AS 3850 Amd 1:2018 has been published
AS 3850 Amd 1:2018 has been published 17 Jan 2019

The following Standards Australia publication has been published. 

Publication Number: AS 3850.1:2015 Amd 1
Title: Prefabricated concrete elements, Part 1: General requirements
Publishing Date: 17-01-2019
Project Committee: BD-066 Prefabricated Concrete Elements

News bulletin 01 -
News bulletin 01 - 15 Jan 2019

Controversy continues to surround the Opal Tower in Olympic Park, Sydney, found to have cracks in its walls. The Daily Telegraph has published an article outlining that Silver Member Cardno says "concrete investigation required". Cardno has also been working for three years on an artificial lake, undertaking the civil and structural engineering design (see image).

ABC News recently published a long article on Australia's construction sub-contractors calling them the "human face of a construction industry in crisis".

What will be Australia's largest timber-framed structure in regional Australia has begun construction in Ballarat and it will contain 75,000 tonnes of concrete.

Professor Jay Sanjayan, whom many of you would know, published an article in The Conversation late last year titled '3D Printing Could Free the World from Boring Buildings'.

The principal structural designer on the construction of the Sydney Opera House's iconic roof sails, Jack Zunz, passed away last month, aged 94.

Late in 2018, CCAA revealed new figures for concrete in the previous calendar year. Strong demand for high rise residential buildings contributed to a record production year (30 million cubic metres of pre-mixed concrete) across Australia for the industry.
Image: Stockland's artificial lake lock. Source: Cardno.

Newly developed concrete absorbs CO2, insulates and is also a vertical garden…
Newly developed concrete absorbs CO2, insulates and is also a vertical garden…11 Jan 2019

It is not only a medium for growth and a construction material, but a means to regulate temperatures indoors while removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  The surface of the concrete grows mosses, lichens, fungi and other biological organisms…More

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up
Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up11 Dec 2018

Recognizing the critical need for concrete, Pellenq and his colleague Franz-Josef Ulm, professor of CEE and director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), have been working to reduce its environmental footprint. Their goal: to find ways to do more with less. “If we can make concrete stronger, we’ll need to use less of it in our structures,” says Ulm. “And if we can make it more durable, it’ll last longer before it needs to be replaced.”...More

News bulletin-49:
News bulletin-49: 11 Dec 2018

The concepts and aspirations behind the design of the North Queensland Stadium have been explained in a behind-the-scenes video featuring Concrete Institute of Australia Silver Member, ARUP.

Construction activity levels dropped at the fastest rate in nearly four years last month. The Australian Industry Group’s (Ai Group) Performance of Construction Index (PCI) fell to 44.5 points in November.

Expressions of Interest are invited by 14 December for the principal design consultant contract for a $150 million performing arts theatre in Brisbane.

A 22-storey residential building in Sydney's Waterloo, named Emblem and designed by BVN, has received an Award of Excellence for Best Tall Building 100 metres and Under from the Council on Tall Buildings  and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), putting it in the running for the Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2019. BVN also designed the new Sydney Fish Market area which will involve a substantial amount of concrete (pictured).

Central Darwin is set to become the home of a number of educational and civic institutions, including a new campus for Charles Darwin University, a fine arts gallery, and a major library.

Kane Constructions has been awarded a design and construct contract for the $64.6 million State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) Redevelopment in Victoria.
Image: The proposed design of the new Sydney Fish Markets area. Source: BVN.

AS 3850.2:2015 Amd 1:2018 - Published
AS 3850.2:2015 Amd 1:2018 - Published11 Dec 2018

The objective of this part of the Standard is to provide requirements for the materials, components and equipment used in the manufacture of prefabricated concrete elements. 

Publication Number: AS 3850.2:2015 Amd 1:2018 
Title: Prefabricated concrete elements - General requirements 
Project Committee: BD-066 : Prefabricated Concrete Elements
:Publishing Date 11-12-2018

News bulletin-48:
News bulletin-48: 4 Dec 2018

Rob Kilgour, WSP Principal Engineer for Materials Technology, explores the balancing act required in defining requirements for tunnel material durability performance to help extend the life of tunnel assets. And in other news, WSP has won the 2018 Global Road Achievement Award for Design for the Waterview Connection in NZ (pictured).

Belgian construction giant BESIX Group SA has acquired a controlling interest in Watpac of more than 50%, with the intent to grow Watpac's earnings and shareholder value.

Westkon Precast in Melbourne has installed a Universal Concrete Extruder with eight different tube and mould sets for the manufacture of hollow core slab 1.20 m in width and 15 to 50 cm in height.

Building contractor, Halikos, has been announced as the successful tenderer for the $12.6 million first stage Northern Territory public school at Zuccoli which will support 120 construction jobs over the coming year.

Austroads has published a report that outlines a framework to help assess the value of maintenance and renewal works, consistent with capital investments. The organisation has also released its 2017-18 annual report.

This concrete house has much more than meets the eye, according to CCAA, with the choice of concrete's chief characteristic that formed the choice for the building.

