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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Albion Exchange proposal. Source: Gion Property.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMAGE: Engineers working on the bubbledeck at Mills Park.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Forrestfield Airport Link August works.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: via designboom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image via Camden Courier.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: The Avon River Bridge in Victoria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocla’s concrete sleeper plant in Mittagong in NSW’s Southern Highlands has sent its first delivery by train of 9000 sleepers for the first stage of the Inland Rail project. 200,000 sleepers will be produced for the company’s $20 million contract and will be delivered over the next six months.

The largest concrete beams ever made in the Northern Territory – 36.5 metre T-beams weighing 78.5 tonnes are being transported in a convoy from Darwin to Western Australia.

Turkey has completed construction of a 764 km concrete wall along its border with Syria, with 564 km of it built by the country’s housing developer Toki.

The court case featuring the falsified concrete tests on the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge is now in full swing with a senior lab technician admitting defrauding authorities by signing off tests on concrete that were faked.

Insulated concrete forms are preferred by architects and designers for their advantages that include reduced build time, labour savings and thermal efficiency, however, their acoustic properties have been largely overlooked until now.

Japanese studio Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office has completed a mixed-use building in Tokyo featuring a jumbled composition of concrete rooms that create spaces for small balconies and gardens.

Rocla’s concrete sleepers. Source: ARTC


Riddle of cement’s structure is finally solved
Riddle of cement’s structure is finally solved7 Jun 2018

(CSH) — a continuous solid, like metal or stone, or is it an aggregate of small particles. As basic as that question is, it had never been definitively answered. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers at MIT, Georgetown University, and France’s CNRS (together with other universities in the U.S., France, and U.K.) say they have solved that riddle and identified key factors in the structure of CSH that could help researchers work out better formulations for producing more durable concrete....More

News bulletin-22:
News bulletin-22: 5 Jun 2018

An innovative hybrid fiberglass-concrete-steel bridge construction technique created by engineers at The University of Queensland engineers can reduce major urban bridgeworks’ projects from months or years down to a matter of days, according to the team.

Georgiou Group has announced the appointment of a new CEO, effective from August this year, who will take over from CEO John Georgiou. The company has also revealed changes to the board along with internal promotions.
The Queensland Major Projects Pipeline report has been released by Queensland Major Contractors Association (QMCA), Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) and the Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ).

The first of five 3D-printed concrete houses will be built this year in the Netherlands as part of Project Milestone and will be occupied as part of the city of Eindhoven’s expansion. The first house will be single storey with the other four to be multi-storey dwellings (pictured).

Queensland engineering firm Fibercon has developed a technology that enables it to use recycled polypropylene plastic to reinforce concrete instead of steel.

The construction of a bank in Jordan has included the use of Lucem Lichtbeton, a type of concrete with translucent properties, for the first time worldwide. When backlit with LEDs or under sunlight, the concrete panels present a “stunning display of light and shadow”.

World’s most slender tower proposed for Melbourne
World’s most slender tower proposed for Melbourne31 May 2018

The proposal would see a 362-metre-tall, high-end residential tower built on the site, which will house 60 whole-floor apartments, the sale of which would create an endowment fund for the RSV.

Decibel Architecture spent the past three years working with structure and wind engineers, financial experts, developers, planners and heritage consultants to test the proposal’s viability.

News bulletin-21:
News bulletin-21: 29 May 2018

It has been announced that the chief executive of Infrastructure Australia has chosen not to renew his contract and will depart the organisation in the next few months.

Engineering NZ engineer Brian Wilson worked on the Auckland Harbour Bridge from 1955-1959 and has written an opinion piece reviewing discrepancies about the bridge he has identified in a 2017 article in Engineering Insight magazine. 

Western Australia’s Public Transport Authority has released a tender for the Mount Claremont bus depot, with construction planned for later this year.

A review of the security of payment laws in the building and construction industry reveals more protection is needed for subcontractors regardless of state or territory, according to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

John Holland has won the $543 million contract to construct Victoria’s first dedicated heart hospital at a cost of $543 million and says it is a “significant win” for its new national building business.
NSW’s Roads and Maritime Services has released the names of the two joint ventures vying for the construction contract on the WestConnex Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link (M4-M5) in Sydney.

