Data-driven approach to concrete pavement management lowers greenhouse gas emissions
Data-driven approach to concrete pavement management lowers greenhouse gas emissions14 Mar 2018

For the recent paper, CSHub researchers Arghavan Louhghalam and Mehdi Akbarian, and Professor Franz-Josef Ulm, the CSHub faculty director, studied over 5,000 lane-miles of Virginia’s interstate highway system.

“We found that the maintenance of just a few lane miles allows for significant performance improvement, along with lowered environmental impact, across the entire network,” explains Louhghalam, the paper’s lead author. “Maintaining just 1.5 percent of the roadway network would lead to a reduction of 10 percent in greenhouse gas emissions statewide.”...More

2nd Round of Public Comment & Ballot - AS 3600 Opens
2nd Round of Public Comment & Ballot - AS 3600 Opens14 Mar 2018

If you wish to comment on AS 3600 - Concrete structures. You can view the draft and any incoming comments here after entering your Standards Hub login details. 


Draft Number: AS 3600
Title: Concrete structures
Project Committee: BD-002 Concrete Structures
Public Comment Closing Date: 25/04/2018 23:59

News bulletin-10:
News bulletin-10: 13 Mar 2018

The Australian Government has launched the $272 million Regional Growth Fund which is now open to applications across Australia for infrastructure project funding to transform regional areas.

The Victorian Government has revealed the details of a new Engineers Registration Bill after a second reading in parliament, which means engineers will have to provide proof of qualifications in this state in addition to Queensland.

Master Builders Association says if state governments ease zoning restrictions 20,000 extra homes could be built over the next five years, which could create construction work and ease house prices in Sydney.
France is taking a big interest in the concrete industry in India as Vicat Group invests 223 million euros in the sub-continent’s industry, with brownfield expansions and greenfield projects. Vicat Group chairman was part of a group of French industrialists who visited Delhi along with President Emmanuel Macron to put pen to paper.

A faceted concrete shell with openings of various sizes wraps around this angular dwelling, known as The Window House, in Kuala Lumpur (image above).

With China’s demand for cement and concrete additives growing at a fast pace this past decade, the next 10 years will see production and demand continue to grow. A new report based on current and historical data offers long-term forecasts to 2022 and 2027 with major producer profiles included.


Fungi Can Help Concrete Heal Its Own Cracks
Fungi Can Help Concrete Heal Its Own Cracks9 Mar 2018

Infrastructure supports and facilitates our daily lives—think of the roads we drive on, the bridges and tunnels that help transport people and freight, the office buildings where we work and the dams that provide the water we drink. But it’s no secret that American infrastructure is aging and in desperate need of rehabilitation...More

News bulletin-9:
News bulletin-9: 6 Mar 2018

Timely research is being carried out on ‘heated concrete’ that could reduce the recent problems caused by snow and ice on roads in the UK and across Europe. The benefits of geothermic piles that are used to heat and power large buildings through plumbed underground pipes, is being studied at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

SMEC geotechnical/civil engineer Thomas Miller discusses the challenges of Sydney’s Metro Northwest especially those associated with separating the piles from the ground in the vicinity of the tunnels.

The early design of the M12 Motorway that will connect to the new Western Sydney Airport and other areas in Western Sydney has been released along with a video.

The Raffles City Chongqing skyscraper is currently under construction in China that includes a 300 metre-long horizontal skyscraper atop four 250 metre-high towers.

While recycling carbon fibre goods remains challenging, research at Washington State University shows it may soon be possible to grind up carbon fibre waste and use it in “new-and-improved pervious concrete”.

The global cement market is expected to reach over US$725 billion within seven years and it’s anticipated that huge demand from the APAC construction industry will drive new growth. Details of this are featured in a new Global Cement Market (2017-2025) report that shows size, share, application analysis, growth trends, key players and competitive strategies.

The University of South Florida has revealed Pablo Picasso’s plans to build the world’s tallest concrete sculpture on the campus was approved in 1973 but never agreed to fund the $10 million project.

World’s Largest Pile Driven
World’s Largest Pile Driven2 Mar 2018

The massive pile is 30 meters in diameter, 34 meters long and weighs over 600 metric tons. The previous record pile, 22 meters in diameter, was driven by APE’s Octakong on the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Seaway Project in 2011... More

News bulletin-8:
News bulletin-8: 27 Feb 2018

Expressions of interest are invited for the $300 million 9km Mordialloc Bypass project on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. It includes two bridges, four intersections and off-road pedestrian/cycling paths.

Piling works have commenced on the fourth Pioneer River bridge – a 670m-long structure - in Mackay as part of the Mackay Ring Road project. This bridge will be the largest of 13 bridges and overpasses.

WSP’s civil and structural teams are collaborating with architect Blight Rayner on the 91-level 30 Albert Street tower in Brisbane. Cardno helped obtain development approval.

Australia could lead the world on zero carbon cement with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme, according to the Beyond Zero Emissions’ (BZE) Rethinking Cement report. ISCA says the report shows how Australia could develop the world’s first zero carbon cement industry, helping to wipe out 8% of all global emissions caused by making cement.

Cement manufacturers the world over are seeking cheaper and more reliable renewable energy. Austrian company Fronius has been part of a project that developed a smart solar system for a cement manufacturer that has generated 2953MWh annually and feeds back into the grid.

Image source: Fronius

Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link
Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link26 Feb 2018

The Western Harbour Tunnel will connect to WestConnex at the Rozelle Interchange, cross under Sydney Harbour between the Birchgrove and Waverton areas and connect with the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney...More

Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses
Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses22 Feb 2018

Diving into a pool from a few feet up allows you to enter the water smoothly and painlessly, but jumping from a bridge can lead to a fatal impact. The water is the same in each case, so why is the effect of hitting its surface so different?

This seemingly basic question is at the heart of complex research by a team in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) that studied how materials react to stresses, including impacts. The findings could ultimately help explain phenomena as varied as the breakdown of concrete under sudden stress and the effects of corrosion on various metal surfaces. More...

New Standard (Methods of testing concrete)
New Standard (Methods of testing concrete)21 Feb 2018

This Standard sets out a method for the securing, preparing and testing of cylindrical core specimens (cores) from hardened concrete for the determination of compressive strength and mass per unit volume.

Publication Number: AS 1012.14
Title: Methods of testing concrete - Method for securing and testing cores from hardened concrete for compressive strength
Publishing Date: 21/02/2018
Project Committee: BD-042 Methods Of Testing Concrete


News bulletin-7:
News bulletin-7: 20 Feb 2018

Meinhardt has welcomed Glenn Platt, a civil engineer with more than 28 years’ experience, as its new state manager and national infrastructure leader in Victoria. Another people move is Gus Elliot, whose experience in infrastructure and project delivery, has led to his appointment as chief operating officer project support for BGC Contracting.

And McConnell Dowell has announced changes to its executive team and operating model with the internal appointment of Vito Trantino to the newly created position of executive general manager engineer, technology and innovation.

Other news out of McConnell Dowell this week is the company was awarded a $40 million contract by the South Australia Government for detailed design, planning and site inspections ahead of bridge, culvert, road widening and intersection upgrades across regional SA.

Hansen Yuncken has been awarded the City Art Gallery Project that will form part of the City of Gold Coast’s Cultural Precinct Development.

Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University along with specialists from NTC Tekhnika have proposed thermal non-destructive testing to inspect reinforced concrete supports to enable efficient detection of corrosion of steel reinforcement hidden behind the concrete shell of supporting rail structures.

The church of Saint Jacques de la Lande, featuring a sculptural composition of intersecting concrete forms, is the first to be built in Brittany (France) in the 21st century. It was designed by 84-year-old Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Image: Saint Jacques de la Lande in France.  Photographer: João Morgado.

Concrete pipes offer space for microhome tube housing of the future
Concrete pipes offer space for microhome tube housing of the future16 Feb 2018

The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and storage space for clothes and personal items. whilst extremely heavy, perhaps the main USP is that they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, reducing installation costs and offering an efficient way to constructing new builds... More

Construction prototype for ultra-thin concrete roof
Construction prototype for ultra-thin concrete roof14 Feb 2018

A prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof using innovative design and fabrication methods has been designed and built by researchers from the ETH Zürich. The shell is part of a roof-top apartment unit called HiLo that is planned to be built next year on the NEST, the living lab building of Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf...More

News bulletin-6:
News bulletin-6: 13 Feb 2018

Life cycle engineers at Lehigh University have incorporated, for the first time, the three most common failure modes for bridges vulnerable to floods, hurricanes and tsunamis, into a risk assessment framework to optimise retrofitting strategies.

Roma Agrawal, an engineer from the UK says “structural engineers are unsung heroes” and believes her type of job doesn’t get the credit it deserves: “People appreciate that they live in a warm building or have bridges to cross, but they don’t appreciate how they came to be there.”

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and Kuwait University have created a material that mixes pulverised volcanic rock with traditional cement. The material, based on calculations published online this week in the Journal of Cleaner Production, would take 16% less energy to construct a neighbourhood of 26 concrete buildings.

Enjoy images from an exhibition at Chicago's Gallery 400 titled 'Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for México and Chicago', based on the research of Juan Ignacio del Cueto.

Image source:


Kingdom Tower: The structural system and how it was developed
Kingdom Tower: The structural system and how it was developed9 Feb 2018

The architectural constraints, most particularly the building program and use, are primary drivers for any structural system selection. During the early stages of the competition phase, it became clear that as matter of risk management for this first-of-its-kind tower, the structural system should fundamentally build on the success of the recently completed Burj Khalifa, but refining and improving on those elements of the system proved to be more problematical during the construction and realization of the Dubai tower....More

News bulletin-5:
News bulletin-5: 6 Feb 2018

John Holland has tackled the issue of gender pay equity by adjusting the salary of 15% of women employees that were identified as being paid less than their male colleagues across the business. CEO Joe Barr said the employees’ incomes had been increased immediately. He added that John Holland intends to lead the way in the construction sector in eliminating the pay gap and by including flexibility and wellbeing in its work practices.

A development application has been approved for construction of a $347 million medical specialist rehab centre in Brisbane’s north. The preferred tenderer is Australian Unity and it will be built in partnership with the Queensland Government. The centre is part of the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter redevelopment.

Institute Bronze Member AECOM has released a global report, The Future of Infrastructure, which is the result of a survey of 509 civil infrastructure professionals across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Results of the survey included rethinking project design and delivery; changes in legislation and innovative funding models; and future proofing networks and systems.

CPB Contractors has been selected to design and construct the Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in inner Sydney. Construction is expected to commence this year and conclude in 2019.

Image: John Holland is tackling the gender pay gap. Source J

Can concrete conquer air pollution?
Can concrete conquer air pollution?5 Feb 2018

In 2014, the Stony Brook researchers showed that powdered concrete can react with nitrogen oxides, often called NOx. These pollutants contribute to the formation of smog, a type of lung-choking pollution. NOx also can play a role in turning rainfall acidic. This can damage crops, buildings and more. But cement contains calcium compounds. And they will react with NOx, pulling them out of the air, Ramakrishnan and a colleague showed.

Curious, the team decided to see if concrete would do the same thing to another major air pollutant released by fossil fuel burning: sulfur dioxide...More

Luminous Cement Could Light Roads, Structures
Luminous Cement Could Light Roads, Structures1 Feb 2018

By using additives, scientists are able to prevent the formation of crystals that occur normally during the production of cement, creating a material with a noncrystalline structure—similar to glass—that allows passage of light inside...More

News bulletin-4:
News bulletin-4: 30 Jan 2018

Expressions of Interest are now open to complete Melbourne’s M80 Ring Road Upgrade. The final upgrades include a 4 km section between Sydney Rd and Edgars Rd, and a 2 km section between Plenty Rd and the Greensborough Hwy. Construction is expected to begin later this year and conclude late 2021.

Institute Silver Member Arcadis has won the tender to carry out planning work for the Tenterfield Heavy Vehicle Bypass out of a competitive shortlist of six, the RMS said. The bypass will start north of the Tenterfield Creek Bridge, run west of the railway corridor and re-join the existing highway near Cowper St.

Seymour Whyte has commenced launching steel trusses as part of its construction of Australia’s longest single span pedestrian/cyclist bridge, located in Western Sydney. The company is working with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Institute Silver Member Freyssinet, and Civmec to design, manufacture, transport and launch all eight 25 m x 8 m sections of the main span truss.

A consortium led by Grocon has been selected to deliver Central Barangaroo by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. The consortium will create and deliver a mixed use development across the 5.2 ha waterfront site that will provide a link between Barangaroo Reserve in the north and Barangaroo South fronting Sydney Harbour.

Prof Martin Loosemore, advisor on workplace productivity and reform to the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry and a member of the government’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council asks Construction productivity: are we measuring the wrong thing?

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has announced CEO Brendan Lyon’s successor who will start in the role at the end of March.

Image: The M80 Ring Road. Source: Vic Road

L.A. Gives Notice to Owners of Older Concrete Structures About Seismic Retrofits
L.A. Gives Notice to Owners of Older Concrete Structures About Seismic Retrofits26 Jan 2018

The L.A. retrofit ordinance, which also includes requirements for weak first-story wood-framed buildings, was the first of its kind in the U.S.

The buildings department expects the ordinance’s nonductile concrete sections, which give owners 25 years to retrofit or raze, to apply to some 1,200 buildings. To date, though more may be listed, “the majority of the buildings have been identified,” says Luke Zamperini, chief inspector and public information officer for the buildings department...More 

News bulletin-3:
News bulletin-3: 23 Jan 2018

Arup has been awarded the design contract for the $158 million Brisbane International Cruise Terminal that will include detailed design and analysis of a 200 metre-long wharf, a 9300 m² terminal building and landside civil works.

Acciona Australia has won the US$400 million contract to build the new Cebu-Cordova Bridge in the Philippines, to be carried out in partnership with First Balfour Inc and D.M. Consunji Inc.

Tasmania’s Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, has said the Bridgewater Bridge business case submitted to Infrastructure Australia provides a compelling case for a new four-lane highway-speed link between Brooker Highway and Midland Highway across the Derwent River.

University researchers in the US have been working on self-healing concrete that uses fungi as a healing agent to fix bridges.

Concrete water pipes in Hong Kong have been turned into modular housing. The prototype, known as the OPod Tube House, features pods that are just over eight feet wide, each with 1000 ft² space for one or two people and plenty of natural light.

Image: Cebu-Cordova Bridge illustration. Source: Dissing+Weitlin

Graphene-Based Concrete Admixture
Graphene-Based Concrete Admixture18 Jan 2018

Researchers from Australia have developed a graphene-cement matrix with enhanced strength and durability through the incorporation of graphene oxide. They mixed 0.05 to 0.07 wt.% of GO with Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and tested various parameters as highlighted. Tested results showed improvement flexural strength of an OPC matrix from 41% to 59% and compressive strength from 15% to 33% .... More

News bulletin-2:
News bulletin-2: 16 Jan 2018

The Australian Industry Group has released the key findings of the December 2017 Australian Performance of Construction Index that shows the 11th straight month of expansion with overall slowing of growth.

Institute Bronze Member Wagners has confirmed via the ASX the company is in negotiations with Adani to construct an airport for fly-in fly-out workers for the Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland.