News bulletin-47:
News bulletin-47: 27 Nov 2018

Industry groups, including cement producers, are lobbying against a new 2019 import tax, the Biosecurity Imports Levy, alleging the new tariff will increase costs by 3000 - 5000% on the inputs for cement, steel and aluminium production.

An Adelaide contractor has been named National Specialist Contractor of the Year at Master Builders Australia's national awards for the first of eight bridges over the Southern Expressway, part of the $620 million Darlington Upgrade Project. And Multiplex was awarded as National Commercial Builder of the Year for its construction of Perth’s Optus Stadium.

Arcadis has appointed a new CEO of its Australia Pacific business. The new chief takes over from Greg Steele who was recently made Group Executive APAC.

Fletcher Building has revealed its Golden Bay Cement plant in Auckland, NZ, was forced to stop its cement mill for four weeks in September which is likely to impact its financial year earnings by millions. It also says it is up against challenging conditions in Australia.

Developers are invited to submit expressions of interest for the construction of a unit complex containing 70 residential units by NT Health for Alice Springs Hospital staff accommodation.

An over-station development at Waterloo, Sydney, that includes three towers of 23, 25 and 29 storeys.
A concept DA has been submitted that includes 700 dwellings, along with almost 4000 m² of retail/entertainment space, 8700 m² of office space/recreational facilities, and at least 2000 m² for community use.


News bulletin-46:
News bulletin-46: 20 Nov 2018

SMEC ANZ has appointed a new CEO following the appointment of CEO SMEC and CEO International earlier in the year. The company will also celebrate its 70th anniversary next year and has just completed a year-long feasibility study that includes the potential for a 2100GL dam in Queensland, which could lead to 12,000 jobs.

An international design competition for the controversial new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta has been announced, ahead of its launch in December. A London-based competition organizer has been appointed to manage the two-stage competition process, with the winning design to be announced later in 2019.
A survey of 100 civil engineers in the UK has found, among other things, that a third of engineers who regularly design steel to concrete connections struggle because there is no software to design the different elements of a steel to concrete connection.
A NSW Roads and Maritime Services Director of Bridges and Structure has been awarded the NSW Premier’s Award for Infrastructure Delivery.

The inaugural 2018 NZ Bridges Summit and Awards Dinner has been held in Auckland, with delegates taking part in workshops, presentations and discussions in bridge design, asset management and recent engineering developments. Beca bridge engineers won the Large Structure Award for their work on the Great North Road Interchange Ramps.

Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institute in Germany, have replaced carbon/glass-fibre fabrics in textile reinforced concrete with eco-friendly natural fibres that rival conventional concrete performance, with a smaller carbon footprint.

Image: Steel and concrete connection. Source: via New Civil Engineer.


Final design for new Sydney Fish Market unveiled
Final design for new Sydney Fish Market unveiled16 Nov 2018

Danish practice 3XN said that its approach to the project would be to create a major cultural facility that was more than just a fish market.
“This building will be many things when it is done: a working fish market, an amenity for the city, a cultural destination, an urban connector, and an inspiring icon along the world-renowned Sydney Harbour,” said 3XN founding partner Kim Herforth Nielsen. “The natural value of the water’s edge should not be underestimated and should be accessible to everyone.”... More


News bulletin-45:
News bulletin-45: 13 Nov 2018

Concrete paving is underway on South Australia’s first major concrete road as part of the $885 million Northern Connector project.

Victoria University’s long-planned 32-storey vertical city campus will soon be built at 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street in the Melbourne CBD, with ISPT signing on as developer. Its DA was approved six years ago.
A number of sustainability related jobs have been featured by The Fifth Estate that may interest readers.

This residence in Lisbon, Portugal, features concrete throughout and features a parabolic roof.

The longest suspension bridge in Africa has just been completed, connecting three nations, and built for US$700 million. It was a joint construction and management project by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and the government of Mozambique.

You are welcome to read abstracts from Elsevier's latest concrete and cement research articles.

Huge concrete blocks are being used to harness potential energy via a 'skyscraper-sized battery' in the Energy Vault system, to be deployed in India for the first time in 2019.

Image: The Maputo-Catembe Bridge in Mozambique.

AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1-
AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1- 12 Nov 2018

AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1 follows the release of AS5100:2017

AS(/NZS) 5100:2017 Series Bridge Design represents international best practise for design of new bridges, rehabilitation of existing bridges and the assessment of the structural capacity of older bridges for current traffic loads.

This Standard was prepared by the Australian members of Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee BD-090.

Draft Number: AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1
Title: Australia Bridge design, Part 5: Concrete
Project Committee: BD-090 Bridge Design
Publishing Date: 12-11-2018

News bulletin-44:
News bulletin-44: 6 Nov 2018

A development application for a 49-storey tower to rise out of Sydney's heritage-listed City Tattersall's Club on Pitt Street has been lodged with the City of Sydney. This is ICD Property's second proposal for the site, the first rejected by council and the court due to heritage concerns.

Master Builders Association of Victoria has announced it has a new CEO, replacing Radley de Silva who has retired after five years at the helm and 17 at the MBAV.

Tony Shepherd, a former managing director – construction for Lend Lease and chairman of the WestConnex board, has been appointed inaugural Chair of Infrastructure South Australia. The state government says its "approach to infrastructure planning is [being] overhauled to deliver better, more strategic outcomes and projects".