Bendable concrete will make US infrastructure safer, extend its service life and reduce maintenance costs and resource use, according to The Conversation in the US.

Image: John Holland will build Victoria’s heart hospital. Source: JH

Standards Australia Publication: HB 84:2018
Standards Australia Publication: HB 84:201825 May 2018

This Standard serves as reference for a Guide to Concrete Repair and Protection. 

Publication Number: HB 84:2018
Title: Guide to Concrete Repair and Protection
Publishing Date: 25/05/2018
Project Committee: BD-002 Concrete Structures


News bulletin-20:
News bulletin-20: 22 May 2018

One hundred-year old engineering firm, Hansen Yuncken, has been named as the main contractor to deliver the $330 million Adelaide Casino expansion by SkyCity Entertainment Group. Construction is set to begin in June.

Boral has agreed to sell its North American concrete and quarrying business to Brannan Sand and Gravel for AU$169 million.

A proposal has been submitted to the City of Sydney for a marble and scalloped-concrete 13-storey building for the city’s CBD that will be integrated with the adjacent heritage-listed building, the former Bank of New South Wales headquarters.

It has been announced that Fulton Hogan has agreed to buy the quarrying and concrete plant assets of Auckland’s century-old Stevenson Group.

Axedale Holdings, the firm behind Shaw’s Cartage Contractors, has been fined $160,000 over the death of two construction workers due to falling concrete tilt-up panels at a construction site.

Just when you thought you’d seen everything a civil or structural engineer could use on a daily basis, take a look at this.

An illustration of the extension to Adelaide Casino. Source: SkyCit

How to inflate a huge hardened concrete shell
How to inflate a huge hardened concrete shell17 May 2018

A very resource efficient alternative construction method called "Pneumatic Forming of Hardened Concrete (PFHC)" was invented at TU Wien by Dr. Benjamin Kromoser and Prof. Johann Kollegger at the Institute of Structural Engineering.

Dried sewage sludge could be an alternative cement material for concrete, researchers in Malaysia have found.
Dried sewage sludge could be an alternative cement material for concrete, researchers in Malaysia have found.17 May 2018

While studies show that the volume of sludge is expected to rise, disposal options for domestic waste sludge are limited due to stricter environmental regulations including a ban on burying sludge in soil due to its high heavy metal content that could cause adverse impacts to the environment.

The team dried and burnt wet sludge cake to remove moisture, and then ground and sieved the dried sludge cake to make DWSP.

News bulletin-19:
News bulletin-19: 15 May 2018

Property developers in the ACT have been challenged by the territory government’s minister for climate change and sustainability to build the first ‘net zero’ emissions commercial or large scale residential building.

The University of Sydney has asked engineering alumnus Ken Wheeler how he overcame the challenges in creating Sydney’s Anzac Bridge with its 345-metre span and 120-metre tall diamond-shaped pylons.

View a snapshot of construction that is currently happening in Melbourne. Includes Moonee Ponds, Yarra One, 311 Spencer St, 72-82 Collins St, Capitol Grand, 601 St Kilda Road, and Premier Tower.

Check out the list for construction tenders for May 2018 in Western Australia. The list includes the tenderers and projects – in Perth and regionally - as well as the closing date and contact emails.

A New York-based architecture firm has designed a housing proposal that can survive 1.8 metres of sea level rise with a complex made of 19 cylindrical apartment towers ranging 96 to 455 feet high. The proposal is for Manhattan’s Pier 40 which extends 250 metres over the Hudson River.

Image: New York housing proposal to combat future flooding. Source: Via The Structural Engineer


New Platinum Member - mateenbar -
New Platinum Member - mateenbar -10 May 2018

In addition to the highly valued support of our Platinum Members ramsetreid and Wagstaff Piling, we welcome mateenbar into the CIA family. mateenbarTM is a composite reinforcement bar used in bridge, tunnel, road, marine, electromagnetic and other civil infrastructure. We thank all our Platinum Members for their support and encourage you to check out what they do and how they might provide value for what you do. 