A new Australian Building and Construction Commissioner has been appointed to replace Nigel Hadgkiss and will start his tenure in early February.

A series of abstracts for articles on concrete research have been released that will be published in February.

The Minister for International Development and the Pacific has publicly accused China of funding useless infrastructure projects in the Pacific.

Image: Wagners built the Wellcamp Airport west of Brisbane

Roman recipe for world's most durable concrete -
Roman recipe for world's most durable concrete - 15 Jan 2018

Scientists have uncovered the chemistry behind how Roman sea walls and harbour piers resisted the elements, and what modern engineers could learn from it.

Romans built their sea walls from a mixture of lime (calcium oxide), volcanic rocks and volcanic ash, a study, published in the journal American Mineralogist, found.

Scientists previously discovered Roman concrete contained aluminous tobermorite, a rare mineral that is hard to produce.More...


News bulletin-1:
News bulletin-1: 9 Jan 2018

Hickory Group has congratulated Shan Kumar, Principal Engineer, Innovations, Research & Development, on his Honorary Doctorate from Swinburne University that recognises his 30 years in the construction industry.

A review into the Grenfell Tower fire disaster has called for a “major culture change” in the UK’s building industry with the interim report saying that regulation of fire safety in high-rise buildings is “not fit for purpose”.

An industry report into concrete product manufacturing in Australia has found that increasing import competition has caused revenues to decline despite a modest increase in domestic demand over the last five years.

Australian contractors in concrete services are expected to rake in $8.2 billion in revenue in 2017-18, with demand for new housing and apartment construction forecast to strengthen from 2019-20 onward.

The total spend on construction projects in the US in the latest figures for November show the country reached an all-time high at US$1,257.0 billion, which was also the fourth consecutive monthly gain.

MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic
MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic19 Dec 2017

Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according to a new study.
MIT undergraduate students have found that, by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into a fine powder, they can mix the irradiated plastic with cement paste and fly ash to produce concrete that is up to 15 percent stronger than conventional concrete.
“There is a huge amount of plastic that is landfilled every year,” says Michael Short, an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “Our technology takes plastic out of the landfill, locks it up in concrete, and also uses less cement to make the concrete, which makes fewer carbon dioxide emissions. This has the potential to pull plastic landfill waste out of the landfill and into buildings, where it could actually help to make them stronger.”


News bulletin 49:
News bulletin 49: 12 Dec 2017

The Robert Bird Group has been wholly acquired by Surbana Jurong, one of Asia’s largest consultancies. The Brisbane-based international company has 600 staff and is part of the Singapore group’s growth strategy that saw it purchase infrastructure consultancy SMEC Holdings last year.

Institute Bronze Member AECOM is set to work with technology firm HTC to develop and extend the reach of virtual reality to benefit the engineering and construction industries.

Meinhardt have been appointed the civil engineers for the $2 billion redevelopment of the Moonee Valley Racecourse into an urban precinct which will include a new grandstand and community, business and recreation facilities.

No need to go for gold when you can go for jobs with our Silver Members! Arcadis has roles for a senior sustainability engineer, pavements engineer, and a senior durability engineer. Cardno is looking for a civil & urban team leader while GHD has advertised for a senior engineering project manager. Project managers are being sought by Calibre Consulting for underground utilities/services and water infrastructure delivery and they’re also after a buildings and structures manager.

The Darlington Upgrade Project delivery team, which includes Laing O’Rourke and Fulton Hogan, have successfully manoeuvred a 3000 t 180 m bridge into place without a hitch over the weekend. The bridge in SA was constructed on adjacent land and moved into place with self-propelled modular transporters.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released a time-lapse video of the construction of Christchurch’s Memorial Avenue Gateway Bridge, condensing two years into two minutes.

Image: The Darlington Upgrade Project in South Australia. Source: SA Govt.

News bulletin 48:
News bulletin 48: 5 Dec 2017

Many pedestrian bridges have experienced dramatic vibrations and wobbling when crowds have tried to cross them, e.g. the London Millennium Bridge began to sway on its opening day in 2000 and had to be closed while the Squibb Park Bridge in NY bounced sideways as pedestrians crossed in 2014, not reopening until this year. This movement could be reduced by using biomechanically inspired models of pedestrian response to bridge motion and a mathematical formula to estimate the critical crowd size at which bridge wobbling begins, according to a study by Georgia State University.

Institute Silver Member Cardno has received an Urban Design Award along with joint entrants John Graham and BVN for the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre. Cardno provided civil engineering, hydrology, landscape and geotechnical consulting. Other consultants on this project included Bligh Tanner, ARUP, Hansen Yuncken, and Aurecon.

Following the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in the US earlier this year, construction engineering firm Kiewit was hired by California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) to rebuild and reinforce it. However hairline cracks were detected in October when curing coverings places over the erosion-resistant concrete slabs were removed. The DWR investigated and explained the cracks were the result of “some of the design elements” and “are not abnormal” however not everyone agrees.

A development application has been lodged for a 55-storey commercial tower between George and Pitt Streets in Sydney by new Institute Gold Member, Lendlease. The development will include a mixed-use podium, public spaces and expanded laneways. Lendlease has also partnered with one of Japan’s largest property companies to work on Melbourne Quarter’s first residential building, the 44-storey East Tower.

On the Forrestfield Airport Link in Perth work is underway at Wright Crescent to build an emergency egress shaft. 35 linear metres of D-walls that are up to 36 metres deep are expected to be constructed in two months.

Image: Thomas Porostocky via Georgia State University.

News bulletin 47:
News bulletin 47: 28 Nov 2017

Australia’s engineering industry is very active with continuing staffing demand and vacancies, according to the Hays Global Skills Index for October-December 2017. The report highlights work demand hot spots and what type of engineers and workers are needed, including structural and civil.

New Institute Gold Member Lendlease is also celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018 and is calling on past colleagues or those who knew people who worked for the company (Civil & Civic in the 1960s-1980s) to share their stories.

The level of construction work has spiked for a second straight quarter, outpacing market expectations, JP Morgan says. The figures have been bolstered by a 33% surge in engineering work, including roads and bridges.

The Beach Apartments on the Gold Coast have been completed, Multiplex has announced. Standing at 108 m high, construction included 15,510 cubic metres of concrete sourced from local supplier Hymix. Construction in the area has picked up ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year.

Watch this presentation on Victoria Gate Shopping Centre in Leeds UK held at Café Concrete in October. It gives fascinating insights into the project that won an award for the best shopping centre in the world earlier this year. There’s also a video of behind the scenes from 2016.

Image: The Beach Apartments. Source: Multiple

Project Profile - Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School, J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast
Project Profile - Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School, J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast23 Nov 2017

The Institute is very pleased to introduce our final project profile, and winner of both the Commercial Buildings project category and the Kevin Cavanagh Trophy for outstanding excellence in concrete – Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School by J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast!

The Song School is a two-storey concrete building, designed by Palassis Architects for the choirs of St George’s Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese of Perth. The building is partly underground to minimise the footprint and maintain existing sightlines.

The lower floor included prefabricated concrete curved beams internally together with an exposed prefabricated concrete external wall at the Eastern end, with vertical slots and glazed to provide light into the lower area.

From the lower level, a series of U-shaped prefabricated columns support a series of prefabricated concrete vaulted arches at the first floor which forms a colonnade with access from the lower level to the upper level. On top of the vaulted units, there are two curved and sloping prefabricated concrete spires.

The prefabricated concrete elements for the Song School at the St George’s Cathedral are made with a white concrete with an off form sandblasted finish. They represent excellence in prefabricated concrete and ability to achieve the shape and form that the architect has specified.

SA Precast and J Woodside Consulting combined to produce a workable solution to the architect’s concept and in its final shape and form and erection has been admired by all involved.

As the documentation had to be significantly changed there was considerable input into details and connections to achieve a workable solution. This also included bracing of the precast elements on the site.

There is no doubt this project has pushed the boundaries of precast concrete, and we look forward to seeing more projects from SA Precast and J Woodside Consulting!

News bulletin 46:
News bulletin 46: 21 Nov 2017

Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog has charged 19 laboratory staff working for a government contractor over faking concrete test reports for the multibillion-dollar Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB).

York Civil has announced the opening of the first 10 km of its Pacific Highway Upgrade: Woolgoolga to Halfway Creek project. The project included extensive concrete pavement works, drainage and fauna crossing structures and construction of 11 bridges.

A five-tonne replica of Brisbane’s Story Bridge has been built by engineering students for Constructionarium Australia’s project, sponsored by Downer which has historic involvement in the bridge’s build. In Aurecon’s Bridge Building Competition, designed to support STEM skills, 250 schools participated.

More than one piece of concrete has fallen 40 storeys from the roof of a development in Singapore into a playground. The developer said lightning was the cause, a claim refuted by the local council. A piece of concrete has also fallen from a light rail transit project in Jakarta while a large piece of concrete has also fallen from a five-year-old bridge in Oklahoma.

The WA Government has release a tender for the Metronet project for an engineering consultancy and land use planning consultancy to collaborate with the Metronet team, operational consultant and key stakeholders to overall lead and co-ordinate the Options Study Analysis for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line.


Project Profile - Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure, GHD & Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia
Project Profile - Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure, GHD & Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia14 Nov 2017

This year we received a range of technology and innovation projects entered into our Awards for Excellence Program, each pushing the boundaries of concrete. The 13 project entries that were entered demonstrated innovation in its finest form - exploring theory, materials, processes, systems and technology that has the capability to transform the industry.

There could only be one Medallion for Excellence Winner of this category, and the Institute was very pleased to award this to GHD and Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia for their innovative project - Condition Investigation, Remaining Life Assessment and Inspection Maintenance and Repair Plan for Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure.

Vermilion Oil & Gas oil production in the Western Australian North west shelf, 75 kms offshore from Karratha, relies on the Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure (CGS) to structurally support its oil facilities and provide oil storage.

The CGS original operational life was 20 years (from 1997) and an extension of 20 years was required. The exposure condition is aggressive offshore marine. Inspection and testing of concrete was challenging and key constraints for an operational offshore oil platform above water included limited accessibility to surfaces, maintaining site operations during survey works, working at heights and over water with safety as a priority. Inspections below water were conducted using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), where sea level tides and currents provided significant challenges during inspection.

GHD was engaged as the concrete engineering consultant to complete the CGS condition investigation and remaining life assessment including provision of an inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) plan. Third party verification was by Lloyds Register. The CGS has seabed oil storage caissons 115 m long, 70 m wide and 17 m high and four shafts 10 m internal diameter to 69 m high. Design uses reinforcement and prestress tendons. Concrete was grade 50 MPa with 65% blast furnace slag.

The remaining life assessment determined a 20 year life extension can be achieved. A service life of 60+ years can reasonably be achieved with specific life primarily dependent on atmospheric concrete chloride ingress risk and following the IMR Plan first-time developed for the Wandoo B CGS. The judges noted that this innovation and technology was ground-breaking, and could have massive implications worldwide for the industry.

The Institute is already looking forward to the technology and innovation projects entered in our 2019 program! 

News bulletin 45:
News bulletin 45: 14 Nov 2017

AECOM is now offering school term-only engineering contracts across a number of roles in Australia and New Zealand. This is to encourage qualified people who are parents and grandparents to return to the industry, who may have left due to difficulties balancing work and primary care responsibilities.

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has forecast a healthy recovery for non-residential building activity. It says a rebound in infrastructure investment in engineering construction is expected to increase significantly.

The Goulburn Weir has been awarded international heritage status by the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). The concrete weir in Victoria was constructed in the late 19th century and considered very advanced for its time, so much so it appeared on early Australian currency.

The Western Australia Government is inviting industry to express interest in the design and build of a key intersection upgrade. The Wanneroo Road-Ocean Reef Road $64.8 million project will include a bridge, on and off ramps, drainage and realignment of paths and pedestrian crossings.

Discarded plastic bottles could become a new source of stronger, more flexible concrete structures, according to MIT. A study by the US university has found exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation and pulverising the flakes into a fine powder can be mixed with cement paste and fly ash, to produce a concrete up to 15% stronger than conventional concrete.

Beca has announced its 2017 list of outstanding engineers, naming one new Chief Engineer and 14 Beca Technical Fellows. The recipients demonstrate exceptional technical or delivery skills, expertise and leadership along with outstanding competence in project delivery.

Image: The Goulburn Weir under construction in 1889

Project Profile - The Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary Building, Aurecon
Project Profile - The Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary Building, Aurecon7 Nov 2017

Repair and rehabilitation of projects is critical to extending a structures service and design life, and provides the perfect opportunity to implement creative solutions. Our winner of the Medallion for Excellence in the Repair and Rehabilitation category - Aurecon, have creatively implemented solutions to reduce cost and increase efficiency without compromising quality.

The new Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary building replaces the original plenary building with a larger, heavier, highly functional and adaptable state-of-the-art facility. Similar to the original plenary, the new building is atop the existing northern car park, rail corridor and plaza buildings that were retained and provide the new construction structural support. This involved both re-rating and strengthening the existing concrete structure and working with the architect to position the new building where the greatest structural capacity existed.

To achieve this the Aurecon team undertook detailed inspection, testing, analysis, calculation and creative design to increase and manipulate the capacity of the existing concrete structures and foundations to suit the new facility, minimising the substructure works and avoiding new piling all together. The strengthening works included new in ground foundations and tie beams to better mobilise the existing piles; column strengthening to increase the vertical load capacity new insitu concrete cores and shear walls to carry the heavier structure under more stringent design codes.

These strengthening works were completed without compromising car park capacity and rail clearance envelopes. The team worked collaboratively with the Architect and Client to evolve the architectural form of the building to respond to the existing structural constraints.

The judges noted that this was an extremely clever project, and the final design achieved savings in critical project budget and programme, and successfully diverted investment from the substructure into the functionality and aesthetic of the superstructure.

Thanks to Aurecon for entering this excellent project into our Awards for Excellence program - We look forward to viewing what projects are on the horizon for Aurecon!

News bulletin 44:
News bulletin 44: 7 Nov 2017

The first of 14 concrete pours has been made on the new Christchurch Convention Centre project, with around 100 concrete trucks carting materials in the early hours of the morning. The project will require 19,000 m³ of concrete, 4400 t of structural steel and 43,000 facade panels. CPB Contractors signed up in August and has hit the ground running, according to Ōtākaro Ltd.

Spiralling costs in energy-intensive manufacturing of materials like bricks and cement are placing product manufacturers under enormous pressure to justify ongoing investment in Australia, according to the Housing Industry Association.

Why are builders in LA making concrete with imported sand and gravel from Canada despite these materials being abundant locally?

Deakin University School of Engineering is collaborating with two hospitals in Victoria on a project that uses plastic waste from dialysis treatment and recycling it into longer-lasting concrete.

The Victoria Government has awarded the contract for the first stage of the $81 million O'Herns Road Upgrade project to Maca Civil. The second stage contract is yet to be announced but will involve building a new interchange with on- and off-ramps and duplication of lanes.

The concepts and evidence for the benefits of internal curing have been known for about two decades in the US, but acceptance into the mainstream has been slow, so why hasn’t it caught on?