Researchers from the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) in Lithuania say they are developing methods of producing concrete without cement, with the final product as strong as traditional concrete and more resilient to acid, heat and cold.

CPB Contractors has been awarded a $170 million construct-only contract by NSW's RMS as part of the $1.6 billion Northern Road upgrade project in Western Sydney.

A double-curved concrete shelled pavilion, constructed using a 3D-knitted formwork, has gone on display in Mexico City. It is an homage to Spanish-Mexican engineer and architect, Félix Candela.

Image: the proposed 49-storey tower to emerge from the Tattersall's Club in Sydney. Source: FJMT.

News bulletin-43:
News bulletin-43: 30 Oct 2018

A public review will be held into the collapse of two major construction companies in Queensland that the government says left hundreds of subcontractors and suppliers unpaid.

And a South Australian home builder will be liquidated by court order after losing its construction licence and failing to pay concrete and steel contractors.

Part of a concrete jetty on Rottnest Island collapsed late last week, injuring three people. The Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said Rottnest Island Authority will assess the jetty and other infrastructure on the island.

Over the next year, expect to see Smart Site Hubs that are set to redefine construction as on-site workplaces change to incorporate more off-site fabrication, according to David Chandler from the Centre for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at WSU. C4SMC also says the Australian construction industry has among the lowest rates of investment in R&D in the economy.
When bridges, dam walls and concrete foundations form cracks, alkali-aggregate reaction is often the culprit, according to the Swiss National Science Foundation. SNSF is part-way through a four-year project with Empa to study the concrete disease, with first results already in.

Infrastructure Australia’s 2017-18 annual report has been published on its website.

Georgiou Group has been awarded the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage 4 project which involves upgrading 2.6 km from four to six lanes between Kate Street and Aumuller Street for Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Image: Rottnest Island jetty. Source: ABC News.

News bulletin-42:
News bulletin-42: 23 Oct 2018

Perth-based concrete-maker Eden Innovations has had to answer queries from the ASX three times this month as the company’s shares continue to surge. The company also has a couple of jobs open: a concrete technician and an engineering technician.

AECOM, whose Queensland office is an Institute Member, has signed a contract with the Victorian Government as design partner for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project. The company is part of the Rail Infrastructure Alliance that also includes CPB Contractors and John Holland.

Researchers at Purdue University, Illinois, have 3D-printed cement paste that gets tougher under pressure like the shells of arthropods such as lobsters and beetles. The technique could eventually contribute to more resilient structures during natural disasters, the team says.

Contract employment in the engineering sector appears to be on the rise, according to two recruitment firms. Around a quarter of all engineering hires done under contract and half of all managers expect to grow their employee numbers on this basis.

Micron-sized calcium silicate spheres could help create stronger, more environmentally-friendly concrete, according to researchers at Rice University in Texas. The team formed the spheres in a solution around nanoscale seeds of a common detergent-like surfactant, with the spheres able to be prompted to self-assemble into strong solids.

The first world-wide, large-scale casting using recycled tyre polymer fibres has taken place at Sheffield University’s Civil Engineering Department to research the recycling of tyre steel and polymer fibres for use in the concrete construction industry. Special machines have been developed to ensure they are dispersed uniformly in concrete, which is now being tested for strength, durability and fire resistance.

Image: Packed, micron-scale calcium silicate spheres are a promising material that could lead to stronger and more environmentally-friendly concrete, according to researchers at Rice University. Source: RU Multiscale Materials Laboratory.

News bulletin-41:
News bulletin-41: 16 Oct 2018

Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE) has signed a letter of intent to integrate with global consustancy firm Stantec. WGE is a Bronze Member of the Concrete Institute of Australia in Western Australia.

Specialist contractor, Marine and Civil Maintenance, has appointed a new general manager, engineer Nick Critchley, and established an office in Melbourne to continue the business’ growth.

A team at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University has developed a technology, known as swarm printing, where two robots can work in unison to 3D-print a concrete structure. They say it paves the way for a group of mobile robots to print even larger structures in the future.

Australian architects Woods Bagot and Peddle Thorp NZ will design and build a NZ$200 million 180-metre-tall 50-level mixed-use tower adjacent to Auckland’s Sky Tower, which is currently the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Engineering School of Far Eastern Federal University in Russia has developed a new type of concrete designed for airport runways. The developers say its composition is 46% stronger than known types of concrete and has improved static compressive strength and high shock endurance.

Boston Dynamics’ construction robot, Spot, has been field-tested on real construction sites in Japan. The dog-like model autonomously navigated two sites in Tokyo and used a specialised payload for surveying work progress. With an additional camera in its limb, the robot is able to complete even more detailed onsite inspection work and will be ready for commercial applications next year.

Image: An illustration depicting part of the design of the 50-level Auckland tower. Source: Woods Bagot.

News bulletin-40:
News bulletin-40: 9 Oct 2018

The University of Sydney has published a study showing that 50% of work related spinal injuries happen in the construction industry – 21% higher than in vehicle crashes. The study calls for “increased local surveillance of safety systems and stricter enforcement of relevant legislation” to reduce these.

