Composites in Construction Conference Amsterdam 2017

John Drewett presented a case study based around a project called Sedlescombe Bridge and showing the benefits of the use of FRP materials for simple but elegant footbridges both in terms of Whole Life Costing and Environmental Impact.

The FRP footbridge at Sedlescombe in East Sussex was installed in early 2015 and the presentation showed how the use of FRP compares to traditional materials such as timber and steel for a project of this type.

The presentation showed whole life costing comparisons between the normal forms of construction typically used for this type of bridge and demonstrated how whilst a timber bridge maybe cheapest at capital cost stage, that as soon as maintenance is required the FRP bridge becomes the most beneficial in terms of whole life cost. As time progresses this benefit becomes greater allowing the client to minimise maintenance costs and extend the lifespan of his asset.

Due to the lightweight nature of the materials it can be demonstrated that the FRP solution has environmental benefits both in terms of embodied energy and carbon dioxide using a cradle to gate approach.