Image: the new Christchurch Convention Centre project in New Zealand is underway. Source: Ōtākaro Ltd.


Project Profile - Manly House, Partridge Structural
Project Profile - Manly House, Partridge Structural31 Oct 2017

The Concrete Institute of Australia is very pleased to be highlighting our Medallion Winners that were recently awarded at Concrete 2017. We will begin by exploring our Residential Projects Winner – Manly House, entered by Partridge Structural.

This beachfront residential project in Manly, NSW, involved the construction of an all-new, freestanding three-storey house. The house construction consists of suspended, conventionally reinforced concrete slabs at all levels, supported on a combination of loadbearing masonry (both brick and core-filled concrete block), structural steel columns, and reinforced concrete blade walls.

Engineering features and challenges evident in the project are exposed Class 1 off-form concrete finishes; an aggressive exposure environment just 40m from breaking surf; large cantilevers with thin profiles; slender supports; large open spans, highly bespoke concrete detailing; highly stressed torsion beams; suspended beams and slabs with large rebates and recesses for architectural features; and an exceptional curved concrete shell "column" that was matched to adjacent curved brickwork shells and actually worked as a strut-and-tie beam.

Every aspect of the concrete's design, detailing, and actual construction - whether a beam, a slab, or a column - had the concrete working near to its ultimate capacity, with very little margin or redundancy. It is also a project where the concrete is the "hero of the dish" being fully exposed and on display.

The judges commented in particular that the engineering involved in the cast in-situ, vertical, thin curved elements was extremely difficult and then to be constructed with off white cement to such a high-quality finish was exceptional.

We look forward to viewing upcoming projects completed by Partridge Structural! 

News bulletin 43:
News bulletin 43: 31 Oct 2017

Georgiou Group has installed 32 concrete girders measuring 25 m-long and weighing 27.7 tonnes in the construction of an overpass west of Toowoomba. The girders are part of the bridge sub-structure in the Stage 2 duplication project of the Warrego Highway.

Wagners has revealed it has an agreement in place with India’s JSW Cement, one of the country’s major brands, for its Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC). This comes on the back of the Queensland government awarding Wagners $250,000 under the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund.

A new approach to producing concrete has been found by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, inspired by the hierarchical arrangements of simple building blocks in natural materials. The findings of the study could lead to new ways of making concrete stronger while using more sustainable local materials as additives to offset emissions.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has released a new report that claims the infrastructure pipeline certainty has improved but the appetite for infrastructure assets has waned. The think tank also says Australia is operating under a cloud of political uncertainty and investment is getting harder. IPA has also announced its CEO will depart at the end of his contract.

Image: EFC being used in the construction of the Wellcamp Airport aircraft pavement in 2014. Source: Wagners.


Catching up on Concrete 2017
Catching up on Concrete 201730 Oct 2017

Welcome back following Concrete 2017 and the 3rd ICDC! Over 530 industry delegates joined us in Adelaide to attend the largest concrete conference in the southern hemisphere, surpassing Concrete 2015 in Melbourne.

The conference was filled with a range of activities for our delegates, including 160 technical presentations, 2 workshops, 3 social events, 5 keynote speakers, 2 invited speakers and 45 exhibitors!

Two workshops were held to kick start Concrete 2017 and ICDC, Cement Chemistry for Engineers (delivered by Professor Karen Scrivener) and fib Model Code 2020 (delivered by a powerhouse of durability leaders), which received overwhelmingly positive feedback! We would like to thank the University of South Australia for allowing the Institute to make use of their fantastic facilities.

Our international delegates were invited to attend a cocktail evening, to provide an opportunity to network and become familiar with Institute staff and councillors who would be available to assist throughout the upcoming days in Adelaide.

Concrete 2017 began with a warm welcome address, and our first keynote speaker, Louise Adams (Aurecon) delivering her presentation on innovation within the industry. Our keynote and invited speakers delivered a range of relevant industry topics from both a local and international perspective. We would like to thank our keynote and invited speakers for delivering high quality, informative and engaging keynote presentations –

Professor Des Bull, Professor Doug Hooton, Professor Tim Ibell, Professor Karen Scrivener, Mr Peter McBean, Dr Stuart Matthews, and Mr Mike Schneider.

Our 2017 Gala Dinner was well attended by approximately 450 delegates, who joined in the festivities to welcome several significant Institute Members to our growing list of Life and Honorary Members, and to celebrate our National Awards for Excellence in Concrete and National Engineering Bursary Winners. We would like to congratulate the following winners for their outstanding projects, which are more than worthy of the recognition bestowed upon them.

Kevin Cavanagh Trophy for Most Outstanding Project
Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School – J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast

Residential Buildings - Medallion Winner
Manly House – Partridge Structural

Commercial Buildings - Medallion Winner
Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School – J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast

Infrastructure Projects - Medallion Winner
Jubilee Bridge – ARUP

Technology and Innovation - Medallion Winner
Condition Investigation, Remaining Life Assessment and Inspection Maintenance and Repair Plan for Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure – GHD and Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia

Repair and Rehabilitation - Medallion Winner
The Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary Building – The Aggressive Relifing of an Existing Structure - Aurecon

Concrete Institute Life Members
Dr Liza O’Moore – University of Queensland
Mr Craig Heidrich – HBM Group

Concrete Institute Honorary Members
Professor Jay Sanjayan – Swinburne University of Technology
Professor Priyan Mendis – University of Melbourne
Mr Tony Thomas – Formerly Boral Concrete

National Engineering Bursary Winner
Dr Ali Amin, University of New South Wales
Thesis titled, 'Post Cracking Behaviour of Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete: From Material to Structure'

Our full album of Concrete 2017 images can be found on the Institute’s Facebook Page. We will also be covering the project profiles of our National Award Winners across our social channels and on our website!
The Concrete Institute would like to extend our appreciation to the following groups and organisations who contributed to the success of Concrete 2017
The Concrete 2017 & ICDC Organising Committee – Professor Julie Mills, Associate Professor Rebecca Gravina, Mr Rodney Paull, Professor Harald Justnes, Mr David Millar, Mr Tom Benn, Mr John Woodside, and Mr Mark Gobolos
Concrete 2017 Conference Partner, FOSROC
Concrete 2017 Platinum Sponsor – BASF Australia
Concrete 2017 Gold Sponsor – Sika Australia
Concrete 2017 Silver Sponsors – Krystol Group, Freyssinet Australia, ramsetreid, Le Nickel – SLN
Concrete 2017 Bronze Sponsors – Cycrete, United Fasteners, ICCONS, Quakewrap
Concrete 2017 Barista Sponsors – Xypex Australia
Concrete 2017 Badge & Lanyard Sponsors – BOSFA

We would also like to thank all delegates who stopped by the Institute's stand and introduced yourself, asked questions, viewed our publications and excitedly asked for a CIA cap! We love getting to know our Members, Non Members and our concrete community.
We are very pleased to be hosting the 5th international fib congress in Melbourne next year, which will aim to attract a large range of international delegates, exhibitors and sponsors! View our fib 2018 website here for all details!

News bulletin 42:
News bulletin 42: 24 Oct 2017

A prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof using innovative design and fabrication methods has been designed and built by researchers in Switzerland.

Austroads has released a report on experimental work focused on specification and use of geopolymer concrete in the manufacture of structural and non-structural components.

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) are working on concrete mixes that produce low carbon footprint, high performance concrete using Australia’s stockpiles of glass waste.

In an attempt to simulate a geological formation, a New York/Seoul design agency has cast concrete walls in layers with different properties and mixtures of materials, resulting in a striped façade.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is inviting tenders from shortlisted construction companies to upgrade the M1 Pacific Motorway at Beresfield.

Cardno (NSW/ACT) has been awarded the design of the 325 m Nelligen Bridge north of the existing Kings Highway Bridge on the Clyde River. Multiplex has been appointed to deliver Stage One of the $2.8b Melbourne Square development. And Jacobs Engineering Group has been appointed by NSW Health Infrastructure as lead architect for the $341m redevelopment of Concord Hospital in Sydney.

Lendlease has been selected to build a new four-storey building for the Shepparton Hospital in Victoria as part of the hospital’s $169.5 million redevelopment. The company has also secured a contract with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) for the Pacific Motorway Upgrade M1/M3/Gateway Merge in Brisbane.

Image: Dr Johnny Ho, Senior Lecturer with the School of Civil Engineering at UQ, with undergraduate students in the concrete laboratory.

News bulletin 41:
News bulletin 41: 17 Oct 2017

Engineering researchers have developed a new seismic-resistant, fibre-reinforced concrete which will be applied as a seismic retrofit of a primary school in Canada before the end of the year. The team at University of British Columbia have subjected the Eco-Friendly Ductile Cementitious Composite (EDCC) to earthquake simulations as high as magnitude 9.1.

The Gough Group in New Zealand has signed a dealership agreement for SANY concrete equipment in Australia and NZ which will see the creation of a new business unit to accommodate the concrete machinery. This follows a period of change involving the resignation of the company’s long-time CEO and an ownership dispute with the Gough family.

Construction of prototype walls for the US-Mexico border have commenced with four of the eight models made of concrete. They will stand between 5.5 m to 9 m tall and 9 m long and take 30 days to finish.

The first plug-in hybrid electric zero-emission cement truck has been produced which integrates  Efficient Drive Trains’ PowerDrive 8000 PHEV drivetrain and PowerSuite vehicle control software (US) into a Shannxi Automotive Class-8 32-ton cement mixer truck from China.

Concrete 2017 is just five days away, so time’s starting to run out to register. Why not take a look at the extensive technical program, with international speakers and expert presenters of important workshops on 22 October. Don’t be one of the people who miss out - because everyone else in the industry will be there!

The CSIRO is leading a research project in helping the ongoing survival of the Tasmanian Shy Albatross by building artificial nests made from concrete. The specially designed nests are assisting the endangered seabirds in protecting the incubation of its annual single egg.

Image: Two of the eight prototype Trump walls. Source: US Border Control.

News bulletin 40:
News bulletin 40: 10 Oct 2017

Australia’s longest prestressed bridge girders for the Port of Brisbane’s Port Drive Upgrade project have been installed by construction group Seymour Whyte. The Super I-girders, the longest being 46 metres took nine hours each to deliver. They were developed specially. Read more.

Season Two on Europe’s largest engineering project, Crossrail, has commenced on SBS, with the first two episodes now on the website. Episode 1 follows engineers and construction workers racing to meet deadlines before trains start running and follows Linda Miller as she oversees the build of what will be Britain’s busiest station (Farrington), at well over 300 metres long. Episode 2 shows the construction and fitting out of the new underground railway stations at Paddington and Tottenham Court, with convoys of concrete trucks driving down London’s Oxford Street.

The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released a research paper on the multi-dimensional hybrid design, engineering and construction of the Raffles City Chongqing cluster of skyscrapers and another on structural design and performance evaluation of a mid-storey seismic isolated high-rise building.

The UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers’ Magazine of Concrete Research has a number of free articles available on Stability and Instability of Foamed Concrete; Communicating Research Impact; and Expanding the Influence of Concrete Research and Application.

Canada’s tallest building is now under construction. Known as ‘The One’ or One Bloor West, it will stand at 85 storeys and more than 300 metres high, it falls into the category of super tall buildings. It is located in Toronto and forecast to be completed in 2020.

Image: Seymour White delivers massive Super I girders for Port of Brisbane project. Source: SW


News bulletin 39:
News bulletin 39: 3 Oct 2017

The world’s first 3D printed, reinforced, prestressed concrete bridge has been opened in The Netherlands. The 8.5 metre cycling bridge has 600 printed layers which are clearly visible and is being monitored with sensors.

A book that sheds light on how reservoirs, dams and bridges were built in the late 19th century has been uncovered in England. The book includes photographs of engineering and construction techniques in the north of the country in the Victorian era.

The University of Sheffield has a free online course on technical report writing for engineers. The introductory course teaches how to communicate ideas through well-written reports.

With the increasing use of concrete bollards in public places globally to protect people from moving vehicle attacks comes the challenge of designing concrete for use in these areas that can be practical, functional, artistic and aesthetically pleasing.

Voting has opened for the people’s choice in the 2017 National Architecture Awards for Australia’s favourite house, many of which utilise concrete as a main feature.

Image: Tamarama House stairwell, one of the entries in the 2017 National Architecture Awards. Source: Australian Institute of Architects.

Our Conference Workshops
Our Conference Workshops3 Oct 2017

We are very pleased to offer not one, but two optional workshops that will aim to kick start the much anticipated, Concrete 2017, on Sunday 22nd of October. 

Cement Chemistry for Engineers

Keynote speaker, Professor Karen Scrivener will deliver this full day course dedicated to boosting your knowledge in cement chemistry. This course encapsulates Professor Scriveners widely acclaimed, more detailed course that is conducted through RILEM. This course has been specifically tailored for engineers, materials specialists and and cement and concrete practitioners. 

Join us for the day to get the most out of the largest concrete conference in the southern hemisphere!

fib Model Code 2020: The World Durability Code - Design Session

Our second course that is available includes a powerhouse of industry leaders answering the question, 'How do we move forward with design of new concrete structures and the through-life care of existing ones?'

This half day course is the perfect platform to hear from international concrete durability experts, with the following topics covered - 
  • Developing the Next World Durability Code
  • Durability Design Overview
  • Durability Planning
  • Durability Exposure Classes
  • Durability Modelling Using Reliability and Probabilistic Approaches
  • Current Deterioration Models
  • Concrete Cracking and Control
  • Durability Testing
For everything Concrete 2017, visit our dedicated conference website here

News bulletin 38:
News bulletin 38: 26 Sep 2017

Concrete buildings in Central America have taken a battering as a result of Mexico’s recent earthquakes. National Geographic reported on the movement of concrete pavements heaving under Mexico City. The LA Times is warning the city of potential risk to its “brittle concrete frame buildings” if a major earthquake strikes.

Structural engineers are keeping a close watch on the Guajataca Dam in Puerto Rico after it cracked following 40 cm of rain from Hurricane Maria. The break in the 316 m dam wall, that is almost a century old and holds back an artificial lake, has caused widespread evacuations.

CPB Contractors has been selected to deliver significant facility upgrades over three years to the Capricornia Correctional Centre, and will generate $145 million in revenue. Parent company CIMIC’s Group CEO Adolfo Valdera believes “Australia’s construction project pipeline remains strong”. CIMIC has also appointed Kate Spargo to its Board of Directors due to her familiarity with infrastructure, construction and engineering sectors.

Many of the Australian Standards for concrete and concrete related materials have been revised or reviewed in recent times, in particular AS 3600 and AS 5100-2017. And there have been other guidelines or codes of practice, such as the Institute’s Concrete Durability Series, which have been introduced. So, the Institute is presenting national seminars in November and December aimed at helping you ‘Cracking the Concrete Codes’. SAVE THE DATE: Perth 6 Nov; Adelaide 8 Nov; Melbourne 29 Nov; Campbell Town (Tas) 30 Nov; Brisbane 4 Dec; and Sydney 5 December.