Watch a time-lapse video that shows the full concrete pour of 3300 cubic yards over eight hours into the foundation mat of a new office building that will stand 800 feet tall in Chicago.

In New Zealand, over the next 10 years, 7000 houses are expected to be built in Auckland along with major infrastructure including wastewater mains and pump stations, stormwater management, and arterial roads with bus and cycling lanes.

A planning application has been lodged for a 124.2 metre tall and slender tower in the Adelaide CBD. If built, it will be among the world’s tallest towers designed specifically for student housing.

Experts in the future of construction say 3D printing will eventually transform the sector, helping to introduce robotisation into construction and tackle waste reduction.

The shortlist for the Architectural Photography Awards 2018 is out, with entries from 47 countries, including the perforated concrete skin of  VM Estancia in India; construction of Raffles City in China, Liege-Guillemins Station in Belgium, Ouse Valley Viaduct in the UK and more.

Image: Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai, an entry in the Architectural Photography Awards 2018.

News bulletin-39:
News bulletin-39: 2 Oct 2018

A three-tower $800 million apartment and hotel complex to be built on the north bank of the Yarra River in Melbourne’s Docklands has been given the green light. It will include 700 apartments, a 168-room hotel and public plaza.

The Victorian Government is looking for construction companies to help deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link. The Registration of Interest has just been opened, led by Rail Projects Victoria.

New Institute Gold Member Lend Lease will design and construct a new railways station development in Sydney’s Martin Place as part of the Sydney Metro. The new public precinct will include office space, retail, restaurants and more.

Global behemoth Amazon is moving into the construction prefab sector, investing in a start-up that manufactures sustainable, custom single and multi-family homes.

AMP Capital and BIS Economics have forecast a slowdown in the construction industry saying the signs are now evident and the decline will continue for one to two years.

Institute Silver Member GHD, in a JV with Jacobs, has been appointed to deliver a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment for the 300-kilometre greenfield section of the Inland Rail Program in NSW in a joint venture with Jacobs Engineering Group.

CPB Contractors, as part of the Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA), along with John Holland and Aecom, has been awarded a $1 billion package of works by the Victorian Government in support of the $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project.

Image: Metro Rail Project concept. Source: Vic Govt.

One-quarter of Dubai’s buildings will be 3D printed by 2025
One-quarter of Dubai’s buildings will be 3D printed by 202527 Sep 2018

The Dubai Future Foundation was set up to provide a roadmap for the government consider and prepare for how technology will shape the industries of the future. It aims to make Dubai the world’s “3D-printing hub” by 2030...More

News bulletin-38:
News bulletin-38: 25 Sep 2018

The Federal Government is looking for a construction company to deliver two major Metronet projects in WA and has released a Request for Proposal. One is the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and the Yanchep Rail Extension which will represent one of the state’s biggest ever package of infrastructure works.

An Australian-first $16 million training centre will open next year in Chadstone, Melbourne, and will skill people in delivering underground construction and tunnelling projects in Victoria, including the North East Link, which has just released its latest designs. The new centre will include a replica tunnel with a full-height entrance, tunnel shaft, concrete lining spray simulators, three multi-purpose engineering workrooms, and virtual reality.

The York Civil administrators’ report has blamed the company’s failure on a number of joint venture projects that placed a strain on its financial position and time of senior management.

A development application for Albion Exchange in Brisbane has been submitted for the $750 million mixed-use development at the inner city Albion train station. The 3.5 ha site will be above and surrounding the train station and will include two residential towers of 30 and 23 storeys, and a mix of commercial, retail, and community spaces.

A private consortium has unveiled a proposal for a 27-kilometre airport rail link in Melbourne that includes new rail tracks and twin tunnels between Southern Cross and Sunshine along with a new interchange at Southern Cross station; a redeveloped Sunshine station, which will become a new ‘super hub’ for suburban, airport and regional passengers, and a new underground station at the airport.

CPB Contractors a (CIMIC) and its partners have closed a NZ$750 million contract with the NZ Government to design and construct the Waikeria Corrections and Treatment Facility PPP project.

Image: Albion Exchange proposal. Source: Gion Property.

News bulletin-37:
News bulletin-37: 18 Sep 2018

The Forrestfield Airport Link project will now include a multi-level car park at the future Forrestfield Station to accommodate 1200 vehicles instead of the original plan for an at-grade car park. Construction is due to begin next year.

Consult Australia has released a report as a “wake-up call” for engineers, saying that business leaders lack foresight to prepare their business for what lies ahead. The report covers risk, emerging technology, people planning, profitability and project complexity.

In a world-first, the US military has 3D printed a 46 sqm barracks building out of concrete on site at an army base in just 40 hours.

Meanwhile, researchers from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK) and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) have developed the Sparse Concrete Reinforcement In Meshworks (SCRIM) concept. It combines robot-based concrete 3D printing and textile reinforcement meshes to produce lightweight structures.

And Swinburne University’s Professor Jay Sanjayan, Director of the university’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) says construction is “open to be disrupted by automation” and that 3D printing is one technology that can help meet the needs for housing and infrastructure.