News bulletin-18:
News bulletin-18: 8 May 2018

The April Performance of Construction Index has been released, revealing an expansion for the 15th consecutive month with a slight easing in growth momentum from March. Commercial construction was the strongest performer while engineering construction expanded at a slower rate.
A $3.8 billion development 3 km from Perth’s CBD is set to go ahead seven years after the plan for the proposal at Belmont Park was first unveiled.
Victoria’s Government has opened an Expression of Interest process (closes 21 May) to identify local contractors to tender for the $47.8 million Ballarat GovHub that will revitalise the Civic Hall site. The project is part of the biggest infrastructure investment ever for the city, with more than $500 million worth of projects underway.

Carbicrete is a Canadian-based start-up that has developed a method of making concrete without cement. Its creators say that not only does the process avoid cement emissions, but the chemical reaction involved consumes carbon dioxide, further reducing the net carbon impact of the process.

The Northern Territory Government is promising $1.45 billion investment in infrastructure in the 2018 Budget. $626.4 million will be distributed for roads, while other funding will go to hospitals, schools, community infrastructure and aerodrome works.

Western Australia is also planning major infrastructure projects with $3.2 billion of the 2018-19 Commonwealth Budget to facilitate $5.4 billion in infrastructure development including roads, hospitals, rail and the Myalup-Wellington Dam project.

Austroads has released a report on proposed future directions for long-term pavement performance (LTPP) studies in Australasia based on the results of a 2017 survey.

Image: Illustration of proposed Belmont Park development. Source: Hassell


News bulletin-17:
News bulletin-17: 1 May 2018

Graphene has been incorporated into traditional concrete production by researchers at the University of Exeter, resulting in a low-cost composite material they say is twice as strong and four times more water-resistant than existing concrete and without defects.

The ACT Government has put the construction industry on notice in response to community feedback about building quality. It has introduced changes to licensing requirements for builders who have had regular complaints made against them, and from 2019 up to 20% will need to pass a test to renew their licences.

Structural engineer Jenny Burridge talks about minimising the environmental impact of concrete and focusing on the use of cement now and in future practice.

The NSW Government has introduced a pilot program of its State Design Review Panel (SDRP) made up of 40 members. The panel will assist the Government Architect and Department of Planning and Environment with design and planning advice on projects that are State Significant Developments.

Take a look at 87 Weston St, a bespoke building in London with a concrete shell with load bearing walls that create a stepped series of eight interlocking apartments much like a 3D puzzle.

Austroads has released a report following on from the investigations into the development and implementation of a national automated bridge assessment framework, outlining the ongoing validation works and recommended activities to assist in its deployment.

Image: 87 Weston St, bespoke concrete building with stepped interlocking apartments via Concrete Quarterly.


News bulletin-16:
News bulletin-16: 24 Apr 2018

Georgiou Group has been awarded the New England Highway Upgrade by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) at Bolivia Hill in NSW, valued at $40 million, will involve the construction of 2.1 km of new road, a new 320-metre long bridge, wider lanes in each direction and widened road shoulders.

Check out these four building projects that were recognised at the ACSE Annual Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards, including an amazing installation at Sydney’s Wynyard Station.

Fulton Hogan has commenced work on Hobart’s Tasman Highway Memorial Bridge project which is scheduled for completion in November. The design is four metres-wide by 200 metres-long and two lanes are set at over 6.5 metres-high for over-sized vehicles, with a minimum of 5.4 metres over all other lanes.

Researchers at Glasgow University have tested nine different hole and groove designs of concrete tiles at four locations. The concrete mimicked the rough textures of lost coastal habitats to attract animals and encourage barnacles to protect the concrete from the elements. More testing is planned for sea defences to be designed in this way, with the assistance of Concrete Scotland.

Images of a 51-storey tower designed for New York featuring a prefabricated concrete system and scooped facade have been released.

Image: the 11 Hoyt development in Brooklyn, New York, featuring prefabricated concrete. Source: Binyan via Dezeen.