Austroads has published the results of tests to investigate whether the much faster accelerated mortar bar test could be employed instead of the slow concrete prism test to evaluate supplementary cementitious materials.
Understanding what makes millennials tick may help more mature engineers communicate better with their younger peers, according to US concrete industry commentator Bill Palmer.

Image: A still take from a video of Mexico City’s “breathing” road. Source: National Geographic


News bulletin 37:
News bulletin 37: 19 Sep 2017

CCAA is urging regulators to keep pressure on building product compliance and conformance following the release of an interim Senate report last week. As part of the wider inquiry into non-conforming building products, the Senate committee called for an immediate and total ban on the importation, sale and use of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels.

ACI has taken part in NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge recently which involved the building of a habitat for deep space exploration. It’s designed to advance the construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and elsewhere.

A new research article in Advances in Materials Science and Engineering is available to read on ‘Concrete with Improved Chloride Binding and Chloride Resistivity by Blended Cements’. The open access article is by Katalin Kopecskó and György L. Balázs from Budapest University of Technology.

Graphene is being hailed as a positive carbon factor for concrete as scientists work with elements at atomic level which continue to yield promising concrete admixtures. It is thought their impact may one day approach that of polycarboxylate superplasticisers.

The University of Sydney has multiple Masters/PhD opportunities in civil engineering focusing on various research areas involving concrete.

Image: The winner of the NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge by a team from South Korea. Source: MoonX


News bulletin 36:
News bulletin 36: 12 Sep 2017

Is concrete getting a bad ‘wrap’?
The ABC’s 4 Corners’ recent episode Combustible included Builders Collective president Phil Dwyer talking about the recent building cladding issues, adding ”most people think they’ve got a concrete building”. He blamed government regulations for failures. You can watch the program and or read its transcript.

Celebrating success
GHD has reported record earnings growth beyond the one billion dollar mark and has been named in the AFR’s list of Australia’s top private companies on the back of opening another office in NZ.

Concrete’s time in the sun
Engineering and architecture students at Washington University have built a concrete precast solar house for this year’s US Solar Decathlon in October. A/Prof Hongxi Yin argues that while the manufacturing process of concrete may emit carbon dioxide, its inherent longevity and thermal properties “can successfully offset those emissions”.

Development of new panels
NSW has recently passed the Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Bill 2017 legislation that introduces new local planning panels for the Greater Sydney Region and Wollongong. The four-member panels will come into effect early next year and comprise different experts who will decide on Development Applications.

Getting down but not dirty
Boral is using a particular type of washout system to clean concrete delivery truck drums that carry concrete to the NorthConnex 9.5 km tunnels in Sydney’s north. NorthConnex will use about 160,000 m³ of concrete for structural and non-structural elements and an additional 200,000 m³ will line the tunnels. The system is designed to reduce concrete cross-contamination.

A green light for the alley
An ambitious mixed-used development set to revitalise Parramatta’s ‘Auto Alley’ has been given the go-ahead by the Sydney West Planning Panel. It will include multiple residential towers of 30-40 storeys; two 10-storey commercial buildings; a high-end hotel; thousands of square metres of public open space and parking for over 1000 vehicles.

Image: Shotcreting in the NorthConnex tunnel. Source: Drumblaster.

News bulletin 35:
News bulletin 35: 5 Sep 2017

Redland City Council (SE Qld) has engaged Arup to trial several different methods to help prevent canal banks and associated retaining walls from moving, with Mainmark’s Teretek as one option.

Tunnelling as an area of practice is anything but boring to engineers, and innovator Elon Musk feels the same way. One of his recent enterprises, The Boring Company, has its sights set on revolutionising tunnelling by speeding up the process while cutting costs.

Georgiou Group has been selected to deliver Pimlico to Teven stage 3 for the RMS and delivery partner Pacific Complete in Ballina, NSW. Stage 3 is part of the $4.3 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade and involves construction of the southbound carriageway, demolition and reconstruction of bridges, earthworks and realignment of a permanent junction with the Pacific Highway.

Arup has been recognised as the Most Outstanding Company in Engineers Australia’s Women in Engineering Gender Diversity Awards. Arup says its female staff represent more than a third of the total workforce, including key management, non-managers, as well as on its board. The firm has set its sights on a much higher target by 2020. And GHD was highly commended in the awards.

Meanwhile, Aurecon CEO Giam Swiegers, a member of the STEM Male Champions of Change group, believes the pace of change is too slow as far as parental shared care goes so the firm has introduced its own policy. Aurecon has also appointed a new Managing Director, Infrastructure.

Japanese architects have released renderings of a four-storey design for a concrete home shaped like an upside down pyramid, wedged into the side of a hill.

Image: Takei Nabeshima Architects making a point with their upside down pyramid-shaped concrete house design.


News bulletin 34:
News bulletin 34: 29 Aug 2017

Researchers at University of Melbourne say finely ground recycled glass in concrete is “a viable replacement” for sand and material like fly ash and ground-down slag from blast furnaces.

CIMIC has appointed a civil engineer as deputy CEO. Michael Wright has been with the firm for almost 20 years and was previously involved in the mining, construction and tunnelling teams at an executive level.

Australian think tank Beyond Zero Emissions has released a (free) report – Rethinking Cement – which outlines a zero carbon cement industry within 10 years. The report forms part of its Zero Carbon Industry Plan. It says the chemical process of transforming limestone into lime cannot continue.

Lendlease has been appointed Official Supporter Property & Infrastructure and Overlay Delivery Partner of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. The company will project manage the delivery of 15 competition venues and has committed to a Reconciliation Action Plan, to provide employment/training opportunities for Indigenous peoples.

Princeton University has announced its researchers may have “cracked” the challenge of making greener concrete and those involved hope to raise the profile of Portland cement replacements.

Image: Damian Crough, Associate Professor Tuan Ngo and Dr Ali Kashani with a block of glass-impregnated concrete. Tuan Ngo is the technical papers guest editor in the September issue of Concrete in Australia magazine. His editorial is focused on Innovations in modern prefabricated concrete construction.


Congratulations to our Award Winners
Congratulations to our Award Winners28 Aug 2017

We are very pleased to announce our recent Awards for Excellence winners, recognised at our Queensland Branch cocktail evening last Thursday. Over 70 delegates were in attendance, to celebrate our award winners, industry colleagues and hear from Department of Transport and Main Roads representative, Ken Jacobs.

The following Queensland projects were recognised and granted an Award for Excellence –
Infrastructure Projects Category
Sunshine Coast University Hospital
By Aurecon and Lendlease

Jubilee Bridge
Residential Buildings Category
Clifftop House
By Built Environment Collective and Joe Adsett Architects
Commercial Buildings Category
1 William Street, Brisbane
By Arcadis and Multiplex
Southpoint Stage B
By Aurecon and Watpac
Adding to the evening, the Concrete Institute of Australia welcomed two significant individuals to our community of Life and Honorary Members. We are exceptionally pleased to announce that Dr Liza O’Moore from the University of Queensland and Mr Tony Thomas from Boral Concrete were presented respectively, with Life and Honorary Membership to the Concrete Institute of Australia.

Our state branch award winners will progress to the National Awards Ceremony, which will be held at Concrete 2017! We wish our Queensland projects the best of luck at here.

To view our full album of images, including award winners and delegates, please visit our Facebook page here

News bulletin 33:
News bulletin 33: 22 Aug 2017

Infrastructure Australia has called for submissions to help it identify infrastructure “problems and opportunities of national significance” for its 2018 Infrastructure Priority List.

An August engineering vacancies report reveals there were more than 2000 vacant engineering jobs in NSW and Victoria in June, with the majority being civil engineering roles.

Austroads has published the findings of a seven year project designed to improve the understanding of pavement surface failures caused by changing configurations and loadings of freight vehicles.

Infrastructure in the Perth region is about to get a boost with three major freeway upgrades, with expressions of interest now open.

A new Chair has been appointed to the Infrastructure Australia Board following the retirement of Mark Birrell. The new Chair has extensive experience from the aviation sector.

Engineers Australia has updated the progress on the establishment of an independent statutory body, Infrastructure WA, similar to those that exist in the eastern states and nationally.

Image: Mitchell Freeway, Perth.


Congratulations to our Award Winners
Congratulations to our Award Winners18 Aug 2017

We are very pleased to announce our latest Award for Excellence in Concrete winners, recognised at our Victorian Branch function on Tuesday evening. Over 60 industry delegates gathered to congratulate winners of significant projects completed in Victoria, an excellent turnout to a celebration of this kind.

We would like to recognise and congratulate the following entrants on their successful projects -

Commercial Buildings Category
La Trobe Tower
Hickory Group
BCM Headquarters
Crosier Scott Architects
BCM (Ballarat Construction Management)
Technology and Innovation
An innovative light weight concrete panel system for high speed modular construction
Associate Professor Tuan Ngo
Professor Priyan Mendis
Professor Jay Sanjayan
Dr Vinh Dao
Mr Nick Scheuer
Mr David Visser
3D Concrete Printing using Cement and Geopolymer Binder Systems
Swinburne University of Technology
Repair and Rehabilitation
Webb Dock East Berths 4 & 5 Rehabilitation
Freyssinet Australia
Hon Wade Noonan – Minister for Industry and Employment and Minister for Resources, delivered a presentation, and assisted Victorian Branch President, Andrew Sarkady in congratulating winners and presenting them with their framed certificates.

The Concrete Institute is also exceptionally pleased to welcome Professor Jay Sanjayan, from the Swinburne University of Technology and Professor Priyan Mendis from the University of Melbourne aboard as Honorary Members of the Institute.

We look forward to recognising our next round of Award winners at our Queensland Branch celebration on the 24th of August.

To view our full album of images, including winners and delegates, please visit our Facebook page here

News bulletin 32:
News bulletin 32: 15 Aug 2017

Arcadis has been appointed by NSW Roads and Maritime Services with its JV partner Jacobs as the lead concept designers on the new M12 Motorway in Western Sydney. The motorway will provide access to the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and connect to the existing motorway network.

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) says a recent survey indicated the average cost of poor contract management can be up to 15% of the contract value for large capital projects. A whitepaper on ‘The 10 Critical Pitfalls in Modern Contract Management’ can be downloaded.

A masterplan for the new University of Tasmania campus in Launceston has been unveiled and being touted as the single largest infrastructure investment in the city’s history.

Christchurch-based manufacturer of concrete technologies Canzac has introduced sensors that can be buried in concrete to measure strength and humidity.

Construction firm BGC Contracting has continued its expansion into NSW by winning a contract to deliver the main civil construction work for a section of the $4.36 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade in northern NSW.

UTAS Launceston campus concept by architects McBride Charles Ryan. Image:  McBride Charles Ryan.


News bulletin 31
News bulletin 31 8 Aug 2017

Construction is about to commence on part of Freemantle’s new $270 million cultural and civic precinct. The new triangular-shaped Kings Square civic building in WA will adjoin the rear of the historic Freemantle Town Hall. Construction on the former Myer and Queensgate buildings is also expected to start between now and the end of the year. Read more.

CPB Contractors has been selected by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads to deliver a construct-only contract of Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road project. Stage 1 includes an 11.3 km highway; multiple bridges and underpasses; and two dual-lane roundabouts. Read more.

The Planning Institute of Victoria has criticised the state government for not following its own guidelines in relation to the West Gate Tunnel project. The project involves a new tunnel and a partially elevated toll road.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) will award US$50,000 to a team of university students that comes up with a fibre-reinforced concrete bowling ball. The competition is part of its 2018 convention and is designed to encourage creativity in engineering design and analysis.

The NSW government has reached a $140 million in-principle agreement with the City of Parramatta to secure the site for the highly controversial new Powerhouse Museum. The site is a former David Jones car park on the south bank of the Parramatta River. The cost of constructing the new building is estimated to be $600-$800 million. Read more.

Image: An illustration of Freemantle’s Kings Square civic building. Source: City of Freemantle.


Standards Australia Draft for Public Comment - AS 3583.6
Standards Australia Draft for Public Comment - AS 3583.68 Aug 2017

AS 3583.6 has now progressed to public comment with the public comment period closing on 9 October 2017.

You can view the draft and any incoming comments here after entering your Standards Hub login details.
All comments are to be submitted on the Standards Hub. Follow the link above, login and select the “New Comment” button.

News bulletin 30:
News bulletin 30: 1 Aug 2017

Concerns about governance at the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility have been raised by the Productivity Commission and about the scope for political interference in the funding of projects, which include power stations, railways and the Snowy 2.0.

And state governments have been accused by Ports Australia of making short-sighted and politically motivated infrastructure investments that have made Australia’s ports inefficient and cost the economy billions. Ports Australia’s submission to the federal parliamentary inquiry into national freight and supply chain networks was reportedly “a stinging rebuke”.

India’s transport minister has said all roads in the country will be converted to concrete to ensure stability and durability. He has guaranteed they will last for 200 years and spoke out against political leaders, bureaucrats and contractors who have other preferences.

A joint venture of Bam, Ferrovial and Kier (BFK) has pleaded guilty and fined over one million pounds over the death of a contractor spraying liquid concrete in a tunnel in London’s Crossrail project. BFK was also charged over two other incidents on the project.

The US Navy is developing a new device that can quickly identify whether iron sulphide mineral exists in concrete.

Image: London’s Crossrail project. Source: Cross

News bulletin 29:
News bulletin 29: 25 Jul 2017

Probuild has appointed two new State Managing Directors for New South Wales and Queensland. The company is also aiming for a recycling target of 90% to demolition material from Queen’s Wharf Brisbane site. It includes concrete being transported to renewable energy and waste management facilities.

Transport infrastructure construction will underpin broader building and construction activity over the next four years according to Master Builders Australia’s latest Building and Construction Industry Forecast.

Plans for constructing multiple stadiums for the sport of cricket across eight US cities are in the development stage. Global Sports Ventures intends to establish a professional cricket league in the country.

The Concrete Institute has launched a Mentoring Program with the aim is increasing the knowledge and development of Members who may have less experience. But it’s a two-way relationship where Mentors can share and demonstrate their knowledge while having the opportunity to learn from their Mentees.

Did you know eight of the world’s 10 highest bridges are in China? Several of them are in the country’s southwest. This BBC video showcases the Beipanjiang Bridge suspected 565 metres above a mountain range. It took three years to construct and has only been open to traffic for six months.

Image: Demolition material at the Queen's Wharf Brisbane site. Source: Probuild.

News bulletin 28:
News bulletin 28: 18 Jul 2017

Institute Silver Member Arcadis and JV partner Mott MacDonald, lead designers in the Metron consortium have won the underground station design and technical services contract in stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project. Metron will lead the engineering design of six underground metro rail stations. The consortium also includes Institute Bronze Member Robert Bird Group.

CCAA is the major sponsor of a new national TV program Australia by Design on Channel Ten that is showcasing exceptional architecture projects in Australia. The series runs for nine episodes and looks at each state and territory, with projects of all types rated by an expert panel that includes CCAA CEO Ken Slattery.

Victoria’s Building Authority (VBA) is conducting a review of Building Regulations 2006 and taking submissions on proposed Building Regulations 2017. You’ve got until 5pm today, 18 July 2017, to have your say. Also in VBA news, CEO Prue Digby has announced her retirement by the end of this year.