A study by the University of Bath, UK, study, in partnership with Goa College of Engineering, India, has estimated that over 800 million tonnes of sand could be saved by replacing part of the mix with finely ground plastic particles. The research has been published in Construction and Building Materials journal on the impact of five plastics on the structural strength of concrete tubes and cylinders.

News bulletin-36:
News bulletin-36: 11 Sep 2018

The University of South Australia is hosting an exhibition of Japanese domestic architecture which includes the house pictured. Open until 3 October at Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, it showcases 58 Japanese architects across 70 projects.

NSW is leading the nation in infrastructure investment for the second year running followed by Victoria in second place, while WA came in last, according to the Australian Infrastructure Budget Monitor released by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

New Silver Institute Member Beca has polled infrastructure leaders at the recent New Zealand Building Nations Symposium, which suggests the need for greater detail to be shared with industry about plans to address Auckland’s infrastructure needs and to implement those plans.

With everyone’s eyes still on bridges in the wake of the Ponte Morandi collapse in Genoa, the US city of Boston is planning to build a new Long Island Bridge on top of existing 75-year-old concrete piers. However, a new report by a structural engineer says this is “extremely unrealistic”.

Engineering New Zealand has called for fresh thinking about the country’s seismic and water challenges in a report just released.

Since 1918, Hansen Yuncken has been delivering major commercial and institutional projects across this country. The company is celebrating its century and is renowned for its application of innovative techniques and the development of new construction technologies and project delivery methods. There are a number of job openings at HY including site engineer, site manager, project engineer, contracts administrators.


The study of concrete’s atomic structure could improve its mechanical properties
The study of concrete’s atomic structure could improve its mechanical properties6 Sep 2018

“The heart of concrete is C-S-H – calcium, silicate and hydrate, C-S-H is the key binder that holds everything together, so that is what MIT focused on. The University tried to decode the phases of C-S-H across different chemistries, thereby improving the mechanical properties of concrete in a material way.”...More

News bulletin-35:
News bulletin-35: 4 Sep 2018

In the wake of York Civil going into administration, all work stopped on the Princes Highway Upgrade in southern NSW in early August. Now, the head contract for the delivery of the project has been handed over to Fulton Hogan by Roads and Maritime Services.

SMEC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Geoconsult Asia Singapore for tunnel design partnerships on future infrastructure projects, which is set to strengthen SMEC’s tunnel design capabilities in Australia and New Zealand.

The Mills Park project in Perth features a first-floor concrete bubbledeck slab, a semi-precast system that minimises the amount of work and the amount of concrete used. Blast furnace slag has also been used instead of Portland cement to reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

The Tasmanian Government has revealed TasPorts’ $200 Port Master Plan will include projects at Bell Bay, Burnie, Devonport and Hobart that will be developed over the next 10-15 years.

Researchers at Lancaster University in the UK have created a new smart cement mixture that is able to store electrical energy and can monitor its own structural health. Consequently, infrastructure could be turned into cheap batteries, they say.

Fletcher Construction GM of Infrastructure, Tommy Parker, says improved collaboration will be the key challenge for the industry over the coming years. Contractors in NZ now understand what they will be tasked with delivering and working better together “will be critical”.

IMAGE: Engineers working on the bubbledeck at Mills Park.

Norway’s $47BN Coastal Highway | The B1M
Norway’s $47BN Coastal Highway | The B1M31 Aug 2018

IN a bid to increase connectivity along the E39 road on Norway’s west coast, engineers are planning to construct a number of fjord crossings, some of which could be built as "submerged floating tunnels" (SFTs). 
Upgrading the E39 is set to be the largest infrastructure project in Norway’s history, and work is already underway on the Rogfast link at Boknafjorden - the world’s longest and deepest undersea road tunnel...More 
 YouTube Video 

Victoria announces plans for mega suburban rail tunnel
Victoria announces plans for mega suburban rail tunnel30 Aug 2018

The $50 billion construction project will start with the south-east section, comprising Cheltenham to Box Hill, is set to begin in 2022 and is expected to take decades to complete, with the end date expected to be 2051...More

News bulletin-34:
News bulletin-34: 28 Aug 2018

GHD, Sharp & Howells, and Coffey have all weighed in on the importance of concrete testing and how it is about quality control and gaining assurance that the material conforms to the required standards and specifications.

GCS Summit Contracting (Victorian subsidiary of Perth-based Global Construction Services) has secured $24.6 million in concrete structure works with Watpac Construction on two major projects in Victoria.

Australia’s first prefabricated concrete car park has been completed by Parkd Group in half the time of a traditional concrete build, with a 35% saving.

Research led by Prof Mattheos Santamouris, professor of high performance architecture from UNSW, has looked at constructing better buildings to deal with rising temperatures, including the solar reflectance of building facades and pavements.

The latest update on the Forrestfield Airport Link in Perth provides details on concrete pours at Redcliffe station and Bayswater rail overpass as well as three egress shafts and tunnelling.

This video, captured by an onlooker, shows much of the remaining structure of the Ponte Morandi in Genoa in detail for those interested, following the bridge’s collapse.

Image: Forrestfield Airport Link August works.