Four Of The World's Most Innovative Modular Construction Projects
Four Of The World's Most Innovative Modular Construction Projects24 Apr 2018

The advantages of modular construction include shorter construction times, greater cost certainty and superior sustainability benefits, Shan Kumar: Chief Engineer & Head of Engineering Innovations and R&D for the Hickory Group, who features on this prestigious list. Shan will be presenting at the Institutes National Seminar in April/May 2018 ... More

News bulletin-15:
News bulletin-15: 17 Apr 2018

Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Waikato have announced a ‘world-first’ with nanotechnology creating a self-healing bio-concrete using “solid-state fermentation” that shows it is more durable than traditional concrete as well as cost-effective.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released construction data showing the best year in a decade for construction, according to the Master Builders Australia.

A report has been released by the WA Government on feedback for the development of Westport: Ports and Environs Strategy including future port facilities.

China is about to open the 55 kilometre-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge – the world’s longest sea bridge - to traffic after eight years of construction.

Jacobs and McConnell Dowell have designed and constructed a first-of-its-kind wharf for Rio Tinto in far North Queensland with input and oversight by Bechtel.

CPD has produced a League Table that ranks 13 of the largest, high-emitting cement companies and assesses which companies are preparing for a transition to a low carbon economy.

Image: Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (photo via ABC News)


The following Standards Australia publication has been published.
The following Standards Australia publication has been published. 16 Apr 2018


Publication Number: AS 3610.1
Title: Formwork for concrete, Part 1: Specifications
Publishing Date: 16-04-2018
Project Committee: BD-043 Formwork

This Standard was prepared by Standards Australia Committee BD-043.

Chinese construction firm erects 57-storey skyscraper in 19 days
Chinese construction firm erects 57-storey skyscraper in 19 days13 Apr 2018

Broad Sustainable Building, a prefab construction firm, put up the rectangular, glass and steel Mini Sky City in the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha, assembling three floors a day using a modular method, the vice-president, Xiao Changgeng, said. More...

News bulletin-14:
News bulletin-14: 10 Apr 2018

Five major infrastructure projects for Dubbo have been allocated almost $200 million to improve connectivity for the city. These include a new Dubbo Bridge; two upgrades each for the Newell Highway and Mitchell Highway; and L.H. Ford bridge improvements.

Multiplex has been appointed to construct the 200 metre-high 50-storey Quay Quarter Tower at 50 Bridge Street Sydney after more than five years of planning and approvals by AMP Capital.
Austroads is presenting a free live webinar and Q&A on 1 May on the use of geopolymer concrete in structural and non-structural applications. The webinar will outline the findings of a four-year project and a current update of its use, monitoring and specification by VicRoads over the past nine years. Presenters are Fred Andrews-Phaedonas and Dr Ahmad Shayan. Register for the live webinar or get the link to the recording.
A Technology Roadmap has been released as an update of the Cement Technology Roadmap 2009: Carbon Emissions Reductions up to 2050 by the Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It sets out a strategy for the sector to improve energy efficiency, switch less carbon intensive fuels, reduce clinker to cement ratio, and implement innovative technologies.

A tall, narrow concrete house perched on a cliff facing a sea lion reserve on Chile’s Coliumo Peninsula has been completed by architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshasen.

Nigeria plans to build concrete roads in the country “so that anytime we build a road, we do not have to go back to repair after the third raining season” and to provide easier travelling and connectivity across regions. The longest concrete road project is underway by AG-Dangote Construction Company with 22 km concrete pavement already completed.

Image: Illustration of how Quay Quarter Tower will look at Circular Quay. Source: Multiplex

New bendable concrete
New bendable concrete 5 Apr 2018

This innovation allows the creation of slim precast pavement slabs for quick installation, thus halving the time needed for road works and new pavements. It is also more sustainable, requiring less maintenance.

NTU Professor Chu Jian, Interim Co-Director of the NTU-JTC I³C, said, "We developed a new type of concrete that can greatly reduce the thickness and weight of precast pavement slabs, hence enabling speedy plug-and-play installation, where new concrete slabs prepared off-site can easily replace worn out ones."...   More

News bulletin-13:
News bulletin-13: 3 Apr 2018

The Australian Government has announced a review of Australia’s measurement laws in the face of “rapid developments in science, technology, industrial production and innovation”. Submissions close 30 June.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering has rejected comments by the NSW Minister of Education that STEM is a fad.

Infrastructure Australia has identified $55 billion in “nation-shaping” projects in its latest Infrastructure Priority List.