Institute Bronze Member WGE (Wood & Grieve Engineers) is working with Engineering Education Australia and Open Learning, on a new training module on the management of underground assets or subsurface utilities. It’s aimed at engineers and other practitioners who manage subsurface utilities.

Fulton Hogan has appointed a new CEO for Australia and a CEO for construction. These appointments come in the wake of new CEOs who’ve taken up roles in New Zealand.

Image: An illustration of the future entrance to the new Martin Place station in Sydney’s CBD. Source: Sydney Metro.


News bulletin 27:
News bulletin 27: 11 Jul 2017

The Concrete Institute’s incoming National Vice President, Shan Kumar, of Hickory Building Systems in Victoria, has been listed as one of Australia’s 30 most innovative engineers by Engineers Australia.

Protecting Australia’s vital infrastructure corridors is the focus of a new policy paper released by Infrastructure Australia. It advises state and federal governments to take “urgent action” in the next five years to avoid cost overruns, delays and community disruption when delivering new infrastructure.

Laing O'Rourke has launched a major recruitment campaign targeting professionals with strong technical skills for roles in project management, project engineering, health, safety and quality, quantity surveying, project supervisors and other experienced leaders.
Read the most recent abstracts on concrete and cement research articles from around the world to be published in Cement and Concrete Research.

Engineers Australia has announced Peter McIntyre FIEAust FAICD as its new CEO. He replaced Stephen Durkin who vacated the role earlier this year.

Entries are open for the fib's 2018 Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures (AOS), giving international recognition to structures that demonstrate the versatility of concrete as a structural medium. The 2018 AOS will be presented at the fib Congress in Melbourne next year.

Image: Infrastructure Australia wants to see infrastructure corridors protected. Source: Govt of SA.


News bulletin 26:
News bulletin 26: 4 Jul 2017

The Achievement Award for Young Engineers was presented at the recent fib Symposium in the Netherlands. Patrick Huber (Austria) won the Research Award for his thesis ‘Assessment of shear strength of existing reinforced and prestressed concrete bridges’. Miguel Sacristán (Spain) received the Design & Construction Award for the exceptional array of projects he took part in, both in Spain and around the world. The jury also awarded four Special Mentions for “outstanding” work by Bruno Dal Lago, Fuyuan Gong, Carlo Segato and Alvaro Serrano.
Consultants and contractors are being urged to sign up to the Construction Supplier Register (CSR) by the Victoria Government. The CSR is a prequalification scheme that streamlines the tender process for contractors and consultants interested in obtaining work from the state’s government agencies.

Permeable or pervious concrete has been recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Best Management Practice for stormwater regulations. Typically containing between 15% and 20% void spaces within hardened concrete, flow rates tend to be 0.34 cm/s or 200 L/m2/minute.

Entries are now being accepted for the fib's 2018 Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures (AOS), giving international recognition to structures that demonstrate the versatility of concrete as a structural medium. The 2018 AOS will be presented at the fib's Congress in Melbourne next year.
The NSW Government has announced budget funding to construct new bridges at Nelligen and Batemans Bay. More than $300 million has been set aside to invest in the new structures.

Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) has signed off on a rebrand to keep concrete “front of mind” as it’s so ubiquitous that it’s taken for granted. This is an issue the Concrete Institute of Australia understands well. CCAA says it is planning a wave of promotional activity throughout 2018 to reinforce the benefits of concrete, using a new tagline: 'Concrete, Build Without Limits'.

Image: The old Batemans Bay Bridge will be demolished.

News bulletin 25:
News bulletin 25: 27 Jun 2017

Tenders are now open for the Epping to Powranna 11 km upgrade in Tasmania as part of the state’s $500 million Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan. Tenders close in early July with works expected to commence later this year and be completed in early 2019.

A plan to manufacture cement using millions of waste tyres each year has been announced by the NZ Government. Golden Bay Cement, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building, will receive a multi-million dollar grant.

Fulton Hogan will also conduct a feasibility study into using recycled rubber for sound-proof building products, roads and cycleway construction in NZ. Meanwhile, the company has appointed new CEOs for the NZ Regional Business division and for NZ Construction.

While concrete as a material can be beautiful, brutalist, supportive or protective, it’s the protective aspect that has been employed in recent days across Australian cities. Concrete bollards and barriers have popped up in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast in a governmental response to terrorism.

A joint venture comprising CPB Contractors (45%), John Holland (45%) and Ghella (10%) has been awarded a $2.81 billion contract to deliver twin 15.5 km tunnels and civil works for Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project. The tunnels will run under Sydney Harbour from Chatswood to Sydenham and require five TBMs for their construction.

There are polarised views on the NSW Budget for the $73 billion ear-marked for infrastructure over the next four years. Consult Australia says projects are at risk of being delayed or not delivered while Infrastructure Partnerships Australia says it “puts hard dollars behind transport, health and education projects”.

Image: Concrete bollards have popped up overnight at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station in the CBD. Source: News Corp Australia.


News bulletin 24:
News bulletin 24: 20 Jun 2017

Civil engineers from Drexel University in Philadelphia are working on a new recipe for concrete, using cast-off products from furnaces that can withstand road salt deterioration.

An American company recently used its 3D-printer to lay down concrete walls on a test home at a site in Russia, printing out a 38 square metre house. The printer resembles a small crane that lays down layer upon layer of a concrete mixture which the company says can last for 175 years. Read about this and watch videos about other developments in 3D concrete printing.

The entire deck of Sydney Metro’s 4km elevated skytrain is now locked in place nine metres up in the air. The construction involves more than 1100 large concrete segments, each weighing between 56 and 147 tonnes. The skytrain deck sits on more than 100 concrete piers.

Beca has appointed a new managing director in New Zealand. Civil engineer Darryl-Lee Wendelborn has been on the senior leadership team since 2011 and is known for her collaborative working style and track record in delivering transformational outcomes.

Image: Sydney Metro Skytrain deck. Source: NSW Government.


2017 Awards for Excellence in Concrete Update
2017 Awards for Excellence in Concrete Update19 Jun 2017

Thank you again to those that submitted their project entry for our 2017 Awards for Excellence in Concrete Program. The Institute is very pleased to announce that a total of 51 project entries were received for judging. This is an excellent outcome, and reflects the active nature of our industry with an array of construction and research projects currently in the mix!

With such a large variety of projects to be showcased, our State Branches are very much looking forward to engaging with the industry at our upcoming Awards for Excellence events. Our Awards events are an excellent opportunity for all Members of The Institute. For established professionals, this is an ideal platform to see the latest and greatest in concrete research, technology, design and application. For our Student Members or recent Graduates, this is an extremely valuable opportunity to build your connections with the wider industry, and hear from high calibre industry experts.

This year there are six categories of entries, which are designed to capture all aspects of the industry.
  • Residential Buildings
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Infrastructure Projects
  • Repairs & Rehabilitation
  • Sustainability & Environment
  • Technology & Innovation
We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming Awards events! 

News bulletin 23:
News bulletin 23: 13 Jun 2017

NSW Bronze member Northrop Consulting Engineers has appointed a new CEO to lead the 340 employees of the firm which has an annual turnover of $50 million.

Authors are invited to submit papers for the annual Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (AEES) Conference being held from 24-26 November 2017 in Canberra. Abstracts of no more than 250 are due by Thursday, 15 June, with full papers due 1 September 2017.
Topics may include:
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Engineering seismology
  • Blast induced ground motion
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Emergency management and insurance
  • Mine induced seismicity
  • Building codes
  • Earthquake hazard
  • Disaster response
  • Risk modelling
  • Tsunami.
Alternatively papers can also be relevant to the conference sessions on:
  • Australian Ground Motion Hazard Map
  • Damage and Control
  • Australian Earthquake Resistant Building Codes
  • Masonry Buildings.
A highlight of the conference will include a special tour of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre at Geoscience Australia.
There are many awe-inspiring structural feats around the world but dams, in particular, are intricately designed structures. Here are 12 of the most interesting dams around the globe, including the Gordon Dam in Tasmania.
The New Zealand Government has released further geotechnical guidance developed as a result of the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission. NZ Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith says the new geotechnical modules are on methods for improving ground conditions and retaining wall design along with a new field guide to help geotechnical professionals assess and categorise land instability after an earthquake.

Image: Kariba Dam, Zimbabwe. Source: Marcus Wishart/World Bank Group (via Interesting Engineering).

News bulletin 22:
News bulletin 22: 6 Jun 2017

Following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in New Zealand after which 15,000 homes had to be demolished, Silver Institute Member Mainmark had a theory that engineered injection resin technology could be used for seismic liquefaction. Now the company has announced an internationally peer-reviewed report on its Resin Injection Ground Improvement Research Trials which it says has been “hailed a success”.
Melbourne’s historic Main Outfall Sewer has undergone a radical transformation due to work by Institute Silver Member GHD. Constructed in the 1890s, it was the largest civil engineering project undertaken in Victoria at that time, GHD’s work involved integrated architecture and engineering.
The contractor has been named for the next stages of The Northern Road (11.5km section) and Bringelly Road (4.3km) upgrades in Western Sydney. The NSW Government said Lendlease will build these as part of the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan to support the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek expected to be operational in 2026.

The World Green Building Council has urged business to commit to only operate within buildings that will be net zero by 2050 in a new report. It’s also made calls for certification of all new assets as net zero carbon by 2030, and those existing by 2050, and for governments to develop specific regulations and policies.
Construction has commenced on the $929 million Bruce Highway Upgrade from Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway in South-East Queensland. The Fulton HoganSeymour Whyte JV was awarded the contract last year which is due for completion by 2020.

Image: GHD has used integrated architecture and engineering in its work on Melbourne’s historic Main Outfall Sewer.


News bulletin 21:
News bulletin 21: 30 May 2017

Following the collapse of part of Highway I-85 in Atlanta in March due to a massive fire underneath, engineers have created 61 beams in record time to reconstruct the missing portion. Standard Concrete Products was contacted while the bridge was still on fire (!) and explain their work, which was completed in two weeks.

The new Indigenous Procurement Policy has been implemented this month at Laing O’Rourke, designed to help boost the capabilities of Indigenous businesses in the construction sector. It follows the Australian Government’s 2016 directive on all Commonwealth and State Government construction contracts but the firm says it is taking its policy further.

John Holland has been awarded a $170 million contract to remove two level crossings in Melbourne in alliance with KBR, Metro Trains and the Level Crossing Removal Authority. The North West Program Alliance will initially remove the level crossings at Camp Road in Campbellfield and Skye Road in Frankston which will involve lowering the rail under Camp Road and building a rail bridge over Skye Road.

Arup has released its quarterly review of innovation, design and ideas. The issue features solving complex fire engineering problems, and the inextricable links between the future of engineering and the future of society.

In addition to the very interesting papers published in Concrete in Australia quarterly, abstracts for the following papers are currently online: Design optimization of embedded ultrasonic transducers for concrete structures assessment; The urban heat island effect, its causes, and mitigation, with reference to the thermal properties of asphalt concrete; and, Laboratory investigation of PCB bake-out from tertiary contaminated concrete for remediation of buildings.

Source: via


News bulletin 20:
News bulletin 20: 23 May 2017

Transport NSW is inviting those who live or visit regional and rural NSW to have their say in a survey on the future planning of infrastructure including road, rail and bridges to 2056.

A $20 million 600-tonne tunnel boring machine has been delivered in Perth to work on the future Forrestfield Station. It’s one of two TBMs that will each dig 8 km of 7-m diameter tunnels that will go under Perth Airport and the Swan River. This is part of the Forrestfield-Airport Link project. You can watch a video here.

Jon Williams, Group Delivery Manager – Technical Practice, at Beca has been appointed as a Chief Specialist with the company. The title recognises his contribution to “the business and wider engineering community”. He joins only four other Chief Specialists appointed by Beca.

SMEC has been engaged by Snowy Hydro to assist with the feasibility study of the proposed Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme expansion project (Snowy 2.0), the first major expansion since its completion in 1974.

Austroads has published a compendium of recent evidence on the relationships between 20 key geometric road design criteria and safety outcomes. Crash modification factors for road design criteria were reviewed such as horizontal curvature, lane and sealed shoulder widths, sag and crest design values and various longitudinal sight distance requirements.

McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) has been named as the winner of the 2017 Australian Construction Achievement Award for its Melbourne Port Capacity Project – Maritime Works. The Australian Construction Achievement Award is promoted by the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) and Engineers Australia.

Image: Preparatory works for the TBMs on the Forrestfield Airport Link (May 2017).

News bulletin 19:
News bulletin 19: 16 May 2017

In last week’s Federal Budget, the government announced significant infrastructure spending across Australia with the focus on roads and rail in cities and regional areas. It committed to $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing from 2017-18 to 2026-27 for critical airport, road, and rail infrastructure projects. You can read a further analysis by law firm King & Wood Mallesons.

The latest industry forecasts released by Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) show the industry is “moving quickly through two peaks in activity with a less fevered period of activity coming”, calling it a “double dip downturn”.

Associate Professor Rebecca Gravina from the Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Discipline at RMIT University has joined the team of co-authors of the fourth edition of Prestressed Concrete (by Warner, Foster, Gravina and Faulkes). The book has been extensively revised, updated and rewritten to take into account the many developments in theory and practice of prestressed concrete construction. It’s aimed at the teaching of prestressed concrete design at university level to civil engineers and is a reference for practising consulting structural engineers, as it refers to the requirements of the Australian Concrete Structures Standard, AS 3600-2009. In this new edition the authors made corrections to the text and extended and improved the treatment of creep and shrinkage effects in Appendix B.

Wallbridge & Gilbert has rebranded to ‘WGA’ (Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec) to represent Wallbridge & Gilbert and Aztec Analysis being integrated multi-disciplinary team. Under the one name, joint managing directors Peter McBean and Nick Lelos say WGA will provide streamlined access to a broader range of services across Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Whyalla. Its services include structural, civil, maritime, mechanical, geotechnical, heavy lifting, temporary works, project management, electrical and pressure vessels.

Professor Guowei Ma, of the University of Western Australia, has accepted a position at the Hebei University of Technology in Tianjin, a province near Beijing and will continue his ties at UWA as an adjunct professor. He will be the Dean, School of Civil and Transportation Engineering, and also Professor and Vice President of the School. The university is the original technology institute of China and has an international focus and access to top-tier funding. Professor Ma previously served on the CIA WA branch committee.


News bulletin 18:
News bulletin 18: 8 May 2017

Delaney Civil has been awarded the contract for the next stage of the new Tabulam Bridge over the Clarence River in northern NSW.

Construction and civil group, Watpac, has been appointed as the managing contractor for Townsville’s $250 million North Queensland Stadium to deliver the two-stage design and construct contract for the 25,000-seat structure.

Two new plants are being set up by environmental services firm, ResourceCo, to turn non-recyclable commercial and industrial waste into an alternative fuel product it says can reduce the carbon profile of cement.

The New Zealand Government has announced it will allocate NZ$11 billion in new capital infrastructure over the next four years, with NZ$4 billion for the coming year alone, NZ Minister for Infrastructure Steven Joyce says.

