting in polar bears and other native species also suffering from a decline in numbers. It was therefore crucial in the building of the park’s Tundra reserve, that climate friendly methods and products were used to provide an example of how combating environmental change can go beyond typical construction applications such as housebuilding or large office buildings.
Poundfield Precast concrete manufacturing specialists and long-standing partners of Cemfree, were tasked with building the 1.5-1.8m high concrete plunge pool. They approached Cemfree to help with providing sustainable, ultra-low carbon building products that would work in a pre-cast ring, ready for quick and easy installation straight on site.
Cemfree Rapid, an ultra-low carbon alternative to PC (Portland Cement) was used for the pre-cast walls of the plunge pool, with a total of 2.735m3 concrete poured. Additionally, 1 tonne of bagged Cemfree Optima, another ultra-low carbon alternative in the Cemfree binder range,, was used for the base of the plunge pool after being hand-mixed and poured on site.
Timescales for the project were impressive, with the pouring of Cemfree into pre-cast elements taking place in mid-September, and the subsequent delivery to the farm in late-September. This provided plenty of time for the enclosure to open in late-October.
Another pioneering brand, PUDLO Waterproof Systems, also part of DB Group (Holdings) Ltd, provided their PUDLO BWB water bar, for the design of the plunge pool, offering a bespoke solution that was high-quality and could guarantee longevity.
Logistics – The ability for Cemfree to be used both in pre-cast elements, and to be mixed and installed easily on site, meant it was a solution that could work for everyone.
Sustainability – By opting for Cemfree, the enclosure saved approximately one tonne of carbon, the equivalent to more than 5 return flights from London to Dublin, compared to if they had used PC.
Durability – The new reserve, and Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park as a business, has gained high-profile coverage, including a documentary and the unveiling of the new reserve on The One Show on 30th October, helping to raise the overall message that the construction industry can work in ways that improve the planet.
“This project was incredibly fun and heartwarming with an overall important task at hand, which was saving a polar bear, an already declining species. We share the same ethos and goals as Jimmy’s Farm and Poundfield Precast when it comes to protecting the planet, so it was an absolute pleasure to work on this together. We always enjoy working with our long-standing partners Poundfield, collaborating on creating the most effective bespoke and sustainable solutions that help the planet rather than hinder it. It was extremely rewarding to see it all pulled off successfully, and we hope this has opened up a whole new world for Cemfree’s pioneering ultra-low carbon products!”