€2.3m funding for carbon-reducing construction start-up

By Mike Hayes05 July 2022

Sphera, a carbon-reducing concrete start-up, has secured approximately €2.3 million in funding, including significant grants from BEIS and Innovate UK.

The UK-based company develops technology capable of transforming waste and other by-products into a carbon-negative aggregate for concrete.

Sphera’s flagship aggregate, OSTO, is being launched for concrete blockwork, making traditional carbon intensive blocks Net-Zero.

The company says the OSTO concrete block is 2.5 times lighter than traditional mineral aggregates, has compressional strength greater than 7.3 N/mm2, low thermal conductivity and density of 1450 kg/m3, conforming to British Standards for masonry units.

According to Sphera, if 10% of the 300,000 new houses in the UK (which the government has pledged to build annually) were built from these blocks, it could prevent 90 million kg of carbon entering the atmosphere.

The start-up has received substantial support from Durham University and the Northern Accelerator programme, as well as the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Creative Destruction Lab and Tech Nation.

Business Durham – Durham County Council’s commercial support arm – has been instrumental in providing premises and grant support.

Dr Natasha Boulding, CEO of Sphera said, “I’m excited to use the investment to support our vision to be at the global forefront of low-carbon and environmentally friendly material innovation for the built environment, whilst also pushing the boundaries of material innovation.”

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