What are
What are "Smog-Eating" Buildings? 23 Aug 2018

Whilst many nations are working hard to restrict emissions – often in line with international agreements – some of the worst affected cities are now looking to technological solutions in building and infrastructure design...More

News bulletin-33:
News bulletin-33: 21 Aug 2018

The collapse of the 200 m section of the Ponte Morandi in Genoa, Italy, in heavy rain last week has generated fierce debate about infrastructure and the maintenance of bridges, in particular. Designed by Riccardo Morandi and completed in 1967, major repairs were carried out in the 1990’s and restructuring work was done in 2016. A local structural engineer warned about problems around the same time. But Monash University senior lecturer in civil engineering says, despite the incident, “bridges are the safest of all major structures – more so than buildings and dams”.

Building owners and strata corporations have been warned to act “immediately” to avoid million dollar fines and two-year prison sentences as a result of a new retrospective ban on combustible cladding with a core of more than 30% polyethylene that came into force in NSW on 15 August. Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers say the ban affects any form of the combustible building material used in external cladding, external walls, external insulation, facades or rendered finishes for certain multi-storey residential and commercial premises.

A $2 billion twisted skyscraper called Green Spine, measuring 356.2m as a proposed ‘exemplar’ for green development for Melbourne’s Southbank, has won a design competition. The design features a residential tower, hotel and commercial space and a connecting podium to a retail and entertainment precinct.

­A research centre in Riyadh, a mosque without minarets in Iran, a cliff top house in Greece and a concrete cinema in Ireland are among the projects shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival Awards 2018.

Vossloh AG, a rail technology company from Germany, has acquired Austrak, a concrete cross-tie manufacturer headquartered in Brisbane for AU$50.5 million.

Spinifex grass, which covers almost one-third of Australia, and used by Indigenous people for millennia as a sticky resin adhesive, has been deconstructed into its building blocks, resulting in very thin, long and flexible nanofibres. These can be used to strengthen cement by 20%, according to Dr Nasim Amiralian, nanomaterials engineer at UQ, who says it will be available in 3-5 years.

Image: Ponte Morandi in Genoa after part of it collapsed in peak hour last week.

Graphene-infused concrete could pave the way for on-road EV charging
Graphene-infused concrete could pave the way for on-road EV charging16 Aug 2018

Talga said in an ASX statement that it had achieved a “global breakthrough” in electrical conductivity of graphene-enhanced concrete, achieving a resistance of 0.05 ohm-cm (a lower figure indicates higher conductivity) compared to a reference mortar resistance of 1,000,000 ohm-cm...More

News bulletin-32:
News bulletin-32: 14 Aug 2018

South Australian construction and engineering company, York Civil, has gone into voluntary administration while still involved in Adelaide’s $800 million Torrens Road project along with others in infrastructure, defence, power, transport, resources and marine across Australia.

Silver Institute Member, Cardno, has appointed a new CEO as of 9 August who holds a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Bristol (UK) and will be based in Brisbane.

The new CEO of the Port of Newcastle has announced his intention to build a new container terminal and will discuss options with the port developers and NSW Government.

Master Builders Victoria has announced the winners of its construction awards, with the list including Vaughan Constructions, Das Constructions, HBS Group, Lloyd Group, and Atelier Projects.

Georgiou Group will partner with Ertech on the $120 million Northern Road Upgrade Project between Bringelly and Luddenham for the RMS, according to new CEO Robert Monaci.

Watpac has been awarded the $74 million contract to deliver the Roma Hospital redevelopment main works project in Queensland.

A US company has come up with an alternative method for providing the void space needed for expansion of soil under a concrete slab.

Image: Northern Road Upgrade Project. Source: Georgiou Group.


Photocatalytic Concrete and Colour Pigment
Photocatalytic Concrete and Colour Pigment 10 Aug 2018

High-energy UV radiation triggers the formation of highly reactive compounds on the surface of such photocatalysts. These compounds have been shown to mineralize nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) present in the air, thus removing these substances from the air...More 

News bulletin-31:
News bulletin-31: 7 Aug 2018

Broad Construction, has recently secured infrastructure projects totalling $110 million, including the design and construct contract for Karingal Green, a residential aged care precinct in Perth. This follows other contracts secured by the CPB Contractors’ subsidiary, including The Annex at 12 Creek Street, Brisbane; and the Pimpama State Secondary College (Stage 4) development.
Austroads has recently released two guides: Guide to Road Tunnels Part 3: Operations and Maintenance; and Guide to Road Tunnels Part 1: Introduction to Road Tunnels.
The Queensland Government has updated its State Infrastructure Plan for 2018. It shows the state’s $11.6 billion investment in the sector for 2018-19.

The New England Highway Upgrade between Belford and the Golden Highway is a step closer following approval of the environmental assessment and refinement of the concept design.

Nettleton Tribe and Fox Johnston have won a design competition for a 62-storey building set to be Parramatta’s tallest residential tower. The proposal for 87 Church Street will include hundreds of apartments, a six-storey podium and more than 3000 sqm of commercial/retail space.

The Ipswich Motorway Upgrade is being expanded to include another extension and new service road connections.