Feedback is invited on the draft corridors for four major future road and rail infrastructure corridors released by the NSW Government to help establish Western Sydney Parklands. Have your say by 18 May 2018 to help inform technical investigations.

The UNSW School of Civil & Environmental Engineering has congratulated alumnus Dr Collette Burke on becoming Victoria’s first Chief Engineer whose role it will be to oversee the state’s infrastructure pipeline.

Design and consultancy firm Arcadis has appointed Greg Harrison as Business Leader for Advisory and Sustainability in Australia. And in recognition of “increasing pressure on road infrastructure”, Aurecon has appointed Nial O’Brien as Global Service Leader – Roads.

In the US, Fairmont State University’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers has won a regional Concrete Canoe competition with a vessel designed in AutoCAD and made with the “consistency of Play-Doh and Cool Whip”.
Image: Melbourne Metro – one of Infrastructure Australia’s listed projects now being constructed. Source: Melbourne Metro Rail Authorit

News bulletin-12:
News bulletin-12: 27 Mar 2018

Austroads has released an updated Guide to Bridge Technology to align with the recently revised AS 5100 and changes in industry practice. The organisation has also released a summary of the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) monitoring project activities undertaken in 2016–17.

Funding has been approved for the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade in Queensland that will include construction of an upgraded Haughton River Bridge, two overpasses and 13 other bridges, upgrading nine rural intersections, widening the road and installation of wide centre-line treatment installed along the full length of the project.

The Victorian Government has announced that early works on the new $711 million Monash Freeway Upgrade Stage 2 will be fast-tracked to begin at the end of this year. The project will add 36 km of new lanes. Stage 1 is currently under construction, to be completed later this year.

Laing O’Rourke has been awarded the $955 million contract to transform Sydney’s Central Station that includes building new Sydney Metro underground platforms and a 19 metre-wide underground concourse for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.

Western Sydney Airport (WSA Co) has released Requests for Tender for the Early Earthworks Package to 12 companies selected through a Registration of Interest process. The project will include the movement of more than 1.8 million cubic metres of earth as well as road and drainage works.

More than 11,461 cubic metres of concrete have already been used on diaphragm walls and construction of the Redcliffe Station site in the Forrestfield-Airport Link in WA (pictured). To date, 7500 cubic metres of spoil has already been removed from the station box, 18% of the total 41,500 cubic metres to be excavated.


A ‘sensing skin’ for concrete
A ‘sensing skin’ for concrete23 Mar 2018

In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assigned a grade of “D” to the overall quality of infrastructure in the United States, saying that ongoing evaluation and maintenance of structures was necessary to improve that grade.

Since then, federal stimulus funds have made it possible for communities to repair some infrastructure, but high-tech, affordable methods for continual monitoring remain in their infancy. Instead, most evaluation of bridges, dams, schools and other structures is still done by visual inspection, which is slow, expensive, cumbersome and in some cases, dangerous...More

Iconic modular apartment complex celebrates 50th anniversary
Iconic modular apartment complex celebrates 50th anniversary21 Mar 2018

Habitat 67, designed by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, was presented at the 1967 World Expo as an experiment in the possibilities of prefabricated modular units for high-quality housing in dense urban environments.  Though most Expo pavilions are disassembled upon the Expo’s completion, Habitat 67 retained its original purpose and continues to serve as a successful housing complex... More

News bulletin-11:
News bulletin-11: 20 Mar 2018

GHD, in a joint venture with Stantec has been awarded a $14.5 million concept design contract to raise Warragamba Dam that was constructed in 1960 to reduce flood risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. GHD designed the enlarged Cotter Dam that was featured in the June 2014 issue of Concrete in Australia magazine.
Global construction groups are expected to have more confidence in hiring local engineers as Victoria joins Queensland in proposing mandatory qualification checks. The Engineers Registration Bill is currently in Victoria’s Parliament.
Infrastructure Australia has released its ‘Future Cities: Planning For Our Growing Population’ paper that provides advice to Australian governments about improving the liveability and productivity of this country’s largest cities as they grow over the coming three decades.

British engineers have concluded laser scanning is a viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging effects of fire on concrete.
Image: Warragamba Dam courtesy of GHD


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

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

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 comple