Articles & Case Studies

Innovations in Concrete

Posted: Tuesday 22nd February 2011

Innovation in CONCRETE

Precast concrete products lead the way through commitment to quality, innovation and the environment. Burdens’ Innovation in Concrete series is a guide to the latest technological advances that this surprisingly flexible material has to offer. All the products featured in this series are available through Burdens’ depot network.

The Perfect Manhole System

Manhole design and construction has basically remained unchanged for many years. However, specifiers, designers and contractors now have to consider various elements including build quality, speed of construction, health and safety issues and water tightness.

The Perfect Manhole System, is designed to meet the challenges of modern day construction. This off-site solution comprises a precast manhole base available pre-benched in any configuration within just days of requisition, and in addition, sealed chamber rings with a thicker wall, rubber joint and sealed cover slab. This unique system of products combine to form the Perfect Manhole designed and manufactured to last 120 years.

The Perfect Manhole System...everything flows!

• build greener

• build leaner

• build faster

• build safer

• build quality


• Safer construction.

• Over 20% lower GHG emissions.

• Fast installation.

• No need to surround in concrete unless specifically required.

• Available at short notice.

• Design freedom.

• Perfect hydraulics.

• Watertight joint.

• No water ingress into sewerage network reduces treatment costs.

• Combined seal includes load distributor.

• Fully tested under factory conditions.

• Kitemarked solution manufactured under factory conditions.

• Customer choice.

• Concrete for life, built to last -120 year design life.

• Greater flexibility.

• Flexible connections.

• Efficient construction.

• Monolithic bespoke base configuration.

• Lifting apparatus available for fast, effective and safe handling.

• Complete solution.

• Allows joint inspection.

• Full take-off service available.

• Full installation guide available.

Hydro-Brake® Chamber

The Hydro-Brake® Chamber is an easy to install pre-formed, reinforced concrete chamber with pre-formed benching and head wall with the correctly designed and sized Hydro-Brake® pre-fitted prior to delivery to site. The chamber has been designed to enable the contractor to install the Hydro-Brake® in a fraction of the time it takes using conventional methods.


• Stormwater management/source control.

• SUDS projects.

• New and existing developments.

• Sewage/water treatment plants.

• CSO structures.

• Land drainage.

• Flow balancing.


• Pre-fitted chamber for quick installation

• Available in 4 standard sizes - 1200mm, 1500mm, 1800mm and 2100mm.

• No concrete surround required.

• Chamber design allows up to 3 inlets.

• Reduces capital costs on overall project.

• Weir wall chambers also available from 2000 - 4000mm dia.

• Chambers can also be supplied prefitted with penstocks, non return flap valves and orifice plates.

Hydro-Brake® Flow Control

The Hydro-Brake® Flow Control is used to control flows from developments. Each unit is individually designed to meet the required specifications. The Hydro-Brake® Chamber is also available as sectional chambers that have been designed to reduce the lift weight of the chamber and allow the inlet holes to be increased up to 1800mm diameter.

Downstream Defender®

The Downstream Defender® is a hydrodynamic separator which is incorporated into a reinforced concrete chamber. It is designed to remove settleable solids, grits and silts as well as oil and other floatables from stormwater run-off and is ideal for use as part of, or to protect, SUDS schemes.


• Highway run-off.

• SUDS projects.

• Wetland projects.

• Basin and pond protection.

• Vehicle maintenance and wash-down yards.

• Construction site run-off.

• Car parks.

• Industrial and commercial areas.

• Park and ride schemes.

• Quarry settlement ponds.

• Vehicle wheel wash.


• No moving parts.

• No power required.

• Resistant to re-entrainment.

• Highly efficient with minimal head loss.

• Inlet and outlet pipes at same level and in-line.

• Small footprint.

• No concrete backfill required.

• Low maintenance costs.

• Available in a range of sizes.

• Delivered ready to install.

The design of the internal components prevents the collection material from being re-entrained into the flow during a storm event and more importantly during subsequent storm events.

Smart Gully - the smarter way to remove hydrocarbons from stormwater

The New Smart Gully is a dedicated suite designed for quick and easy installation in any type of gully without the use of any mechanical or electrical machinery. The clever push fit design incorporates a finned rubber gasket ensuring a snug fit whilst acting as a bung ensuring no loss of engineering design.

Smart Gully incorporates the unique Smart Sponge® Technology that removes hydrocarbons from stormwater. The Smart Sponge® technology is based on its proprietary blend of synthetic polymers aimed at removal of hydrocarbons and oil derivatives from surface water.

This unique process creates a very porous structure with hydrophobic and oleophilic characteristics capable of selectively removing hydrocarbons while allowing high flow through rates for water. As hydrocarbons are absorbed into its structure, the Smart Sponge® swells and maintains porosity and filtering capabilities.

The Smart Sponge® unique molecular structure is based on innovative polymer technologies that are chemically selective to hydrocarbons. Smart Sponge® fully encapsulates recovered hydrocarbons, resulting in a substantially more effective response that prevents absorbed hydrocarbons from leaching. Smart Sponge® is also capable of removing low levels of hydrocarbon from stormwater flow successfully removing sheen.

The Smart Sponge® technology remains buoyant in calm or agitated water, allowing it to remain in place until fully saturated and resulting in no wasted product. The Smart Sponge® technology transforms the pollutants into a stable solid waste for easy recycling either as a waste to fuel energy or a landfill waste. Waste clarification required. Smart Sponge® waste to energy finalises the closed loop solution with the spent Smart Sponge® creating 10000-14000 BTU with no resulting waste product.

Smart Sponge® can also be used as an antimicrobial technology capable of destroying disease causing micro organisms from surface water such as E-Coli, Streptococcus and Legionnaires to name but a few.


3 Brook Office Park, Folly Brook Road Emersons Green, Bristol BS16 7FL Tel: 0845 3132190 E-mail:

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