Image: Illustration of 87 Church St, Parramatta. Source: Doug and Wolf.

News bulletin-30:
News bulletin-30: 31 Jul 2018

More than 150 workers on the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway project stopped work and called in the safety regulator after emergency sirens in the tunnels failed during a recent evacuation drill.

The next 3-5 years are going to be “very interesting”, according to Investa Property Group, which suggests keeping an eye on statistics, including concrete prices.

The $152 million design and construction contract for the Smithfield Bypass in FNQ, a significant road infrastructure project, has been awarded to a JV and is set to begin construction later this year.

Alternative asset manager Morrison & Co and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have announced a new $1 billion green fund targeting essential infrastructure such as hospitals, data centres, aged care facilities, student housing and renewable energy.

If there is a shortage of engineers in Australia, John Holland says we’re not looking hard enough. The company is a partner in an “industry-first” employment program to give qualified engineers from migrant/refugee backgrounds the chance to get a foot in the industry’s door.

New guidelines to drive greater transparency and accountability in infrastructure decision-making and reduce instances of major projects receiving funding prior to appropriate planning and assessment, have been released by Infrastructure Australia.
Image: WestConnex tunnel.

Materials Scientists Make Martian Concrete
Materials Scientists Make Martian Concrete 26 Jul 2018

Today we get an answer thanks to the work of Lin Wan and pals at Northwestern University. These guys have worked out how to make Martian concrete using materials that are widely available on Mars. And, crucially this concrete can be formed without using water, which will be a precious resource on the red planet...More

News bulletin-29:
News bulletin-29: 24 Jul 2018

The Universal Bridging Consortium (UBC) has proposed a 14 km long bridge from South Australia’s mainland over to Kangaroo Island, named the KI Bridge Megaproject, which is already attracting controversy.

Building market analysts/forecasters BIS Oxford Economics has predicted a 23% drop in residential building – the worst since the GFC - will commence in the next two years.

CIMIC, parent company of CPB Contractors, has reported increased revenue and cash-backed profit for the six months to 30 June 2018, with “strong performance continuing during the period” and “substantial growth in all key indicators”. CPB is the preferred contractor for Melbourne’s $1 billion Metro Tunnel works.

Estia House is a three-storey group care home in suburban Sydney built with concrete and splayed brick and a large amount of windows.

Landcom, the NSW Government’s land and property developer, is set to build around 1100 residential units near The Ponds close to Tallawong station, south of Rouse Hill that will be up to eight storeys high. The plan comes ahead of a proposed 11,000 apartments and up to 9000 sqm of office and retail space in 16 buildings.

Image: The proposed KI Bridge Megaproject. Source: UBC.


Dubai Creek Tower facts and information
Dubai Creek Tower facts and information19 Jul 2018

The name may be a provisional name, like Burj Khalifa had been named Burj Dubai before opening.
When this tower was first reported by the medias in February 2016, it came with no name, the developer called it The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbor or Iconic Tower, the name The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbor was also displayed on a foundation stone at the construction site...More

News bulletin-28:
News bulletin-28: 17 Jul 2018

WSA Co., the government-owned company building Western Sydney Airport, is inviting registrations of interest to finalise the design and build the visitor centre, which will include a construction viewing area and interactive exhibition.

The ACT government has appointed a senior bureaucrat to the position of interim chief engineer as the role has been vacant for some time. Despite having extensive experience in major infrastructure programs, not everyone is happy.

Civmec has revealed it modified the design of internal corbels within beams on the Sydney Metro Northwest, replacing cogged bars with terminators within alternative layers.

Fletcher Building has recruited the chief executive of KiwiRail to head its construction division in New Zealand. The hire comes in the wake of large scale losses from a number of high profile building projects, including Auckland's International Conference Centre.

Mainmark has presented its STRAAM technology at the International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management in Melbourne. The platform measures a structure's normal vibrations and identifies abnormal responses that indicate structural damage or weakness.

Image: Windsor Road Railway Bridge, part of Sydney Metro Northwest, nears completion.

News Bulletin-27:
News Bulletin-27:11 Jul 2018

Victoria’s engineering construction activity leads the nation, jumping almost 50% in the past 12 months and 19.2% in the March quarter.

The New Zealand Government says addressing the country’s skills shortage in the construction sector is “critical”. Minister Jenny Salesa will lead the ministerial group on the construction workforce that has developed a construction skills action plan.

Two 3D printing companies – German and UAE - have teamed up to create a concrete wall that responds to human touch.

An industrial facility for a global energy company has been designed and built to act as a base for observation and control of a dam in Portugal in a forest setting.

The United Kingdom hopes to cut the time taken to construct a new building in half by pouring AU$753 million into “bytes and mortar smart construction” and setting an example for the Australian construction industry to invest in its own innovation efforts.

Image: via designboom.

News bulletin-26:
News bulletin-26: 3 Jul 2018

Institute Gold Member SRG has announced a planned merger of equals with Global Construction Services (GCS) to create a new ASX-listed entity named SRG Global with 2000 employees world-wide. “The merger provides the platform to continue to build a leading global specialist engineering, construction and maintenance group,” SRG said. The news follows SRG’s acquisition of TBS Group, a specialist industrial contractor in NZ in April.

