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Tag: concrete

Saying Goodbye to Boring Buildings with 3D Concrete Printing

Construction is one the largest industries in the world and one of the top 4 in Australia however it is hindered by the high cost.

Due to the manual nature of construction, poor productivity can also be a factor limiting growth however 3D printed concrete structures may be the solution to all that.

Two of the major factors of construction that are causing problems is lack of efficiency and high accident rates. The 3D printed method can address these issues.

In the video below, a 3D printed concrete house was built in just 24 hours in the freezing cold of a Russian winter with everything built in a single location.

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Serious Safety Incident Leads to WorkSafe ACT Investigation

A serious safety incident has happened at a high rise residential construction site in Braddon.

WorkSafe ACT is investigating the incident.

A safety inspector visited the site following a report that prefabricated concrete panels collapsed into a lift shaft.

Reports say one panel fell approximately 7 metres into the shaft well.

Thankfully the shaft was empty at the time of the collapse and nobody was injured.

Officials are investigating the cause of the collapse and have engaged an independent engineer to assist in the investigation.

WorkSafe said it will be providing safety advice to the state and national construction industry, since the incident is a significant one.


Townsville Construction Incident Claims Worker’s Life

A man was crushed to death on a north Queensland site recently after a concrete pylon fell.

The man was killed instantly when the pylon, which weighed an estimated 17 tonnes, fell on him at the Townsville concrete works.

The 53 year old man was strapping one of the pylons so it could be moved by a crane when another fell from a stacked set and crushed him.

The scene was described by all present as horrific.

An investigation has been launched but it could take weeks before we have any answers as to why this horrific incident occurred.

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Unions Planned Strikes against Contractor Banned

281916-cfmeu-marchThe Fair Work Building Commission has successfully brought an injunction against the CFMEU in Federal Court, temporarily banning a planned month long spate of strikes outside sites run by a major Brisbane builder.

The watchdog alleges several CFMEU officials targeted 9 of the builders’ sites and disrupted work 15 times in the last few months.

The union has been accused of disrupting crucial works on sites such as concrete pouring by conducting meetings without notice, lasting 2 hours. Workers are permitted to attend these “information meetings” as part of their enterprise bargaining agreement.

The dispute between the union and the builders revolves around the builder not consulting with the union and using non-EBA subcontractors.

The injunction was for a limited time only and expired on October 11, at 4:15pm.


The Evolution of Pavement Installation with Flexi-concrete


A new form of flexi-concrete has been developed by researchers from Singapore which promises to provide a more durable, slip resistant and speedy alternative to traditional pavement installation.

Construction times could be cut by as much as half with a new innovative concrete developed by researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

The material developed is more flexible than traditional forms of concrete, which makes the paving less brittle. This allows for it to be used to make slimmer precast pavement slabs.

By adding synthetic polymer microfibres to the concrete mix, NTU researchers developed ConFlexPave concrete which is able to flex and bend when subjected to stress, unlike conventional concrete which is brittle and inflexible.

The new material is also slip resistant which makes it perfect for road and pavement use.  Read more at

Building Blocks from Mushrooms


These “toadstools” as they are called in Canada may be the future of building materials, having been made of oyster mushroom spores and sawdust.

The bricks were developed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. The group have been working to develop sustainable building materials. The researchers believe mushrooms could be used widely for insulation in North America. Mushrooms make a biodegradable structural alternative.

The researchers weren’t the first to discover the potential of mushrooms. In 2014 a U based design and engineering consultant unveiled a mushroom tower in New York.

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US Researchers Make Breakthrough in Concrete Production


An article I read on  recently detailed a new, revolutionary invention that could significantly reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

The cross-disciplinary team from UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) have discovered a way to capture the carbon dioxide released by power plants and utilise it as an ingredient in a concrete building material, produced during additive manufacturing processes.

According to the team, the process involves first removing the carbon dioxide that is normally discharged into the atmosphere by coal or gas based power plants. Once extracted, the carbon dioxide is combined with lime to produce a cement-like material.

The material can then be made into a solid component for building by means of 3D printing. As the writer of the post highlights, this method translates into countless possibilities with respect to the precise shape or configuration of the final product.

The team has apparently already made a successful proof of concept, having printed a set of small cones using the carbon-based concrete and also plan on testing the material under real world conditions soon.

In the article Gaurav Sant, associate professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering, said the development of the concrete involves the creation of complete and effective technological process. A major obstacle to this process is the ability to produce building components at a larger scale. He went on to explain:

“We can demonstrate a process where we take lime and combine it with carbon dioxide to produce a cement-like material,” said Sant. “The big challenge we foresee with this is we’re not just trying to develop a building material. We’re trying to develop a process solution, an integrated technology which goes right from CO2 to a finished product.

“There is a scale challenge, because rather than print something that’s five centimetres long, we want to be able to print a beam that’s five metres long. The size scalability is a really important part.”


The writer of the article also spoke to J.R. DeShazo, professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs who highlighted the importance of the discovery. He believes the technology could have profound implications for the carbon footprint and infrastructure creation of industrialising countries, particularly when we consider the extent of the energy and concrete the economic development process uses up.

He went on to detail:

“This technology could change the economic incentives associated with these power plants in their operations and turn the smokestack flue gas into a resource countries can use, to build up their cities, extend their road systems,” DeShazo said. “It takes what was a problem and turns it into a benefit in products and services that are going to be very much needed and valued in places like India and China.”





Are we Using Insulating Concrete Forms Enough?


We’ve already spoken about the benefits of timber construction and prefabricated construction, improving construction productivity and effiency but another durable form of construction uses Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs).

An article on asked the question, are insulating concrete forms underused in Australia?

There was a case of a structural engineer whose house was the only one left standing after Hurricane Katrina in the neighbourhood, having used insulated concrete forms.

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Man Killed by Tank Collapse


Roof work can be extremely risky, especially when done without the necessary controls in place. A man was recently killed when he fell through a roof which he was trying to demolish a concrete water tank.

The man had been working at his farm in Wherrol Flat, northwest of Taree when the accident took place.

The man fell into the tank and was pinned under the water by the concrete. Paramedics weren’t able to resuscitate the man who was already dead when they had arrived at the scene.




Australia Could Lead the Way in Strong, Durable Concrete


According to a post on Australia could become a pioneer for the creation of durable and long lasting concrete if proposed changes for the criteria for concrete durabililty come to pass. It would mean Australia has the best standards for concrete production in the world.

The criteria would mean that concrete would become more sustainable and long lasting because according to experts international standards aren’t sufficient in addressing premature deterioration.

The post on quoted expert Farhad Nabavi from Xypex Australia who said that existing international standards governing concrete building materials fail to address one of the primary factors in its premature deterioration. The Australian standard would attempt to address this concern.