Using Offsite Construction to Reduce Carbon and Control Corrosion

It is evident that the construction sector has many opportunities to cut carbon emissions in order to contribute to NetZero, mainly within projects, materials and processes. Altering the way we add to or restore the built environment and building more efficiently, via offsite construction and with low carbon build materials, is key. If this is done effectively, the speed at which climate change is progressing will be cut significantly.

Offsite construction and manufacture offers many benefits to the sector through reducing costs and efficiency, compared to traditional onsite construction. Offsite construction is usually quicker in its speed to completion, which in turn reduces delays, site waste and transport requirements. Therefore, using offsite technology presents a good opportunity to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

The investment of new infrastructure is inevitable, despite the notion that we should preserve the structures we already have in efforts to support a circular economy.  If this is the case, corrosion protection should be considered in the earliest design stages – the NACE Impact Report (2016) found that 70% of infrastructure damage is caused by corrosion, therefore highlights what a significant, yet overlooked, problem it is in the industry.   Protecting the internal steel frame is imperative for resilience, safety and functionality of a structure, and also in terms of protecting the outside fabric as corrosion causes concrete to crack and spall.

Steel corrosion

Corrosion  causes 70% of infrastructure damage

C-Probe Systems have combined both elements of corrosion protection and offsite manufacture, through their modular ICCP moulded anode: the LoCem® Modular Anode Unit (MAU). The MAU is an impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) component used for corrosion protection and monitoring in newly built structures. By implementing this component at the earliest construction stage, where the component is attached to the steel rebar of infrastructure before the concrete is poured, it would be saving tonnes of embodied carbon through the prevention of future disrepair arising from corrosion, thereby creating more resilient, sustainable infrastructure.


The LoCem® MAU

As its name suggests, the wiring between the MAU is also modular and simplifies the electrical installation. Routing of the interconnecting modular wiring can be made at the precast factory in box-outs and completed after delivery to site, helping construction projects stay within tighter deadlines and more efficient completion.

The MAU can be categorized as a low carbon build material, as it is manufactured through LoCem®, an alkali activated cementitious materials (AACM). LoCem® is made from repurposing industrial waste streams (e.g., steel, fossil fuels, mining, and agriculture) in an blending process that requires no heat. This yields comparable performance as conventional Portland Cement with over 90% CO2e saving (compared to CEM I).

The use of the MAU alongside C-Probe’s embedded sensors and control electronics provides sustainable resilience for a range of new infrastructure – whether it be commercial buildings, bridges, or car parks – with ease of installation either in-situ or within the precast factory. Through corrosion prevention and monitoring, the preservation of embodied carbon by pre-empting environmental impact provides strong ESG compliance, alongside the use of sustainable materials as part of new build fabric of the structure.

LoCem® was recently shortlisted for Material Performance Magazine’s, Corrosion Innovation of the Year, demonstrating it’s effectiveness as a sustainable build material and cathodic protection anode. The combined use of offsite construction and implementing corrosion protection can help to achieve the goal for indefinite life to structures and contribution to the circular economy.

Learn more about the LoCem® MAU at the Offsite Show on the 2nd-4th May at the ExCel, London. C-Probe will be Gold Sponsors of the exhibition and will be based at Buildoffsite’s Innovation Hub for the duration of the show.

They will be presenting at the following times and stages:

  • Can Offsite Make a Concrete Change with Low Carbon Precast – 2nd May, Buildoffsite Main Stage at 11am -> Book your seat

  • Corrosion and Extending Asset Lifespan – 2nd May, Buildoffsite Innovation Hub Session at 1pm -> Book your seat

For any further information on the LoCem® MAU, or to set up a meeting at the Offsite Show, please contact Cassie Walker (

Get in touch with any questions, queries or potential projects.