With infrastructure investment falling behind the growing demand for services, innovative ways are being devised to optimise the use of existing assets, according to Richard Robinson, chief executive of AECOM Civil Infrastructure business EMIA.

Image: the existing Tabulam Bridge over the Clarence River in northern NSW.


Farewell to Mark Sedhom
Farewell to Mark Sedhom 3 May 2017

Mark Sedhom, Professional Development Manager for the Concrete Institute of Australia, is leaving this week after almost five years with the organisation.

Mark, who started as Technical Services Manager, has made a significant impact on our recent move into online learning tools and modules, and has also made a huge contribution to the education, technical, and standards strategies implemented by the Institute.

He has been the conduit for news, information and technical papers that appear in Concrete In Australia, In the Mix, and the weekly e-news bulletins, as well as being the driving force behind the Awards for Excellence program.
Mark is leaving to take up a role where he will become more focused again on practical and on-site engineering. He will be sorely missed by staff and Members of the Institute, however, Mark won’t be lost entirely to the Institute as we expect to see him in a volunteer capacity sometime in the near future.

News bulletin 17:
News bulletin 17: 1 May 2017

Boral has unveiled two new fixed concrete plants in Granville and Kirrawee, NSW, increasing capacity in its Sydney network to service the city’s burgeoning demand for residential, commercial, roads and infrastructure construction. You can read about this and more on concrete in Boral News April 2017.

Beca has moved back into Christchurch’s CBD after a six year hiatus in temporary offices following the Canterbury earthquakes. Beca’s team of 320 will be based in the new ANZ Centre in which the company played a significant role in its construction and fit-out.

British engineers have concluded laser scanning is a viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging effects of fire on concrete, according to Engineers Australia.

Concrete 2017 early bird registration is available until 26 June. Make sure you register for this event in Adelaide in October that promises to be a great learning and social experience for all those in the concrete industry. Check out the conference program and keynote speakers today!

Image: Boral’s Granville concrete plant.


News bulletin 16:
News bulletin 16: 26 Apr 2017

The first Super T beams have been lifted into place in Noble Park in Victoria as part of a project involving 360 Super T beams that will support an elevated rail line and the rebuild of five stations between Caulfield and Dandenong by the end of next year.

A university-based start-up is commercialising Acrete, that it reports is lighter, stronger and less expensive than concrete and converts three times more waste into useful building material.

Mainland Civil has been appointed by Walker Corp to commence the first stage of works on the $2 billion Parramatta Square redevelopment, one of Sydney’s largest urban renewal projects.

Laing O’Rourke has implemented a company-side Indigenous Procurement policy with all new projects to have a minimum target spend with Indigenous businesses.

Speculation about a corporate raid on Fletcher Building in NZ is rife following an AFR report that its shares are down almost 30% this year.

Image: Super Ts being lifted into place in Noble Park for the elevated rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong. Source: Level Crossing Removal Authority


Winners announced
Winners announced 19 Apr 2017

Many thanks to all Institute Members who completed our recent Membership Survey.

We had a fantastic response rate and have collected some excellent information about what, you, our Members value and what services you would like us to improve upon.

A detailed analysis is in progress and a summary will be made available to Members soon.

Members who completed the survey were in the draw to win two free registrations to Concrete 2017 being held in Adelaide in October.
We are pleased to announce that the lucky winners are Rajiv Kalra from Arcadis Australia Pacific and Trevor Parry from Meyer Consulting. 

Congratulations to Rajiv and Trevor and thank you once again to everyone who took part in the survey!

Even if you weren't one of the lucky winners, you can still get the discounted early bird rate for Concrete 2017 if you sign up before 26 June!

News bulletin 15:
News bulletin 15: 18 Apr 2017

Adelaide Brighton has acquired Central Pre-Mix Concrete for more than $60 million. The purchase includes five concrete plants and a hard rock aggregate quarry that serve metropolitan Melbourne.

A new infrastructure agency being quietly set up in the PM’s department, to be funded in the upcoming federal budget, reportedly represents a major shift in thinking and will bring new capabilities typically seen in investment banking and strategic business advisory firms into the public sector.

Professor Marie Jackson, a specialist in Roman maritime concrete from the US has warned the UK that Roman-style concrete should be used to build Wales’ controversial Swansea sea wall project using volcanic ash.

An exhibition titled ‘Material #01: Concrete’ is open in the Brisbane CBD which explores the diversity and potential of concrete, incorporating architecture, design and art, and continues till June.

Aurecon was recently involved in an Engineers Australia panel discussing the latest research on the fast-approaching skills shortage “about to hit the Australian engineering profession”.

Image: Soli-Pompeiopolis Source: John Peter Oleson via City Lab.


New bulletin 14:
New bulletin 14: 11 Apr 2017

See how this abandoned cement factory from the early 20th century in Spain, with its 30 silos, smoke stack, machine rooms and 4km of underground tunnels, has been turned into a post-industrial castle.

GHD has announced it has a new chairperson and made changes to its executive directors following the retirement of the company’s current executive chair after 40 years. AECOM has appointed a new chief operating officer for its construction services global division. And McConnell Dowell has appointed a new operations manager, whose background includes Fulton Hogan, John Holland and Laing O’Rourke. The company has also appointed a new general manager for new business and strategy who also hails from JH.

Wagstaff Piling had to come up with an innovative foundation solution and economical design alternative for micropiles designed for earthquake loads being constructed at Monash University No. 4 carpark to allow for the facility to be extended by two additional floors whilst remaining fully operational.

Infrastructure Australia CEO talks about why the pool of funding for infrastructure investment in this country must be diversified and highlights the benefits of transitioning towards a user pays model to fund the infrastructure needed.

Mainmark says it has successfully remediated a large concrete culvert under State Highway 58 near Wellington in New Zealand using “a technologically advanced solution”.

CPB Contractors, part of the CIMIC Group, has been selected to deliver Victoria’s Transurban West Gate Tunnel project in a JV with John Holland. Design and construction works will include widening of the West Gate Freeway and two tunnels under Yarraville, a new bridge, an elevated road, new cycling and pedestrian pathways.

Image: Former cement factory-turned-post-industrial castle in Spain. Source: Domain


What's new from Standards Australia?
What's new from Standards Australia? 5 Apr 2017

Standards Australia has announced all nine parts of the 2017 AS/NZS 5100 Bridge design series has been published.

The organisation's CEO, Bronwyn Evans, wrote to the Concrete Insitute to thank the BD-090 Committee, Sub-Committee and Working Group Members.

"I want to applaud each of you for your efforts contributing to this impressive work program," she said. "It is a huge achievement for Australia which would not have been possible without your expertise and determination. As voluntary contributors I also recognise the significant time you have given to participate in delivering the bridge design series."

This video introduces the new bridges code.

Standards Australia has also announced the draft of AS 3610.1 Formwork for concrete Part 1: Specifications (Committee BD-043 Formwork) is open for public comment. You will be able to view the draft and any incoming comments once you've logged into the Standards Hub. Comments close 5 June 2017.

Image: The Webb Bridge, a cycling and pedestrian bridge in Melbourne's Docklands. Source: AAP


Applications for David Barro Fellowship open
Applications for David Barro Fellowship open 5 Apr 2017

This is the first time the David Barro Fellowship for Heavy Construction Materials has been introduced and applications from across Australia are invited.

The Fellowship is in memory of David Barro, the founder of Barro Group who had always advocated industry innovation and improvement.
The International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI) has been chosen to manage this Fellowship which  provides an opportunity for an individual working within the area of the heavy construction materials industry, specifically in the manufacture of concrete or in quarrying, to undertake a research program overseas for two or three weeks.
Applicants will provide an outline of what research they would consider beneficial to the industry and where they would propose to undertake this research.
The intention is to encourage innovation – to raise the bar and encourage industry improvement and leading best practice in Australia. It might be as simple as a more workable concrete or quarry material that improves operator placement or reduces industry manufacturing costs.
On return to Australia the successful applicant would prepare, with the assistance of the ISSI, a detailed written report outlining their findings. They would also be required to share that report across the industry which might include speaking at industry forums.
The process is transparent – the ISS Institute and an ex-industry leader with extensive experience in both concrete manufacture and quarrying comprise the selection panel (Barro representatives are not involved in the selection process).
The ISSI team will provide assistance with preparing submissions, particularly for applicants who have no experience with applications of this type.

Phone (03) 9347 4583 or email for information or enquires. The application form is available at

News bulletin 13:
News bulletin 13: 4 Apr 2017

Women are being employed at almost twice the national rate on South Australia’s $985 million Northern Connector project (see our p18 feature in March issue of Concrete in Australia magazine). Five women are among 11 engineers recruited in the project’s first graduate intake for 2017 and more than 21% of positions across roles such as civil engineering, plant operation, safety, and environment, have been filled by women compared to the national average of 11.7% for the construction industry.

Institute Bronze Member SMEC has acquired PDR Engineers in Cairns that provides structural, civil, geotechnical and mining engineering services to government and corporate clients. It’s the first purchase since SMEC joined global consultancy Surbana Jurong last year.

Standards Australia has announced the new nine-part Australian Bridge Code AS / NZS 5100:2017 has been published. CEO Bronwyn Evans applauded the BD-090 committee, sub-committee and working group members for their “impressive work program”, adding that it was a “huge achievement”. The new code includes a comprehensive revision incorporating international modern design practices and new sections for rehabilitation and strengthening of existing bridges.

Two months on from Stephen Durkin’s resignation from the role of CEO of Engineers Australia, the organisation is yet to find a replacement. Chairman John McIntosh has been acting as executive chairman while executive Ron Watts stepped into the role of chief operating officer.

Silver Member Aurecon says Asia’s unique geography makes it “one of the most exciting places to be a bridge engineer”. The region is home to many of the world’s longest bridges and technical director for bridges and civil structures, Mike Tapley, believes it has a strong pipeline for future construction.

Institute Bronze Member, the Concrete Pumping Association of Australia (CPAA), is hosting the American Concrete Institute Shotcrete Certification Course on the Sunshine Coast from 27-29 April 2017. Delivered by experts from the American Shotcrete Association, you will learn the essential skills and methods of hand-held shotcreting on day one of the education course and put your skills to the test on day two, spraying and examination, shooting test panels.

Image: The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan has the longest central span of any bridge in the world.

News bulletin 12:
News bulletin 12: 28 Mar 2017

James Cook University lecturer Eduardo de la Fuente looks at the brutalist buildings of Australian universities and asks if concrete campuses can be loved again.

Victoria’s Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allan has released the state’s Value Creation and Capture Framework that will apply to all major projects and precinct developments. Proposals will be required to detail value capture and creation options in their development.

Downer EDI Limited has announced the acquisition of New Zealand construction, infrastructure, and project managers, Hawkins, which is part of the McConnell Group.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has rated the country’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card as an overall D+, with bridges scoring a C+, and dams and roads both getting a D.

Round 3 of the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Programme is now accepting proposals from local, territory and state governments. The $360 million five-year programme to 2019-20 is for upgrades and repairs to bridges, with the federal government contributing up to 50% of the total project cost.

Half a billion dollars has been set aside for roads in Queensland for projects in the south-east of the state and around Mackay.

Multiplex has been appointed to deliver Stage 1C of the $66.5 million Werribee Mercy Hospital in Victoria. It’s the second of six stages of construction works of the hospital’s $85 million redevelopment.

Image: the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library (1968), designed by Queensland architect James Birrell, on the James Cook University campus.


Nominations now open
Nominations now open 22 Mar 2017

Nominations are now open for a Representative and Reference Group Members for BD-108, AS 5204 - Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement material.

Standards Australia (SA) has established a new committee, BD-108 Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bars, to work on the new Standard AS 5204 Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement material. A project has been submitted and approved to develop a material standard to ensure structural quality and grade of material Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) bars.

The Concrete Institute has been invited to participate on the committee and is seeking a Representative who will represent the views of the Institute and its Members. The Institute is particularly interested in those with expertise in using the specification and design of FRP bars.

Expressions of interest are also sought from Members to serve in the BD-108 Reference Group. Reference Group Members will provide expert advice and individual opinion for consideration by the Nominated Representative on technical matters. They will also be involved in BD-108’s working groups should the need arise for a sub-committee.

The Concrete Institute has a series of governance procedures that must be adhered to by any Representative and Reference Group Member. These can be found on the CIA website, on the right hand column. Nominations can be sent to by COB 28 April 2017.

News bulletin 11:
News bulletin 11: 21 Mar 2017

The Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) and the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) have released the Building Information Modelling (BIM) Knowledge and Skills Framework which they say has the “potential to revolutionise” the construction sector.

Planning approval has been granted for a 1700-bed correctional facility will be built 12.5km south-east of Grafton. It will be designed, constructed, operated and maintained by Northern Pathways Consortium, with construction expected to begin this year, according to Infrastructure NSW.

The 175-year-old Japanese civil engineering company, Kajima Corporation, has made a major investment in Cockram Construction which will see the Australian company expand its international business in Asia Pacific and the US and will lead to a merger with another construction group in 2019.

Almost $400 million in federal funding has been approved for stage 1 of the Bruce Highway - Mackay Ring Road project that will include 13 new bridges. You can read Infrastructure Australia’s project business case evaluation here.

The preferred route for the Beaches Link and Western Harbour tunnels in Sydney has been revealed by the NSW Government, with 235 bore hole site tests to be carried out over the next six months to contribute to the engineering design, final costings and further route analysis.

Image:  An illustration of the future Grafton Correctional Facility in NSW.


Our submission deadline is fast approaching!
Our submission deadline is fast approaching!20 Mar 2017

As our submission deadline is fast approaching, we are seeing more entries roll into The Institute.

Every two years The Institute is buzzing with activity in anticipation for our Biennial Conference, and this year is no different.

However, what is equally as important as the latest concrete research, publications and international keynote speakers is the tangible outcomes of this level of knowledge, showcased in the form of a project demonstrating excellence in concrete.

This is particularly interesting, as our Awards 2017 Program has expanded into six different categories: residential buildings, commercial buildings, infrastructure projects, sustainability & environment and technology & innovation - each designed to capture a different segment of the concrete construction industry.

With this in mind, project managers, designers, architects, engineers, researchers and academics are presented with a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity, knowledge and expertise to the wider industry. Your chance awaits to demonstrate the versatile properties of concrete as a construction and decorative material.

With 11 days remaining until the submission deadline, there is still ample time to collate your project details and submit online. Remember, our team at The Institute is more than happy to assist with the entry process, questions and queries.

We look forward to seeing your project!

News bulletin 10:
News bulletin 10: 14 Mar 2017

A second motorway bridge has collapsed in Italy in six months, with a criminal investigation for manslaughter launched. The country’s infrastructure ministry is also conducting its own inquiry and questions about bureaucracy and seismic activity have come up.

Australian governments spent $28 billion more on transport infrastructure over the past 15 years than they told taxpayers they would spend, the Grattan Institute has revealed. It gathered three experts to discuss how to get the right infrastructure at the right price, including the Institute’s transport program director, Marion Terrill, who also contributed a detailed article to the AFR.