The early earthworks and construction contracts have been announced for the Western Sydney Airport at a price tag of $5.3 billion. CPB Contractors, Lendlease and Bechtel have been signed up. Bulk earthworks and civil contracts are expected to be revealed later this year.

SafeWork inspectors in NSW have issued $115,000 in fines after a safety blitz of more than 460 construction sites in the state. Six construction companies have already been prosecuted, with $780,000 in fines issued.

Port Macquarie Base Hospital has just marked a construction milestone with a concrete pour of almost 860 tonnes as part of an expansion.

ASIC has disqualified Craig Hall Walton from managing companies for four years after liquidators were appointed to Walton Construction Pty Ltd and Walton Construction (QLD) Pty Ltd.

Egypt’s El Nahda cement factory has addressed fuel consumption and emissions by reinventing its manufacturing process, resulting in a ‘sweet’ solution.

Image via Camden Courier.


Publication of AS 3600 - Concrete Structures
Publication of AS 3600 - Concrete Structures 29 Jun 2018

This Standard sets out minimum requirements for the design and construction of concrete building structures and members that contain reinforcing steel or tendons, or both. It also sets out minimum requirements for plain concrete pedestals and footings.

Draft Number: AS 3600 2018
Title: Concrete Structures
Project Committee: BD 002
Release Date: 29/06/2018 

ERO Concrete-Recycling Robot Can Erase Entire Buildings
ERO Concrete-Recycling Robot Can Erase Entire Buildings28 Jun 2018

Heavy machines used in demolition consume large amounts of energy in order to crush concrete walls into small pieces, not to mention that demolition processes have to be accompanied by large amounts of water sprayed onto the structures to prevent the spread of dust. Once the work is done, the rubble is transported to recycle stations where waste is separated manually. Power crushers are used to pulverize the concrete and the metal is melted for reuse... More

News bulletin-25:
News bulletin-25: 26 Jun 2018

With the World Cup in full swing, engineering firms like WSP, AECOM and Mott MacDonald have raised a variety of considerations about safe standing stadiums with the UK government.

Australian advanced materials technology firm, Talga Resources, has achieved high levels of electrical conductivity in concrete by using an additive developed by its graphene-graphite R&D lab in the UK.

The Victoria Government has announced an Advance Tender Notice and pre-qualification process to deliver a new rail bridge and earthworks in Stratford. Companies interested in securing the new Avon River Bridge $95 million contract should register with Rail Projects Victoria ahead of the EOI in early July.

Infrastructure Australia has released a new reportPrioritising Reform – to boost the progress on its 2016 Infrastructure Plan and demonstrate where action is lagging.

Monash University engineers are examining how modern prefabricated building materials can slash costs and improve efficiency of new developments to minimise risk, optimise production and improve on-site installation of prefabricated buildings.

An autonomous Australian construction robot – Hadrian X - capable of building an entire single-storey house in less than two days will be sent to Mexico for its pilot test.

Image: The Avon River Bridge in Victoria.

Size diversity in cement nanoparticles
Size diversity in cement nanoparticles21 Jun 2018

In new work, researchers found that the size of C-S-H particles themselves is also somewhat disorderly: The particles form at random sizes, not in homogenous spheres, and this diversity in the size of the nanoscale units leads to a denser, disorderly packing of the particles, which corresponds to stronger cement paste.

The researchers hope this understanding will allow materials scientists and concrete engineers to alter the C-S-H particles at the molecular level to develop stronger, more durable concrete that will have a reduced environmental footprint. If concrete is stronger, less of it is needed. And if it’s more durable, structures made from it will last longer...More

News bulletin-24:
News bulletin-24: 19 Jun 2018

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the winners of its 2018 Tall Buildings Awards, with Australians featuring heavily as both winners and finalists.
Probuild has commenced construction of a 22 metre 172 metre long concrete wall in Brisbane to prevent flooding of the Queen’s Wharf resort’s car parks and foundations along the Brisbane River-edged site.

Watpac has been appointed to deliver the construction management contract for the Adelaide Airport Terminal Expansion project, which is expected to be completed in three years’ time.

A compact, concrete ‘tiny house’ with a 70 sqm floor plan and made of recyclable materials has been designed and built in Perth.

Construction has commenced on a new building for the Deakin Law School in Melbourne that will have fluted concrete surfaces to capture light and shadows.

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) has awarded two Swinburne University researchers the 2018 Research Impact Award for their work on strengthening bridges with carbon fibre reinforced polymers.

Image: (L-R) Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore, has been named the Best Tall Building Worldwide and in the Asia and Australasia category by the CTBUH while the EY Centre in Sydney won the Construction Award. Images: Patrick Bingham-Hall, and FJMT.

Melbourne to build largest art gallery in Australia
Melbourne to build largest art gallery in Australia14 Jun 2018

It includes upgrades to theatres at the Arts Centre, an expanded Australian Music Vault, a new centre for small-to-medium arts organisations, a new pedestrian corridor with bars and restaurants, and bike tracks and more green space on Southbank Boulevard. More...

News bulletin-23:
News bulletin-23: 12 Jun 2018