The ISCP (International Society for Concrete Pavements) has recently elected John Figueroa (Aurecon), Justin Moss (Arcadis) and Craig Whitaker (EIC ActivitiesCPB) to its board of directors, for a two-year term. Dr Anna-Carin Brink (AECOM) continues as a director while George Vorobieff has retired as a director after leaving RMS. The ASCP said its organisation and the ISCP have enjoyed close working relations since ASCP’s formation in 2008, with ISCP Directors being frequent presenters at ASCP biennial conferences, and that the strong representation of Australian professionals on the international society’s board will enhance ongoing interaction.

Engineers Australia said over the last 25 years, substantial pressure has been placed on Western Australia’s infrastructure assets while “costly and contentious infrastructure projects” have been “stuck in the pipeline, stalled by electoral cycles and political debate”.

A number of councils across Sydney have called on the Greater Sydney Commission to provide plans for the NSW capital’s future that are both more detailed and more ambitious than what has previously been released.


Getting the balance right
Getting the balance right 9 Mar 2017

Master Builders Australia chose International Women's Day on 8 March to announce the appointment of its first female CEO in 127 years, Denita Wawn. Selected following a comprehensive recruitment process by the MBA’s board, the new industry leader is the exception to the rule where current statistics show five out of six CEOs in Australia are men.
Denita Wawn, who will represent MBA’s 32,000 members, said she was, “very honoured … building and construction is such a vital part of our community and our economy”.
Wawn was promoted from the position of General Manager Operations where she spent 12 months building a strong foundation to understand the issues impacting on the association’s members, according to National President, Dan Perkins.

While a great step in the right direction, against the backdrop of Australia's latest gender equality scorecard, we’ve got a long way to go before women feel they have the same opportunities for employment and advancement as their male counterparts across all industrial sectors.
The Australian Government’s Gender Equality Scorecard released in November showed women still earn on average $27,000 less than men and women only represent 28.5% of key management. Importantly, employers with policies supporting gender equality is on the rise and sits at 70.7% however the percentage of employers that have conducted a gender pay gap analysis is 27%.
The government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) said employers should address pay equity; set competitor analysis benchmark reports; build a gender equality strategy; have a strategic approach to flexibility; consult with their employees; strive to be an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality; and set gender targets. For more information about building gender equality into the workplace visit WGEA.

Image: Denita Wawn. Source: MBA

News bulletin 8:
News bulletin 8: 28 Feb 2017

As the speed of change accelerates, the sheer velocity of disruption facing engineering, property, construction and infrastructure organisations is only increasing, according to global CEO of Aurecon, Giam Swiegers.

The latest statistics from the ABS on construction activity in Australia show a surge in housing construction but a fall in engineering activity, confirming the country is still transitioning to move past the post-mining boom phase, according to MBA. Still on mining, Institute Silver Member has published a blog on future-proofing mine site infrastructure.

Queensland is spending $13 billion on infrastructure between now and 2022 with 30 projects on the cards across the entire state. Almost half of that will go to Queen’s Wharf ($3bn); the Laguna Whitsundays upgrade ($2bn); Multiplex’s Jewel development on the Gold Coast ($1bn); Lindeman Island upgrade ($600m); the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal ($100m); and Cairns Aquarium ($50m).

The Australian government’s revised Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 has taken effect, following the commencement of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Amendment Act 2017 (BCIIPA Act) on 17 February.

The Florida Building Commission recently requested comment on proposed changes to the Florida Building Code, including a provision to allow certain wood-framed construction techniques to be used in the construction of the state’s education buildings. However, four concrete-related associations were able to defeat the proposal.

Image: Future-proofing mine site infrastructure. Source: Mainmark.

News bulletin 7:
News bulletin 7: 21 Feb 2017

A broken piece of equipment has caused a one tonne concrete slab to lean dangerously atop the construction site of a high-rise block in the US late last week. More than a dozen buildings were evacuated as work got underway to fix the problem.

Work has started on the $70 million Busselton-Margaret River regional airport expansion project in WA, with civil engineers Ertech scoring the design and construction contract for works on the lengthening, widening and strengthening of the existing runway. It will also construct new apron parking bays and connecting taxiways. Arup has been awarded the contract for design and construction of the new terminal building and surrounding precinct.

ACI’s Committee 236 has released its first technical document ACI 241R-17: Report on Application of Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials in Concrete which presents recent developments about investigations into nanostructure and nanodesign of cement-based materials, the effects of nanoparticles, field applications and health and environmental safety concerns related to the use of nanomaterials.

Beca has been appointed by VicRoads to deliver detailed design for the Warncoort to Colac East section of the Princes Highway Duplication project in Victoria.

A reward was offered for the return of a 1000 pound concrete chicken missing from Taylorsville in North Carolina. It is unknown if the 453 kg concrete structure crossed the road on its own but part of the structure was discovered a short distance away.

Image: The 453 kg concrete chicken before it met with fowl play.

News bulletin 6:
News bulletin 6: 14 Feb 2017

Registrations open now

Registration is now open for Concrete 2017, the 28th Biennial Conference of the Concrete Institute of Australia, and the 3rd ICDC (International Congress on Durability of Concrete) being held in October later this year. The broad theme of the conference is ‘Advances in Concrete Materials and Structures’, bringing together global leaders in the concrete industry to cover all aspects of design improvements, research, construction, maintenance and repair.

Concrete 2017, to be held in Adelaide, will provide an excellent forum for networking, education and ample opportunity for professional growth. You will be able to interact with engineers, scientists, researchers, academics, practitioners and other professionals from across Australia and around the world.

The ICDC durability streams will be held over the same three days and delegates can attend sessions in the 3rd ICDC and Concrete 2017 as well as social events for both. ICDC serves as a forum for exchanging current research results and displaying how concrete will continue to ensure durable buildings and structures for sustainable development. It’s a great chance to connect face to face with other participants from around the world and to share information and experiences.

The conference and congress are being held from 22-25 October 2017 in the impressive Adelaide Convention Centre in South Australia, renowned for its wine, food and scenery, so why not register now?

New ACI Manual of Concrete Practice

The American Concrete Institute’s 2017 Manual of Concrete Practice (MCP) is now available for access by our Academic and Student Members and is the most comprehensive concrete reference set available.

The MCP includes information about code requirements, deflection, cracking, durability problems, temperature control, non-destructive testing and hundreds of other topics. The online subscription is updated with each new technical document published and includes current and recently archived codes and specifications.

Individual Members wanting access to the MCP can take out CIA-ACI joint membership for AU$145, which offers a wide range of benefits, including discounted copies of the MCP, and represents a significant saving.

Study: by-product of rice paddy milling in concrete

Rice husk ash, which has good reactivity as a partial substitute for cement, when used as an alternative in concrete construction is discussed in this article, including its types, properties, advantages and uses in construction.

Call for mentor and mentee volunteers

The Concrete Institute of Australia is calling for volunteers to participate in a trial mentee/mentor pairing ahead of the official launch of our new Mentoring Program in July.

The program aims to pair up experienced Members in the concrete industry with Members who have less experience, to provide both parties an opportunity to expand their professional and industry knowledge.

If you are interested in being involved in the trial as either a mentee or mentor please contact Duncan Miller at or phone 02 9955 1744.

Image: Rice husk ash.

News bulletin 5:
News bulletin 5: 7 Feb 2017

New research published in Nature Geoscience suggests cement plays an important role in re-absorbing carbon emissions. Among the paper’s 19 authors is Professor Carmen Andrade who will be speaking at the 3rd ICDC Congress on Durability of Concrete being held alongside Concrete 2017 in Adelaide in October.

A video of a concrete buffer gone rogue has been posted online. Watch as up to 16 people on this site observe and perhaps contemplate how to best capture the wild beast.

In Australia, builders and engineers have not been subject to any regulated regime in the selection, design or installation of concrete fasteners and anchors, however internationally there have been a number of serious failures of these in construction. Construction lawyer Stephen Smith discusses the 2016 Australian National Construction Code (NCC) that now requires job-specific and engineered concrete fixings/anchors for concrete construction in this article.

The construction contract for the Capitol Grand South Yarra residential/retail development in Melbourne has been awarded to Multiplex. The project features two linked towers, one 50 storeys high, due for completion by late 2019. The company recently started work on another Melbourne CBD project, the distinctively curved Premier Tower, which will reach 79 levels and have 796 apartments. Look out for the project profile on the new Perth Stadium in the March issue of Concrete in Australia magazine.

Construction business conditions improved during the last months of 2016, with confidence at its highest level now in more than two years, according to the Master Builders Association. While this this reflects a growing optimism in the construction sector, MBA said this week commercial builders are looking for business-friendly policies from the Australian Government and has called for this in the May 2017 Budget.


News bulletin 4:
News bulletin 4: 31 Jan 2017

Build a wall? How high do you want it?

While many are unhappy with President Trump’s determination to build a wall between the US and Mexico, those in the concrete industry on both sides are grinning from ear to ear. With a projected cost of around US$1 billion, Cemex is one company feeling hopeful as is U.S. Concrete, with reports saying the entire market has received a boost due to the border plan.

Offshore concrete structures are constructed exposed to an open sea environment and are designed to stay semi-permanently or permanently fixed to the seabed by applying proper means such as piles, anchors, or gravity or stay floated and fastened securely. Concrete in offshore structures is prepared using locally available materials, with compressive strength being between 25 to 65 MPa.

What causes concrete cracks? The University of Pennsylvania in the US has given this some thought and produced an overview of types of cracking/deterioration and their implications.

Highly reactive metakaolin properties, the influence of metakaolin on fresh and hardened concrete properties, durability, and application of concrete containing highly reactive metakaolin are briefly explained in this article.

An EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) researcher has taken a methodology designed to improve underground urban planning around the world one step further. The study, which combines geology and economics, encourages a more rational approach to underground development while safeguarding natural resources. 


News bulletin 3:
News bulletin 3: 24 Jan 2017

A concrete overpass on Adelaide’s major arterial route, South Road, has been closed indefinitely after debris fell from the $32 million structure late last week. Designed and built by McConnell Dowell around eight years ago, cracks and movement of concrete sections have been reported. A review is being conducted with "serious questions to be answered".

Residential towers in the Gold Coast continue to reach new heights as a development application for one of Australia’s tallest buildings is submitted.

Sections of Melbourne’s CBD have been closed as early start to prepare for construction of the new CBD North railway station which is part of the Melbourne Metro. Construction crews will dig 11 storeys below ground to construction the station below Swanston Street.

The building boom across the Tasman continued in the final three months of 2016 as the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's quarterly survey of business opinion expect general business conditions to improve in the coming 12 months. Business confidence remains strongest in the building sector, with the house building program in Auckland and Canterbury's reconstruction continuing to underpin activity.

Engineering research at the University of Nottingham’s UK and Ningbo, China campuses has found laser scanning to be a new and viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging effects of fire on concrete.

Important changes came into effect in December in relation to the Western Australia Construction Contracts Act (2004). These changes make it easier to take payment disputes to adjudication and to enforce judgments for unpaid decisions.

Image: Movement of the concrete overpass above South Road in Adelaide which has resulted in the indefinite closure of the arterial route.

News bulletin 2:
News bulletin 2: 17 Jan 2017

Great Northern Connect (GNC), a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and BGC Contracting, has been awarded a $417 million contract to deliver the NorthLink WA central section for Main Roads Western Australia.

A new ASTM International standard (C1798, Specification for Returned Fresh Concrete for Use in a New Batch of Ready-Mixed Concrete) will help manufacturing plants better recycle returned fresh concrete, supporting the growth in sustainable construction practices. It reportedly recognises unused concrete in a fresh state as a potential ingredient for a new concrete batch - recycled fresh concrete can be treated as a raw-material component just like water, aggregates, and cement.”

Craig Lee has been appointed to lead Beca’s Australian operations as Managing Director and will continue to lead the Australia Advisory Business as General Manager, a business he helped establish and grow since joining Beca in 2011.

An AECOM-Arup joint venture has completed the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway for New York City’s MTA. It is the first major expansion of the city’s subway system in nearly a century, the 1.8 mile stretch of track runs between 63rd and 96th streets and consists of three new stations, plus one upgraded station. The AECOM- Arup JV has provided full engineering and architectural services for Phase 1 of the US$4.451 billion project that broke ground in 2007.

The influence of ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) on the characteristics of fresh concrete will let us know more about its workings and could develop the most future scope of GGBFS. Some of the main properties of fresh concrete incorporating GGBFS are discussed in this article.

Cemex is supplying materials, as well as technical and logistical expertise to the Grand Paris Express, the largest infrastructure project currently under development in France. It includes 55,000m³ of specially formulated concrete to build the cast walls, technical and slab floors for the extension of lines 4 and 15 of the Paris underground.

Image: Northlink WA Source: Laing O’Rourke

New fib bulletins available
New fib bulletins available 12 Jan 2017

The Concrete Institute has recently uploaded the following fib Bulletins which are now available in the Resource Centre of this website.

  • Bulletin 72: Bond and anchorage of embedded reinforcement: background to the fib Model Code for Concrete Structures 2010
  • Bulletin 73:Tall Buildings – Structural design of concrete buildings up to 300 m tall
  • Bulletin 75: Polymer-duct systems for internal bonded post-tensioning
  • Bulletin 76: Benchmarking of deemed-to-satisfy provisions in Standards: Durability of reinforced concrete structures exposed to chlorides.

The Institute would like to welcome you back to 2017
The Institute would like to welcome you back to 201710 Jan 2017

We would like to welcome everyone back from a safe and happy holiday season, for a very busy 2017 at The Institute. This year we aim to deliver more quality technical seminars, national seminars, informative publications, engaging webinars and of course, our biennial conference “Concrete 2017” in October.

The Institute would also like to thank our Annual Branch Sponsors that have already begun supporting our State Branches for the year ahead. Our Annual Branch Sponsors are essential for The Institute to deliver regular, quality technical seminars to our local concrete and construction communities.

We look forward to having our existing Members on board again this year and welcoming new Members to The Institute, too. Visit your State Branch page on our website to view upcoming February and March events near you!

News bulletin 1:
News bulletin 1: 10 Jan 2017

Happy New Year from the Concrete Institute and welcome back to Members and new Members coming on board this year! We hope everyone had a happy and safe festive season and look forward to sharing more news and updates with you this year. The work year’s begun so why not check out upcoming events near you for 2017 on our events page?

In 2017, the Concrete Institute of Australia will be keep you up-to-date even more by extending the timetable for our In The Mix e-newsletters from the last Thursday of the month to every second Thursday, commencing 12 January 2017. You will receive In The Mix direct to your inbox that will include the latest on Standards, publications, Australian news, online learning, events, international news and items from CIA magazine. You can sign up here.

Researchers in the Concrete Structure Technology research group at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), along with a number of companies (#Givasa, #Servia Canto, #Eiffage Infraestructuras and #Applus+ Idiada), have designed and built a prototype of a concrete crash barrier for inter-urban roads that, in comparison with the concrete barriers already in place, reduces the degree of severity of vehicle impact in accidents and therefore of injury to vehicle occupants.

Whether it’s for drying time, hardness, or uniformity, a new additive developed at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne can give concrete, mortar, and cement the desired consistency, all in one shot. Made from inorganic compounds, the additive can also extend buildings’ lifetimes. A startup called #Nanogence has just been created to develop and market the innovation.

Concrete in Australia, our quarterly magazine for Members was delivered in December (in case you were already on holidays!) so check your post box or in-tray! It features project profiles, research by Ian Gilbert into cracking caused by early-age contraction of #concrete, state, regional and international news, our cover story on the obstacles to the right infrastructure in Australia, technical papers on supplementary cementitious materials with a guest editorial by #Vute Sirivivatnanon. Not a Member? Perhaps it’s time you were - contact or go to our website to learn more.

Image: Kumar Abhishek develops new additives in the lab. Source: EPFL

News bulletin 39
News bulletin 39 13 Dec 2016

The University of Sydney has appointed Professor Brian Uy as the new Head of the School of Engineering. He was also one of the recipients of a recent ARC Discovery Grant for Coupled service and ultimate behaviour of high strength composite columns along with Dr Ehab Hamed; Professor Zhong Tao and Dr Won-Hee Kang.

Concrete in Australia, our magazine for Members is out now featuring project profiles, research by Ian Gilbert into cracking caused by early-age contraction of concrete, state, regional and international news, our cover story on the obstacles to the right infrastructure in Australia, technical papers on supplementary cementitious materials with a guest editorial by Vute Sirivivatnanon. Not a Member? Perhaps it’s time you were - contact or go to our website to learn more.

In 2017, the Concrete Institute of Australia will be keep you up-to-date even more by extending the timetable for our In The Mix e-newsletters from the last Thursday of the month to every second Thursday commencing 12 January 2017. You will receive In The Mix direct to your inbox that will include the latest on Standards, publications, Australian news, online learning, events, international news and items from CIA magazine. To sign up contact

Concrete is keeping the British public safe in Birmingham in a high-traffic area expecting 5.5 million visitors by 29 December.

Researchers at Rice University have developed techniques to control the microscopic shape of cement particles for the manufacture of stronger, more durable and more environmentally friendly concrete.

Did you know that Canada’s 13th Prime Minister John Diefenbaker requested he be interred in concrete after his death and that US president Abraham Lincoln is also similarly buried?

The river bed of the Godavari, the second longest river in India, has been concreted with many tributaries also under concrete slabs, with experts worried about the resulting ground water recharge and increased river flow speed, reports The Times of India.

This is the final news bulletin for this year so make sure you look out for our weekly News Bulletins that resume from Tuesday 10 January. The Concrete Institute of Australia wishes you a safe and enjoyable festive season for 2016 and a Happy New Year.

Image: Christmas trees of concrete

News bulletin #38
News bulletin #38 6 Dec 2016

The contract to deliver several major infrastructure projects, including carparks and road improvements, as part of the new Northern Beaches B-Line bus service in Sydney’s north has been awarded to Fulton Hogan.

A UK university study shows concrete structures are a substantial absorber of carbon emissions but that this is often overlooked despite the offset of emissions from production.

CIMIC construction company CPB Contractors has been selected by Transurban Queensland as the preferred contractor to design and construct the $512 million Logan Enhancement project south of Brisbane.

Information on improving earthquake performance of secondary structural elements, such as precast panels, heavy internal partitions, stairs, significant building services and large building ornaments, has been released by the NZ government in the wake of the 5.6 magnitude quake which struck the centre of the country and an earlier powerful tremor that killed two people.

Form-finding structures sustained by a force of pure compression or tension could lead to the design of bridges and buildings that could take any combination of permanent loading without generating complex stresses, according to Emeritus Professor of engineering Wanda Lewis.

Research from the US shows gender gaps in engineering are a result of a masculine culture that continues to dominate the field as women represent only 14% of practising engineers worldwide.

The major contract to deliver Sydney’s $170 million Airport East upgrade project has been awarded to John Holland and work is expected to start early next year and will include an underpass road widening.

Image: Logan Enhancement project. Source: CPB Contractors.

News Bulletin #37
News Bulletin #37 29 Nov 2016

A giant shield made of concrete and steel is being placed over the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine as a seal following the catastrophic explosion 30 years ago.

Cardno engineer and its former chairman Richard Kell has received the prestigious Australian award which recognises his achievement in engineering.

Experts in engineering, archaeology, architecture or building surveying are being sought by Heritage Tasmania (DPIPWE) to join the Tasmanian Heritage Council in 2017. Expressions of Interest are invited by 9 December.

US President-elect Donald Trump’s plan for US infrastructure has triggered a great deal of interest from this side of the Pacific. What has been described as a “bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads ports and waterways” follows in the wake of 1950s’ President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s rollout of the country’s interstate highways system.

Infrastructure Australia has released its November priority list that is looking at business cases for 17 proposed projects across Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, NSW, Northern Territory and Queensland. Make sure you also read our cover story that looks at the future of Australia's infrastructure in the December issue of Concrete in Australia - out 7 December!

You can read the previous News Bulletin #36, view upcoming events or check out our Resource Centre to keep up-to-date with what’s happening with your institute - the Concrete Institute of Australia.

Image: Chernobyl reactor cover, October 2016. Source: Tim Porter via Wikipedia CC

Taking an active role
Taking an active role 23 Nov 2016

During our November Council meeting, Council has accepted the following nominations. The Concrete Institute of Australia is pleased to announce these new Reference Group Committee Members:
BD-002 (Concrete Structures), responsible for the revision of AS 3600:

  • Dr Vinh Dao from the University of Queensland and chair of Concrete in Australia magazine
  • Shan Kumar, Principal Engineer for Hickory Building Systems, and Co-Convenor of the Concrete Institute’s Standards Committee.
 BD-042 (Methods of Testing Concrete), responsible for the revision of AS 1012:
  • Athol Love, Independent Structural Engineer, and part-time consultant to Worley Parsons. We also welcome Athol Love as a new individual Member of the Concrete Institute.
The Concrete Institute is also pleased to announce a second representative on BD-066 (Tilt-up Construction), responsible for the revision of AS 3850:
  • Ian Hymas is the Founding Partner of Bronze Member Henry & Hymas and has been involved with BD-066 since 2003.
The Concrete Institute is now seeking a representative to serve on WS-006 Concrete Pipes Standard. Please note the Institute has a series of governance procedures that must be adhered to by any CIA representative and these documents can be found on the Institute’s website.
The Concrete Institute advises Members interested in nominating to be the WS-006 representative to do so by contacting with your CV and a cover letter summarising how your experience can contribute to the Standard. Applications close 20 December 2016.

Concrete dividends for South Australia
Concrete dividends for South Australia 23 Nov 2016

South Australia’s first major concrete road is set to deliver a raft of benefits, from better ride quality and fuel economy for heavy vehicles to reduced maintenance costs and network disruption, according to Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA).
Lendlease Engineering opted for a concrete pavement in its winning tender for Adelaide’s $985 million Northern Connector, a six-lane, 15.5 kilometre link between the Northern Expressway, the South Road Superway and the Port River Expressway.
The successful pavement design ticked a number of boxes for the State Government, including increased local materials content, the creation of extra jobs, and a lower cost over the life of the road asset.
“The South Australian Government deserves congratulations for recognising the benefits of concrete pavements and calling for concrete alternatives to be included in the tender process,” CCAA Chief Executive, Ken Slattery said.
“By doing so, they provided the environment for private sector innovation that inspired Lendlease Engineering’s compelling tender and design.”
As part of that innovative design approach, the concrete roadway on the Northern Connector will incorporate a diamond groove finish to reduce noise and extend the life of the pavement.
Mr Slattery said the inherent durability and strength of the Northern Connector’s concrete road pavement would result in a significant reduction in ongoing maintenance requirements and costs.
“Not only is that good news for taxpayers, but it means drivers will also face less delays from network disruptions,” he said.
“Drivers will also notice an improvement in ride quality. And because the concrete pavement has less rolling resistance, heavy vehicle owners in particular will benefit from better fuel consumption.”
Mr Slattery said the benefits of concrete road pavements are already well proven in NSW, accounting for substantial lengths of the upgraded Hume and Pacific Highways.
“We think this will be the first of many new concrete roads – not just in South Australia but other states and territories - as the economic, environmental and social benefits are realised," he said.

News bulletin #36
News bulletin #36 15 Nov 2016

ASIC has launched a major investigation into allegations about the conduct of senior executives and directors at Cimic (formerly Leighton Holdings).

ABC iView is currently host to Mountain Tsunami, episode five of the Seconds from Disaster series, which investigates the massive failings of engineering around a dam built in Italy in 1963, including historic footage. The episode is available to watch online until 24 November.

A new draft code by the South Australia government has been released for comment on requirements for upgrading an existing building. The government says it is intended to break an impasse for some city buildings that have been dormant for years.

Technical director Brett Naylor of Beca talks about the flow of data and how digital delivery is changing the way the design and construction industry delivers projects.

Tajikistan has begun building what is forecast to be the world's tallest dam, after 40 years of delays. At a planned 335m tall, the Rogun hydropower project would be 30 metres higher than Jinping-1 Hydropower Station in China.

Victoria is introducing a more consistent approach to PPPs which will mean government and bidders will save time by focusing on project-specific issues, reducing bid costs and negotiation time.

IMAGE: Still from Mountain Tsunami. Source: ABC iView

News Bulletin #35
News Bulletin #35 8 Nov 2016

AECOM engineer Dr Robin Sham has designed a Guinness World Record-breaking suspension bridge made entirely out of Lego. The 31 metre-long bridge is at the centre of a new exhibition in London celebrating civil engineers who have created some of the world’s greatest bridges.

Call for companies that knew of damage to shops before the collapse of wall in the Myer construction site in Hobart to face tough penalties. The companies include consulting engineers, architects and builders.

Celebrating 40 years in business, Northrop Consulting Engineers plans to steadily expand its geographic footprint and service offering. Northrop Principal and Sydney Regional Manager, Jamie Shelton talks about the next 40 years and more.

A new publication has been produced showcasing Wood & Grieve Engineers’ 50 years of expertise and experience in Civil Engineering projects across WA, highlighting recent projects in land development, civil building services and civil infrastructure.

Arup has been appointed as Infrastructure Technical Advisor on the Parramatta Light Rail twin track line that will connect growth areas surrounding Western Sydney’s CBD. 

Image: AECOM

News bulletin #34:
News bulletin #34: 1 Nov 2016

Aurecon has questioned whether we're investing in the right kinds of infrastructure as Australia "doggedly invests over a trillion scarce dollars a year" in new ports, roads, railways and airports.
Read the latest Infrastructure Australia chairman's newsletter that introduces plans for the coming year and the 2015-16 annual report. You can also read IA executive director of policy and research's speech from the recent Public Infrastructure Summit.
Mainmark's chief operating officer talks about the the future of ground engineering, saying there is a move away from large invasive machines toward more technology driven applications.
Multiplex has been appointed to deliver Monash University's multi-storey $206 million 30,000 square-metre Learning and Teaching Building that includes a large underground carpark and regional transport interchange.
$700 million has been allocated to improve roads in Northern Australia with $100 million for the NT and $200 million for the Northern Australia Roads Program. There is also funding for 25 priority projects in QLD, NT and WA.
The Western Australia government has released the State Planning Framework for public comment. You are invited to have your say to help set the context for decision-making on land use and development in the state.

Image: Mainmark ground engineering

International Award Winners – Wagners EFC
International Award Winners – Wagners EFC26 Oct 2016

Concrete Institute of Australia members, Wagners EFC, were honoured at the recent ACI Convention at the Awards for Excellence in Concrete Construction Gala Dinner for their work on the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport and innovative use of EFC Geopolymer in pavements. The project was nominated by the Institute as an International entry in the ACI Award for Excellence program, and Wagner’s EFC were presented with First Place in the Flatwork category for a project that has received many accolades leading up to this prestigious honour. Our congratulations go to the team at Wagners EFC for this wonderful achievement!

Please see below The Wagners EFC team – Tom Glasby, Joe Wagner and Denis Wagner along with CIA National President Michael van Koeverden, and their award

ACI Awards Image

Click to view Wagners EFC ACI Award

News bulletin #33
News bulletin #33 19 Oct 2016

The open-spandrel, deck arch Broadway Bridge in Arkansas made of concrete in the 1920s, recently refused to be brought to heel when it remained standing despite detonated demolition explosives.

Following the recent anniversary of 9/11, the collapse of a building is not only a tragedy, a professor of structural engineering at the University of Texas at Arlinton says, but it’s also an important engineering problem.

Australian Senator Bob Day has resigned from the Senate as it was revealed his construction company had gone into liquidation leaving hundreds of houses across the country unfinished.

Two new Standards Australia publications have been released: AS 1012.20.1:2016 Methods of testing concrete - determination of chloride and sulfate in hardened concrete and aggregates - nitric acid extraction method (BD-042 Methods of Testing Concrete); and AS 1012.20.2:2016 Methods for testing concrete – Determination of water-soluble chloride in aggregates and hardened concrete (CE-012 Aggregates and Rock for Engineering Purposes). Both were published on 18 October 2016 and can be purchased from SAI Global.

The European Concrete Platform has responded to the European Commission’s consultation on a common framework of core indicators for the environmental performance of buildings.

A modernist concrete house built in rural England made the shortlist for the Riba Stirling architecture prize but has won a BBC News vote for favourite new British building.

News bulletin #32
News bulletin #32 11 Oct 2016

Two workers have been killed instantly at a Criscon construction site at the Eagle Farm Racecourse when a concrete slab fell into the pit they were working in. The pair were working at the site on Thursday when the slab, weighing up to 10 tonne, reportedly fell from a crane, but it has emerged that workers had walked off the site just days before over safety concerns.

A “thirsty concrete” has been installed in 1268 metres of walkways in the Yellowstone National Park in the US to redistribute rainwater and melted snow back into the park’s aquifer system. The pavement can absorb 11,356 litres of water per square foot per hour.

Institute Silver Member Mainmark has completed abandonment works of a 280-metre concrete enveloper culvert beneath an operational runway at Brisbane Airport in just three weeks to address ground subsidence risk.

The new Z36 Recommended Practice Formwork Handbook is available for Members to purchase. Hard copies can be obtained by contacting or if you're a Member, you can download a free PDF via the Resource Centre on our website, under Recommended Practice.

Work has commenced on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing viaduct, an 800-metre road bridge that extends from the Lockyer Valley and cuts through the range at Mount Kynoch. The TSRC project involves a 41-km bypass route to the north of Toowoomba from the Warrego Highway at Helidon to the Gore Highway at Athol in South-East Queensland.

A new webinar is now available from the Concrete Institute on Designing Robust Concrete Structures. This informative webinar and others are available via the Institute's online learning portal.

Image: A still from a video from Mainmark that monitored the continuous filling of the pipe under Brisbane Airport.

News bulletin #31
News bulletin #31 4 Oct 2016

Infrastructure Victoria has released a draft of its 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy and is calling for feedback on the report by 31 October, with the final version to be available in December. The state government will then respond with a five-year Infrastructure Plan that outlines priority projects and funding commitments.
Institute Silver Member GHD has been recognised, along with clients and partners for work on Adelaide’s 2.8 km elevated roadway, the South Road Superway, at t